did you get into climbing Chris?
a kid I would always climb in trees in my back yard. When it rained
I built a gym in my basement to climb on, to practice climbing the trees.
At the time I knew nothing of Rocks, until a neighbor's friend saw me
fifty ft. up in my back yard swinging from tree to tree with out protective
gear. He took me out climbing just once, but that was all it took, I
was instantly hooked.
FRB: Where do you usually climb at?
Chris: I climb just about anywhere, most often I'm seen in the Southeast bouldering,
but my favorite place to climb is at the Red River Gorge.
FRB: What else do you like to do besides climb?
Chris: Where should I start…..I
go Caving (Over 50 underground ventures), Hiking (Hundreds of trips
for recreation and guiding), Mountain Biking, Aggressive Inline skating
(first place in several competitions), Wake boarding, Bull Riding, Skate
Boarding, Snow Boarding, Running (4:30min. mile), Swimming, Skiing,
Boxing (Best in weight category, currently undefeated) Kayaking, Choi
Kwang Do Martial Arts(Grand master of the art), Gymnastics, Horse back
Riding, Sculpting (Over 40 sculptures to date), Playing guitar (Taught
myself how to play one year ago), Playing the Drums (Won several State
awards for advanced knowledge of percussion instruments.), Student Ambassador
for the United States (Travel to foreign countries promoting world peace),
Photography/film developing (Received several composition awards for
photos and was awarded scholarships for school.) Media productions (Involved
in the production of several current climbing videos on sale today),
Landscaping, Full time Student (Majoring in Spanish), Own Escalade Indoor
Rock Climbing gym (Manage and maintain the facility/Competition organizer
and coordinator). That should sum up about most of my free time activities.
FRB: What's the bouldering scene like down there?
Chris: The bouldering scene
is exploding! Competitions every weekend during the season, and climbers
seem to double in numbers every year. It's kinda scary, I wonder how
access will be in a few more years.
FRB: You operate a rock gym in Georgia?
Chris: Two years ago I came
home, from living in Las Vegas, broke. I started right away building
Escalade Rock Climbing Gym. Within three months of hard work, day and night, I finally
finished. I've been owner and operating ever since.
FRB: What does your facility offer?
Chris: I made sure to include
a little bit of everything in my gym from what I had seen in all my
travels throughout the world. My gym is set up separate from each aspect,
birthday parties in an enclosed area, top-out bouldering, a 2,000sqft.
14ft high Bouldering island, 16ft wide 14ft tall campus board, Over
40 top rope Routes up to 30ft, 15 lead routes. I even installed a Burger
King Tube slide in the wall to help little fat kids to get down from
our top-out boulder.
FRB: Tell us about your Competition Series?
Chris: The Power Series competitions
that I host every two months help promote the professional side of climbing.
Each competition offers cash to the top three competitors, $100/50/25,
and a competitor that is dedicated can win our series trophy cup. Every
February we have a final Round called the "February Fall-out."
It usually draws about 100 competitors. I offer cash to the top four
competitor's $1000/400/200/100, so if you think you can handle the best
of the southeast. Bring it! I have expansion plans for the series that
include giving the climbers more money, Season III I hope to give $200.00
for first in the local events $100 to 2nd and $50 for third. As long
as climbers continue to come I will raise the stakes every year by $100
dollars. I feel that the climbers of the future are entitled to it.
FRB: Who is your average gym user?
Chris: Kid around 14years old
to 26yrs. The demographics in Georgia are low for climbers in my area
but they grow each year. Until they grow enough then we will keep catering
to birthday parties and lock-ins.
FRB: The best place to climb and boulder around you?
Chris: The bouldering in the
south speaks for itself. If you have never seen pictures or heard something
about it yet you need to get out more often. The more choice places
would be Little Rock City and Horse Pens 40. For routes Little River
Canyon is the best sport crag in the Southeast offering over 400 sport
routes in the deepest canyon east of the Mississippi.
FRB: What are some things you don't like about
the Georgia bouldering/climbing
Chris: Just like anywhere else
and in any sport you have shit talking gossip sprayers. Good regulators
like Adam Henry keep those sorts of people in line, but for the most
part people are open and friendly.
FRB: What other things are there to do for fun in you area?
holes every where! Big water falls, Lakes, Six Flags over Georgia, Killer
Skate boarding in Atlanta, Specifically in Kennesaw where my gym is
there are thousands of places to recreate.
FRB: Who are the strong boulderers in Georgia these days?
Chris: Zachary Pitts, Greg Kottcamp,
Kate Reese, Kenneth McGinnis, there are more but just off the top of
my head that is who stand out the most.
FRB: Where are the new hard problems being done at these days?
Chris: Little Rock City in Tennessee,
is only an hour away but a slew of V10's 11's and 12's are getting opened
by local strong man Andrew Traylor, and "the one and only crimpmaster,"
FRB: What about camping and other amenities
for the traveling
Chris: Camping is everywhere
and mostly free, good people are open to helping a traveling climber
out. I have housed hundreds of climbers in need of a shower and place
to stay. People in the South are very welcoming.
FRB: Thanks for the interview Chris.
Read more about Chris Sierzant here on SCC website.