Alex Bernstein, Paul Guarino, and Aaron Gilmore took their climbing partnerships to the next level by joining forces with the goal of building a new climbing gym in Pittsburgh, PA. They recognized the need for someone to take Pittsburgh’s climbing scene to the next level. And just like that, the concept of ASCEND was born. To them, it was a perfect union worth devoting their lives to. Over the years, they learned how to turn their aspirations into a functioning project with the ultimate goal of staying closely connected to the climbing community and improving the foundation of their climbing predecessors.
With a mission to provide the best climbing and fitness experience possible, they sought out to build their climbing gym, ASCEND, in the Southside of Pittsburgh. To achieve their vision, they had to raise significant equity and secure financing. Together, The Progress Fund and Enterprise Bank provided a $550,000 loan to ASCEND, with each lending $275,000 towards the total project cost of $2,325,000.
ASCEND Pittsburgh is giving Pittsburgh residents and visitors the climbing experience they’ve been waiting for. They offer a premier indoor climbing, fitness, and yoga facility where climbers can meet, train, and be part of a growing community. ASCEND’s bouldering-centric climbing gym offers over 10,000 sq. feet of Walltopia-built climbing walls surrounded by Flashed flooring, all housed within a 27,000 sq. foot, second floor space in Pittsburgh’s Southside. They also offer roped climbing on a 24-foot-tall wall featuring 20 stations with a mix of auto-belays and top-ropes, cross-training and yoga classes. Thirty jobs were created with the opening of ASCEND.