Climbing to New Heights

Staff Photo by Nathan P. Gayle Climber, Rob Thomas climbs at Urban Rocks
Staff Photo by Nathan P. Gayle
Climber, Rob Thomas climbs at Urban Rocks


Nathan P. Gayle: What is the name of the gym?

Joshua Livasy: Urban Rocks Gym

Nathan P. Gayle: Where are y’all located?

Joshua Livasy: 1007 Appling St., Chattanooga, TN 37406.  About 4 miles from Downtown, right off the Amnicola Highway.

Nathan P. Gayle: How long have y’all been open?

Joshua Livasy: 5 years last January.

Nathan P. Gayle: Did you move from another location?

Joshua Livasy: Nope.  The Appling Street location was built especially for Urban Rocks Gym.

Nathan P. Gayle: Do you use social media to market your products, specials or deals. How long have you been doing it? What is your names and on what sites are you on?

Joshua Livasy: We have a Facebook and Instagram, which is nice way to let the community know whats going on at the gym.  We regularly have cool events, competitions, learning opportunities, volunteer opportunities, and other fun things a rock climber may find noteworthy.

Nathan P. Gayle: Does it pay off?

Joshua Livasy: We like to think it does.

Nathan P. Gayle: Which do think gives you more traffic to your store your website (say name of website) or social media?

Joshua Livasy: Our website is, and it is the standard portal to access our prices, classes, birthday or group information, download our waiver or fill out our e-waiver (electronic waiver).  You can even link to our Facebook from there.  I’d say it drives traffic to the social media outlet, but if you google rock climbing, you’ll probably stumble upon our website initially.

Nathan P. Gayle: What do I need to do first before I start to climb at the gym?

Joshua Livasy: Summon the gumption to get in here!  We are open from 10am – 10pm, Monday thru Friday, and 10am – 8pm on Saturday and Sunday.  Walk-in’s are welcome, and we have climbing shoes and harness’ you can rent.  We also give first-timer’s a free gym orientation, so you know how to use the facility.  Some folks tell me it was difficult if not impossible to find a friend to come with them, and so they just came by themselves and were pleased to discover that between the bouldering-climbing with no rope over pads on a 10-12 foot structure and auto-belays-autobelays are a mechanical tether system that a climber can clip into and climb to the top of the 35+ foot walls and lowered down safely and slowly once the climber has let go of the wall.  We have 7 auto belays in the gym right now, with 2-3 routes per auto belay station.  Folks who come alone also realize that making friends with other climbers while climbing is an integral part of the Urban Rocks experience.  After all, we are all climbing to have fun!

Down the line, a belay class which teaches rope handling, knots, and the crucial art of belaying in about 30 minutes, and enjoy one of our many top rope routes.

If you find you enjoy climbing more than to these ends, we have classes that teach lead cimbing, where the climber begins with the rope on the ground, instead of being fixed to the top like in the top rope scenario, which lends itself to a new aspect of pragmaticism in the gym.

Nathan P. Gayle: Do you find this as a good healthy activity?

Joshua Livasy: I do!  Climbing is one of those activities that just makes sense to do.  Keeping the body in shape is obviously a great focus to maintain, but climbing considers other aspects of your personality to ‘chip in’ when dealing with a particular objective or rock climb.  Keeping the butterflies at bay is sometimes easier said than done!  And to use creative energy to flow throught movement in spite of the inherent risks is quite rewarding too.

Nathan P. Gayle: Are there different classes/ level of routs for someone to climb?

Joshua Livasy: At Urban Rocks Gym, we pride ourselves on having something for everyone.  Walls of different angles, thousands and thousands of differently shaped holds to grab, some really friendly and easy to hang onto, others take more of a strategy to work around.  All of our routes are up for about 2 months, then taken down, and replenished with clean, fresh routes to keep the gym feeling new and interesting.

Nathan P. Gayle: What are your plans for the future?

Joshua Livasy: We are always looking at different options to keep the gym up to our standards and our community’s standards, but for the time being, we will keep setting new routes, buying way too many new holds, and as always, offer the best possible customer service to those either returning to yet another session at the gym or even perhaps those who have yet to set foot into a climbing gym and feel that exciting feeling of something that’s tough to describe in words just how much fun it is.

Nathan P. Gayle: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Please stop by anytime, and I’d like to extend our Friday Special, Student Night, Which is only $10 for a day pass with gear.  First timers will also receive a free gym orientation.

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