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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
July 22, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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July 22, 2011

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Climb From page./ to enhance the climbing experi- ence with safety redundancy built into a hydraulic system that auto- matically takes up slack and then feeds out slack on the descent." The Auto-Belay helps distin- guish the artificial rock climbing experience from climbing in nature and expands the learning phase. Both will use guides, but in the wild, a rock climber relies on the guide to act as the belay. With the Auto-Belay in the climbing wall, the guide is freed-up to give more advice and coaching, especially for beginners and novices. Sorensen said the wall in Ava- lon is made to accommodate nov- ice to experienced climbers up to 2501bs. "The surface of the wall is called a Grip-A-Rock," Sorensen said. "It is brand new and Catalina is one of the first locations to have it. The wall is engineered to with- stand earthquakes and extreme high winds." The wall is also molded from natural rock, so it looks, feels, and climbs like the real thing. Howev- er, bolt-on handholds are also in- cluded to assist climbers. Sorensen said while highly experienced rock climbers might not be as chal- lenged by it as natural rock walls, they do like to use it for pre-climb workouts and practice. Wilson said the Island Com- pany is trying to keep the climbing wall an inexpensive activity for Is- landers and tourists. To start, it will cost $5 for one climb and $I0 for three climbs. While they are still working out the details, one climb willbe com- pleted when the person reaches the top, gives up, or is significantly more than halfway and falls. "We do a lot of stuff similar to this all over the world," Sorensen said: "We were really stoked from the first time we talked to the Is- land Company at a trade show. We were really excited to have the ex- posure. Catalina is just a really fun place to be. I have spent a lot of time there over the years." Sorensen said many of their commercial climbing walls sell for about $30,000, but the custom One on "Catalina probably cost about twice as much. While the Island Company will own and operate the climbing wall, Spectrum Sports International will do regular maintenance and in- spection of the device. Grip A Rock Specifications: Height: 32 Feet Climbing Surface: 384 ft2 (35.7 m2) Indoor Footprint: 7'-7"w x 5'-11"d (2.3 x 1.8 m) Outdoor Footprint: 7'-7"w x 7'-8"d (2.3 x 2.3 m) Climbing Zone 6' from base of wall Weight: 3500 Ibs (1587 kg) Safety System: Spectrum Sports international Auto-Belay Generation 4 IG,AI00$ The CATAuNA ISLANDER .... Friday, July 22, 20117