Climb Maple Bridge

Conceived as a vital transportation link, the Maple Avenue Bridge was completed in 2007 to connect the east and west sides of Redmond’s northside.  Motorists and emergency vehicles would no longer need to cross the Dry Canyon in the center of town, and the city would be able to follow it urge to grow in the planned northwesterly direction.  The view of the bridge was also pleasing to the many residents who saw it while using the Dry Canyon Community Park paved trail.  Pictures of this iconic structure graced the city’s home web page and other prominent places.  But one resident, saw a unique recreational possibility unknown to the rest of us.  Local rock climbing enthusiast, Ian Caldwell, saw the bridge’s arch as a venue for a kind of climbing that was on the cutting edge of the sport.  It consists of climbing over-hanging routes usually found only in caves.  Ian did his homework and in 2014 approached city officials.  Ian convinced them that it could be built and operated safely, and that it would bring expert climbers, already attracted to Smith Rocks, into Redmond, to spend money while they enjoyed the unique challenge.  Ian approached RPF and we signed on as fiscal sponsor.  Ian and friends designed the route, raised the money and built the first climbing route which debuted in 8/2015.  The effort involved collaboration by city officials (from those who reviewed and approved the project to the engineer who vetted the route for safety to the cherry picker truck that lifted Ian as he drilled holes and installed holds), a local manufacturer of man made climbing walls who donated hardware, and other climbers who aided the effort.  The result is a unique venue that will connect Redmond and Smith Rocks in tandem as world class Rock Climbing places.

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