AUSTIN (KXAN) — Rock climbing is quickly gaining traction in Central Texas.
Tuesday, the largest climbing gym in the southwestern portion of the U.S. officially opened its doors in northeast Austin.
The Mesa Rim Climbing Center is a 50,000 square foot warehouse featuring 55-foot-tall climbing walls, bouldering terrain and a speed climbing course.
The brand new facility also has a yoga studio, cardio equipment, dedicated weight-lifting spaces, a sauna and locker rooms.
Mesa Rim Austin site manager KC Cowper says that their goal is to inspire everyone to pursue new heights.
“Austin has had a really strong climbing community for years, decades even,” Cowper said. “We saw a void, which was a large climbing gym, and we wanted to fill it for the community.”
Climbing is now an Olympic sport, which made its debut during the 2020 Summer Games.
Mesa Rim recently hosted a wide variety of elite athletes during the 2023 USA Climbing National Team Trials and Paraclimbing National Championship.
Athletes competed in all three disciplines of climbing: bouldering, lead and speed.
The competition was the first of its kind in our country and served as a selection event for Team USA in the Paraclimbing World Cups.
Athletes compete in all three disciplines of climbing: Bouldering, Lead and Speed. The National Team Trials will serve as a selection event for the USA Olympic Climbing Team, and the Paraclimbing National Championship will serve as a selection event for Team USA for Paraclimbing World Cups.
One of the climbers who qualified for one of the coveted spots was 16-year-old Dillon ‘Bob’ Countryman of Plano, Texas.
“This place is super sick, I’m in a brand-new gym that nobody has climbed in before,” he said. “This is an amazing opportunity for folks to visit.”
Mesa Rim is now open weekdays from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Customers can purchase a day pass to the facility along with weekly, monthly and yearly memberships.