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Redmond's new climbing spot 'bridges' gap

Special route beneath Maple Ave. Bridge has fast fans

Redmond offers bridge to climb

REDMOND, Ore. - Redmond held an unusual "rope-cutting" ceremony Wednesday afternoon to formally introduce an equally unusual new climbing area, located underneath the arches of the Maple Avenue Bridge.

It only took the city six weeks from the time the arches were proposed to the Redmond City Council to the opening of the climbing area.

Avid Smith Rock climber and Redmond volunteer Ian Caldwell was the one who proposed the idea to the council.

"I didn't really approach the city until 2013, when I took a trip to a place called Maple Canyon, which is in Utah," Caldwell said. "And it has big overhanging arches like this, and it was a similar sort of climbing."

Redmond Mayor George Endicott said he was in favor of the project from the beginning.

"This is just a golden opportunity for us to put something into the city for folks who know what they're doing -- men and women," he said.

Endicott said he is in favor of this climbing area not only because it compliments nearby Smith Rock well, but it's also a great way for visitors to get a glimpse of what Redmond has to offer.

There are only a few other climbing areas in the world like the one under the Maple Avenue Bridge, making it a hot commodity for gravity-defying expert climbers from all around the globe.

The climbing area was created entirely from donations from climbers around Central Oregon as well as from climbing shops that were excited about the idea.

The city hopes to create climbing courses on the seven other arches underneath the bridge, but just like the first one, they need donations. If you are interested in donating to the Maple Avenue Bridge climbing area, you can visit www.climbmaplebridge.com.

Remember, as the warning signs at the spot make clear: Climbing is at your own risk.


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