Industrial Wasteland Transformed into Climbing Paradise (in Buffalo, NY)

Buffalo, New York, isn’t a climbing hot spot, but it appears that could be about to change. A project dubbed Silo City Rocks is renovating a 100-year-old grain elevator on the Buffalo River into one of the largest and most unique climbing facilities in North America.

Silo City Rocks2.jpg

Derelict grain elevators will soon house a massive climbing facility

The plan is to convert the abandoned grain elevators into a massive system of indoor and outdoor climbing routes. Skyscraping, 190-foot-tall outdoor routes and 120-foot indoor routes will be accompanied by bouldering caves, rappelling platforms, and a yoga studio in the 6,000sq.-foot space.

The project, which is currently in fundraising on Indiegogo, came in response to the community of Buffalo seeking to develop its waterfront into a place to “do stuff” rather than “buy stuff.”

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The first of many routes to be established

“Buffalo is going through a revival,” said Jason Schwinger, one of the three entrepreneurs behind the Silo City Rocks project. “Millions are being invested on the waterfront downtown. Initially, the thought was to bring retail shops and restaurants, but the community has really been outspoken, demanding more experiences — things to bring family and friends to, something fun and recreational, as opposed to just another ‘mall-on-the-water.’”

Over the winter, Schwinger and his partners have been working furiously on cleaning and preparing the abandoned elevator. The plan is to have a bouldering area and several outdoor routes ready by Memorial Day, with dozens more climbs opening throughout the summer.

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Graffiti-ridled cavern will soon be a bouldering cave

The facility’s level of epic in the near term will hinge on the fundraising effort. If this sounds like your kind of thing, chip in and book your plane tickets to Buffalo in a few months.

—Patrick Murphy is an assistant editor.

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Posted by owen - 03/14/2013 01:06 PM

way to go guys. this looks like quite a project!

Posted by jeff freier - 03/14/2013 02:40 PM

adventures are anywhere, but now here too…

Posted by Pierre-Olivier - 03/14/2013 02:52 PM

How will you prevent people from climbing the outside of the silos when the gym is closed… at night for example. I guess there would be legal issues if people could have unsupervised access and get injured…

Posted by Frasier Van Doren - 03/14/2013 09:08 PM

Looks very cool guys! This will be a great asset to the surrounding area! Always looking for new places to climb.

Posted by Sergio - 03/14/2013 09:42 PM

It’s about time someone did something about that part of the neighborhood! Good job!

Posted by Kyla - 03/19/2013 01:31 PM

If you guys are looking for people to help with clean up or construction, I am interested in knowing how to get involved, and I can most likely get more people interested in helping..

Posted by Hiking Lady - 03/22/2013 11:00 PM

This is fantastic! I hope to see more “upcycling” like this in other cities, and the more places to climb and boulder, the better :) Great story.

Posted by Paul - 03/26/2013 10:53 PM

What a great idea!

Posted by Tommyboy - 04/04/2013 07:26 PM

Know the area well. How do we follow the progress. Need any help?

Posted by yaman - 04/09/2013 07:45 PM

cool and all but you’re tampering with history

Posted by Monica E Bard - 04/24/2013 09:50 AM

in response to concerns for “public saftey” after hours here – How about the public take better responsibility for others’ property and respect and appreciate the fact that there are wonderful committed folks willing to invest in our Buffalo town… kudos to those who are adding to Buffalo and to those of us who are truly grateful!!

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