Climbing Center Takes Shape At USNWC

A climbing center is taking shape on the site of the U.S. National Whitewater Center, the world’s largest artificial whitewater river. The climbing center – which has a Fall 2006 completion date - will feature what will be one of the largest outdoor climbing facilities in the world.
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Charlotte, NC – A climbing center is taking shape on the site of the U.S. National Whitewater Center, the world's largest artificial whitewater river. The climbing center – which has a Fall 2006 completion date - will feature what will be one of the largest outdoor climbing facilities in the world.

“We have hired Entre Prises USA – the world leader in the design, manufacture and installation of climbing walls – to custom design our climbing walls and boulders,” says Jeff Wise, executive director of the U.S. National Whitewater Center. “They have done more than 3,500 facilities around the world and we believe that this will be one of the largest and most challenging outdoor climbing facilities in the world. Expert or beginner, you will be able to find a challenge here.”

Wise says that the U.S. National Whitewater Center gave facility architect Liquid Design no simple task.

“We wanted a facility that was known for aesthetics, durability, and functionality, as well as something that was user-friendly for novices and world-class climbers,” says Wise. “And, we wanted indoors and outdoors climbing areas, as well as a bouldering area. Amazingly, they are doing everything we asked for.”

The climbing wall – that is more than 30 feet tall and has 20 climbing routes - will be covered by a pavilion. The nearly 50-foot high climbing tower also has more than 20 climbing routes and will be outdoors. The modular imprint wall is programmable, allowing climbing routes to be changed. The tower mimics the look and feel of granite.

Entre Prises USA is a Bend, Oregon firm that designs, manufactures and installs climbing walls worldwide. Liquid Design is a Charlotte, NC-based architectural firm that provides design and project management services for the corporate, educational, medical, recreational, residential, and retail sectors.

Ten minutes from downtown Charlotte, NC and set among 307 wooded acres along the scenic Catawba River, the Whitewater Center's multi-use facility has a climbing center, high adventure center, mountain biking trails and hiking and running trails in addition to rafting, kayaking and canoeing.

Additionally, there is a 2,400-square-foot conference center for group meetings, full service restaurant, outfitters store, and an open air amphitheater for live performances. For more information, go to www.usnwc.org.

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