STORIES

  • High Point Climbing School: World Class Training at a World Class Facility

    September 5, 2014   |   By: @ThatOutdoorGuy

    If you’ve ever considered learning the ropes—pun intended—about all things climbing, you’ll be excited to know that the High Point Climbing School provides instruction for every level, from beginners to professional climbers, with their specialty being elite-level coaching.

    Let me introduce you to the highly skilled experts who own and run the program, husband and wife team, Wills Young and Lisa Rands.
    Wills, born in California to British parents, began climbing over 35 years ago in England, after first being introduced to the sport by some of his high school teachers. He was immediately hooked, and his interest grew along with his participation. While attending the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, Wills expanded his climbing horizons to the more adventurous routes in the mountains of Scotland.

    After college, Wills moved to Southern California and started developing new bouldering areas, quickly becoming one of the pioneers of the bouldering explosion in SoCal. At the same time, he began writing for several rock climbing magazines as a freelance writer, sharing his personal excitement about climbing in general, and also from the perspective of being a central figure in the bouldering movement. It was this enthusiasm, and notoriety that lead to a move to Colorado as Senior Associate Editor at Climbing magazine (then, in the early days of the internet, a very profitable magazine and every climbers’ go-to source for news and info).

    During his time in SoCal, Wills had met a very promising young climber, who would later become his wife, and co-owner of the High Point Climbing School, Lisa Rands. In less than two years of coaching under the Wills’ skilled tutelage, Lisa won the Open National Bouldering Championship, and went on to win several more professional-level international competitions.

    Wills and Lisa quit their jobs in Colorado and moved back to California, where Wills devoted himself to freelance writing for the climbing industry and to fixing up their craftsman bungalow. Wills also utilized his photography skills to capture the beauty and power of climbing and bouldering, while Lisa focused on her professional climbing career. As if they weren’t busy enough, Wills wrote a comprehensive guidebook entitled, Bishop Bouldering, which became the quintessential reference to the bouldering community in California and beyond, while Lisa traveled the world as a The North Face®-sponsored athlete, training hard, competing occasionally, and teaching climbing classes.

    Fast-forward 14 years, and after numerous trips to the Southeastern United States, especially the climbing mecca of Chattanooga, and having made many great friends and falling in love with the city, Wills and Lisa made the decision to start a new life and business here in the Scenic Center of the South. They partnered with a group that would become High Point Climbing and Fitness, during the planning stages. Their vision was to build a world class climbing school at what would become a world class climbing facility. After less than a year in operation, they have cemented their position in Chattanooga’s world-renowned outdoor adventure culture and community, as the premier climbing instructors and owners of the number one climbing school and service in the tri-state area.

    At this point, it makes sense to direct you to the very informative climbing school info found on the High Point Climbing and Fitness website: http://highpointclimbing.com/downtown/climbing-school/ By clicking on the drop-down menu, you will find information regarding: General Info, Intro Classes, Intermediate & Advanced, Clubs & Teams, Personal (Private) Coaching, and Guide/Specialty. As you’re looking through all the interesting options available to you, remember that elite-level coaching—from “7 to 107”, says Wills—is their specialty.

    Wills can be reached directly at (760) 920-5348, or you can reach him at (423) 602-7625.