Brittney Aston
Photo by Sabine Aston

By: Brittney Aston, Trip Leader Specialist
Brittney Aston has been a Trip Leader Specialist with Venture Outdoors since May 2015. She has led multiple custom outings, public outings, and has also assisted with the operation of the portable climbing wall. Read on to learn about her 2015 experiences.
Imagine yourself clinging to the side of El Capitan, a 3,000-foot granite monolith in Yosemite National Park. You’re 50 feet from the ground and you have endless options on which route you could take to reach the next edge. Nervousness, excitement, and overall adrenaline fill you. Where do you go from here?
During Venture Outdoors’ climbing wall events this may not be the exact emotion felt by participants but Venture Outdoors’ staff members guided 7,490 climbers over the course of 42 wall events this season! I’d say that’s a reason for celebration!
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Photo by Suni Lynn Rose

This year climbing wall events included the Venture Outdoors Festival, the Pittsburgh Marathon, and Brightwood’s Pumpkin Festival to name a few. The climbing wall has visited the beautiful Laurel Highlands, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center (twice!), and many of our local city parks.
Our portable rock wall is outfitted with an auto-belay system which provides participants instant confidence and trust. Oil and air pressure are the two key items to ensure safe operation of the wall. Two groups of pulleys and cable are managed by two hydraulic cylinders and air pressure. The flow of oil is controlled by two custom valves that regulate the rate of decent.
Because all four climbing stations on the wall are equipped with this auto-belay system, it makes it easier for the climber to start climbing. Staff members help the climber with their helmet and harness, then clip them in and they are ready to climb! The participant has the freedom to try the wall several times and, no matter where they let go, it glides them slowly back down to the ground. Many of our climbers enjoy the ride down just as much as the ascent!
17169306363_7caf62c0f8_zOur Equipment and Facilities Manager Jim Smith is one of two state certified inspectors we have on staff. They ensure that all working parts of the climbing wall are in faultless order before operation. Thanks to Jim and his team, those 7,490 participants were able to safely climb in 2015, providing them with an unforgettable experience!
If you have not yet experienced our 24-foot portable climbing wall, it’s not too late to start thinking about next year! You can book our portable rock wall for your next event, or catch us at the next public event near you!
We’ll see you on the wall!
To book our portable rock wall for your next event, fill out this form.