Facing the Wall

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
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Trip End Dec 25, 1998


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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, August 15, 1997

Go with me? Let's head under the bridge to the Walnut Street Wall, Chattanooga's urban rock-climbing center. Managed as a cooperative effort by the City of Chattanooga and the Adventure Guild, this controlled environment is an educational and recreational delight for both children and adults.

The stone support post holding up the Walnut Street Bridge on the north shore has been fitted with holds, anchors and ropes. It is 50 feet high and has 10 top ropes leading to as many as 30 different climbing routes ranging in difficulty from 5.5 to 5.11.

Since we live in a valley surrounded by sandstone-capped mountains, and a world that presents us with pint-sized to giant-sized obstacles every day, we learn early on to climb. From the jungle gym to the corporate ladder, our nature leads us towards the top. But before we tackle Sunset Rock or the T-Wall or life's leadership demands, we'd better learn the ropes.

The Wall offers "appropriate risk" - the perceived risk is high, but the actual risk is low. You are safely harnessed and watchfully guided along the way.

It gives you a chance to push yourself," says Philip Grymes, Wall Manager. "When you climb to the top of the Wall and look down, your heart nearly jumps out of your body! I've seen both smiles and tears as people realize with satisfaction what they have accomplished."

Most of the Wall's climbers are between 6 and 14, but adults like to drop by for a good workout too. Teenage boys and girls are attracted to the confidence-building activity at the Wall. Stand and watch as two people far above you call out the commands:
"On belay"
"Belay on"
"Climbing"
"Climb on"
and you begin to understand the meaning of partnership.

Groups come to the Wall for teambuilding training and never-to-be-forgotten birthday party thrills. It's an ideal place to emphasize the challenges of any endeavor - "set a goal to reach the top, study the route, execute the plan, give 100%, and celebrate the results!"

Whatever kind of mountain you want to tackle, the Wall will help you learn to climb it. See you there.

Walnut Street Wall, North Shore Under The Bridge, Chattanooga
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