North Carolina rock climbing facility headed for RVA

by | Jun 15, 2017 | COMMUNITY

“It was a rush in more ways than one,” said Joel Graybeal, Managing Partner of Triangle Rock Club, on his first time climbing.

Graybeal’s passion for rock climbing began during opening week of their first indoor rock climbing gym, when he read an article on the new facility in Raleigh and came to see it for himself.

“I was in the very first Intro to Rock Climbing class they ever offered that year,” Graybeal said. “I fell in love with it.”

He went on to become more than a student at Triangle Rock Club. Now, as a managing partner alongside founders Andrew Kratz and Luis Jauregui, Graybeal is proud to report the climbing, fitness, and yoga facility will open a location in Richmond later this year.

TRC RVA’s initial 24,000 square-foot space will be located minutes from Willow Lawn and Scott’s Addition in the former Richmond Athletic Club at 4700 Thalbro St. The gym is set to offer its members a fitness facility, yoga classes, and bouldering walls followed by a 2018 15,000 square-foot expansion with belay climbing walls. It will mark the fourth location for Triangle Rock Club, and the first outside of North of Carolina.

For Graybeal, the draw to rock climbing goes beyond the wall.

“You’re so focused in the moment because there are both physical problem solving and mental resolve aspects,” he said. “When you have technique, coordination, balance and combine it with those aspects it pulls all those things together.”

Triangle Rock Club’s aim is to share their passion for climbing with others. Since joining, Graybeal has continuously seen lives change at the club.

Their “number one employee” will celebrate his 10 year anniversary this year. He showed up to the original gym while it was still under construction, getting involved from the beginning and now running one of their three locations.

Several young climbers have grown to become some of the gym’s best employees, while others have built confidence and improved in school. Four of their past or present employees met their spouses through the club. Graybeal credits the sport’s collaborative nature, as climbers communicate often and come together for the shared passion.

“Seeing people’s lives transform as a result of coming to our business is really an amazing feeling,” he said. “It’s really cool to get first hand validation, particularly from parents, that you’ve changed the trajectory of their kid’s life.”

This year’s winner of the Dominion Riverrock climbing competition in Richmond has been training with Triangle Rock Club for eight years. As it stands, he is one of the top Olympic prospects for the United States team when the Olympics come to Tokyo in 2020.

On the other end of the spectrum, the club’s oldest member is 72.

For new climbers, the club doesn’t want their successes to discourage anyone interested in beginning the sport.

“If you can climb a ladder, you can rock climb with us,” Graybeal said.

 

 

Caley Sturgill

Caley Sturgill

Caley Sturgill is the Director of Media at RVA Magazine. Email her at [email protected] for inquiries and RVA On Tap releases.




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