Avon Rec Center climbing wall among facility’s new amenities | VailDaily.com

Avon Rec Center climbing wall among facility’s new amenities

Melanie Wong
The new climbing wall at the Avon Rec Center is seen under construction on Friday. The grand opening for the climbing wall will be Dec. 3, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the rec center.
Townsend Bessent | Townsend@vaildaily.com |

AVON — These days at the Avon Recreation Center, you can swim, take a class, lift weights, do yoga, and very soon, you can also go bouldering.

The rec center is in the final stages of putting up a 10-foot tall by 30-foot wide bouldering wall in its renovated lobby. Crews from Eldorado Climbing Walls have been working through the week to complete the reinforcements and walls, and later in the week, they’ll be completing the area with lighting and routes. The project will be finished by Dec. 3 for the rec center’s grand unveiling and open house for its recent renovations.

“We hope that local climbers will come use the wall, and include our gym facilities as part of their training,” said Avon’s Director of Parks and Recreation John Curutchet. “We also see it as an opportunity to introduce the community to the sport.”

The wall is relatively small, confined by space, but is designed for intermediate to advanced climbers. As the wall gains popularity, Curutchet said the rec center also plans to introduce some programs for beginning climbers or group events.

“A lot of people who aren’t familiar with the sport look at it and think that it’s for kids, but it actually requires quite a bit of technique and know-how, and you’re required to use climbing shoes on it,” Curutchet said. “We made it as advanced as we could for the dimensions. However, it’s also set up so that new climbers can get on it and try it out safely.”

For non-climbers, bouldering is a form of climbing done on shorter rocks or walls, and done without harnesses or ropes. Typically, you’ll jump down a short way from the top of the route, or fall in a controlled fashion onto a heavy pad. The routes are short, but typically strenuous.

Rec center employees said that the climbing wall has already attracted considerable attention, curious questions and climbing enthusiasts who are eager to try out the wall. When the wall opens, it will be included as part of the facilities open to members at no extra cost.

The $45,000 project is part a major renovation of the Avon Rec Center that started a year ago. The improvements include an expanded weight room, added flexibility area, larger workout room floor space, a new yoga room, lobby reconfiguration and improvements to the children’s pool. Several features will still be added to the children’s pool this winter as the finishing touches, Curutchet said.

The public will have a chance to check out the climbing wall and other rec center improvements at the rec center’s 20th anniversary open house event on Dec. 3. Entry will be free to use and visit the facilities on that day.

Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 or at mwong@vaildaily.com. Follow her on Twitter @mwongvail.

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