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170 Climbing Gyms Unite to Launch Large-scale Survey

Monday, October 7, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Laura Allured
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Indoor Climber Survey

Industry-wide Effort Will Yield New Understanding of Growing Indoor Climbing Community

In a surveying effort led by the Climbing Wall Association and researchers from The University of Utah and Clemson University, climbing gyms from across the US and Canada are uniting to better understand the indoor climbing community that they serve.


Climbing gym members and customers are invited to participate in this large-scale survey that will provide new insights into the community’s demographics, what unites them, and what they love about the emergent sport of climbing. From October 8 through November 8, 2019, indoor climbers can visit to answer easy questions about themselves and their climbing experience.


Thanks to the explosive growth in climbing gyms across the world, the climbing community has developed beyond the small, niche group of alpinists, mountaineers, and outdoor climbers who first founded climbing gyms as training spaces for their outdoor pursuits.


According to Dr. David P. Carter, the principal investigator for the study, “The popularity of climbing is growing at an unprecedented rate. Taking advantage of the opportunities that this growth represents – and addressing the related challenges – requires a better understanding of who climbs, how they climb, and what their climbing preferences are. This project will offer important insights into the rapidly evolving climbing community and can help answer pressing questions, such as who is attracted to and excluded from the sport, why people climb, and to what extent indoor climbing serves as a pathway to climbing outdoors.”


Until now, the overlap between the indoor and outdoor climbing communities has been unknown. Very little information exists about indoor climbers, particularly what sets them apart from the outdoor climbing community. This is essential information for the future of the sport of climbing – to aide business owners, industry professionals, climbing access and advocacy groups, and community leaders as they grow and develop the sport.


Further, this study will offer a wider view of the demographics of the indoor climbing community, information which may benefit industry-wide discussions and efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion.


“We’re creating baseline demographic benchmarks, which are helpful in understanding the current indoor climbing community. And as climbing continues to become more mainstream, being able to measure trends and changes in demographics will be critical,” says Laura Allured, Marketing & Communications Manager at the Climbing Wall Association.


The Climbing Wall Association partnered with Dr. David P. Carter of The University of Utah and Dr. Ryan J. Gagnon of Clemson University to develop the survey questionnaire and methodology in order to create high-quality and reliable data. Together, they have united 170 climbing gyms from across the US and Canada to support this ambitious project. Allured explains, “We are thrilled to be conducting the CWA’s first-ever Indoor Climber Survey. This is a milestone in the development of our industry and will provide invaluable insights into the community that we serve as climbing gyms.”


Visit to take the #climbersurvey today!


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