ASU bouldering cave to be completed by end of next week


The Appalachian Online

Chamian Cruz

Appalachian State University’s Camp Broadstone has started construction on a bouldering cave, reusing the structure of an old climbing wall to further its use rather than tearing it down.

Just about a 10-minute drive from Appalachian, Broadstone is a property of about 33 acres and was purchased by the university in 1961. Since then, the property has been used for recreational and educational purposes.

“The climbing wall has been around for years and years and it hasn’t been utilized in quite a while and so we wanted to figure out a way that we can still use that structure in a different and creative way,” said Katie Wall, outdoor programs coordinator at Appalachian.

Broadstone is broken up in to two pavilions and has everything from overnight cabin rentals to high and low ropes courses available. The climbing wall and bouldering cave are located at the upper pavillion, Katie Wall said.

In exchange of being able to use the building at Broadstone for a one-day conference, Challenge Design Innovations decided to volunteer their services to build the bouldering cave.

Katie Wall said Challenge Design Innovations is a construction company that builds climbing walls, canopy tours, zip lines and challenge courses all over the country and one of the challenge course companies that works within the high country.

Although about $1,000 worth of roofing and between $300-$400 worth of lumber is being put into the construction of the bouldering cave, a lot of the material from previous projects is being used, said Corey Wall, project manager at Challenge Design Innovations.

“It wasn’t like I went out and bought a lot of new material,” Corey Wall said. “It was just a lot of stuff from our shop that we were able to use locally.”

The bouldering cave will be 16 by16 feet with 10-foot ceilings, Corey Wall said. Katie Wall added that the space will be big enough to have a couple of people bouldering at the same time.

A great feature of the bouldering cave is being able to traverse by bouldering on the outside of the cave – the outside of the old climbing wall – on the inside due to some hanging walls and even the ceiling.

“That traversing aspect is perfect for beginners because there’s not going to be any incline,” Katie Wall said. “It’s going to be just like the climbing the wall at the [Student Recreation Center] and you’re climbing on a completely flat structure.”

Construction began a week ago and three days of work have been put in so far. Although more work needs to be done, the bouldering cave is set to be completed by the end of next week.

STORY: Chamian Cruz, News Reporter