Heard on the Street: Couple plans climbing-wall gym for NW Rochester

Plans to build a new climbing and fitness gym are gaining traction in northwest Rochester.

Jeremy and Karen Schaarhope to break ground on Roca Climbing and Fitnessbefore winter arrives in Rochester. Roca is a Spanish word meaning rock.

The plan is to build it near the Rome Circle cul de sac between 55th Street Northwest and 65th Street on the west side of U.S. Highway 52 — close enough to the highway that commuters will be able to see the climbing walls through its big windows. Most of the climbing walls will be about 39 feet high, with one "peak" of 45 feet.

Depending on if the builders win the "race with the weather" to break ground this fall or if they need to wait until spring, the facility could open in the spring/summer or next fall.

While the core of the facility will be climbing walls, Jeremy Scharr says there will be much more to Roca.


"We're going to incorporate an exercise area with treadmills and other workout equipment. We'll also have a separate room for classes like yoga or pilates," he said. "This will be a well-rounded, balanced place."

Scharr envisions a relaxed, close community at Roca. He describes climbing as a fun way for the whole family to stay healthy.

"Climbing is much more social of an activity. It is much more interactive with other people than just putting on headphones and just working out," he said.

Scharr is experienced with climbing. He was a partner in Prairie Walls Climbing Gymin northwest Rochester until 2004.

To encourage younger climbers, Scharr said he plans to launch a competitive climbing team when Roca opens. He expects to have about 10 to 15 employees on staff. -- Jeff Kiger

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