If you entered into Urban Rocks Gym in Chattanooga, TN within the time frame of March 16 through April 20th, you witnessed personal achievement. Rock/Creek partnered with Chaco, along with Urban Rocks Gym, Outdoor Chattanooga, and Therapeutic Recreation Services for Chattanooga Parks and Recreation, to host a program called “Climbing Higher” an adaptive climbing program for individuals with a variety of cognitive and physical disabilities in the area. The program occurred at Urban Rocks Climbing Gym, on Monday evenings, starting at 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Click on the video below to watch an evening at Urban Rocks, during a Climbing Higher Program session.
Urban Rocks News explains in further detail,
“The ‘Climbing Higher’ Adaptive Climbing program is being held with the purpose of providing a unique outdoor opportunity for individuals with a variety of cognitive and physical disabilities to showcase what Ability is all about. The goal of the “Climbing Higher” Adaptive Climbing Program is to provide participants with an opportunity to learn basic climbing skills, provide socialization with peers, and enable them to participate in rock climbing independently in their leisure time. The First Session is designed for individuals with cognitive and/or intellectual disabilities. This three-week session will run: March 16, March 23, and March 30. The Second Session is planned for individuals with physical disabilities. This three-week session will run: April 6, April 13, and April 20.”
Chris Gibson, co-owner of Urban Rocks Gym reports, “the program went very well with a turnout of about 10-12 individuals each week. During the first week, you can tell a few participants are apprehensive with climbing, and it seems by the third week, they were ready to clip themselves in and go climbing!”
This program offered the opportunity for diverse communities to unite and share their love for adventure. Rock/Creek and Chaco have a long standing relationship with community involvement. Chad Wykle from Chaco and Dawson Wheeler, co-owner of Rock/Creek, both heavily emphasize its importance.
“We had the means to be a support through money set aside from fundraisers. Each year we raise money with Rock/Creek promotions and pool the profits to give back to the community. Both Rock/Creek and Chaco were approached by Outdoor Chattanooga and Therapeutic Recreation with this unique opportunity in mind and portions of the funds were distributed toward the program’s needs” Chad says.
Dawson states, “It was not a difficult decision when it came to supporting Climbing Higher. We heard about the need, and agreed on the importance of extending out to all forms of community needs.”
Elaine Adams, Therapeutic Recreation Coordinator, and Jessica Crowe, Therapeutic Recreation Intern, organized the assistance of UTC Physical Therapy student volunteers. The students’ qualifications aided in a safe and meaningful experience for every participant. Elaine testifies to the inspiring stories from parents and caregivers about personal achievements. “The greatest part about this program is the opportunity for our participants to do something like this. Of course the concept of climbing is about getting to the top and it’s a success, but why else do you climb? It’s about physical fitness, hanging out with your friends, and that part about it is huge. To have that ability to come and have fun is therapeutic in itself.”
The positive experiences will not stop with this program. Every purchaser of a pair of promotional Rock/Creek Chaco sandals contributed to these programs. Rock/Creek consumers can walk with pride, knowing a portion of their purchases will undoubtedly be given back to the community.
For more information about the recreation opportunities provided by the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit https://www.chattanooga.gov/PRAC/30_255.htm
For more information about Outdoor Chattanooga, visit http://www.outdoorchattanooga.com/
View Chaco inventory in Rock/Creek stores, or online at https://www.rockcreek.com/chaco-sandals/
To see more photos from Climbing Higher, visit