Our Company

2015 combo logo Peak Passages.jpg
peak experiences: moments of great awe, happiness, or rapture, during which the individual loses his self-consciousness and becomes one with the world. Some individuals report that during peak experiences they have penetrating insight into the mystery of life.
— Maslow

The History of Peak Experiences Inc.

In 1993, Passages was formed as a teambuilding company. We were able to secure the programming lease on Belle Isle. It’s still a public park, but we’re the only company allowed to conduct teambuilding and camp activities there. We built a challenge course in the summer of ‘93. Passages’ first summer camp enjoyed the company of 21 kids in the summer of ‘94. Summer of 2016 hosted over 900 kids at the camp.

Scott Powell - Owner and Founder - 1998

Scott Powell - Owner and Founder - 1998

In the fall of 1997, Scott and Casey met through a mutual friend. Both were actively pursuing the construction of a climbing center in Richmond. The two hit it off and over the next six months they decided to go into business together. Peak and Passages merged and took on the name of Peak Experiences, Inc.

August 12th, 1998 the Peak Experiences climbing center opened its doors for the first time.

Mike Pont designed the climbing center. KBS built the building. Solidrock out of San Diego worked ten hours a day, six days a week for three months and built the walls. The steel structure was installed, supported by the foundation. Three quarter inch plywood was put over and chicken wire was put all over the wood. The team drilled holes (17,000 of them!) The concrete rubber polymer, fiberglass, etc. was sprayed on. They redrilled the holes, then troweled the walls, the features, the finished layer, all by hand. Then, the company drilled the holes for the third and final time. They later installed all 17,000 t-nuts. They brought an artist in from California and painted the watermarks on the walls to give it a more realistic feel.

Eight flatbeds rolled up and dropped the rocks off. A rubber-tired backhoe hauled the rocks through the front doors and a pair of bobcats spread out the rocks, complemented by a team of workers with shovels.

L-R: Neil Headley (Climbing Center Operations), Jay Smith (Climbing Center General Manager and Owner), Mark Grossman (SCOR Owner), Kevin Tobin (Camp Director and Owner), Austin Brooks (SCOR Marketing Manager)

L-R: Neil Headley (Climbing Center Operations), Jay Smith (Climbing Center General Manager and Owner), Mark Grossman (SCOR Owner), Kevin Tobin (Camp Director and Owner), Austin Brooks (SCOR Marketing Manager)

After 25 years of camp and 20 years of climbing we announced in January 2017 that we will be opening our second climbing facility in Richmond, VA.  We will be located at SCOR (Sports Center of Richmond) and opening soon!  It is through an incredible effort from an amazing staff (some still here from our very first days), a wonderful and supportive climbing community, and the beauty of the James River Park System, that we continue to grow in this city.

Peak Experiences, Inc. consists of two divisions. We break it down into Passages (the summer camp), and Climbing Center operations. We have these different facets, but we’re all part of the same company.


Passages Adventure Camps:

Passages Adventure Camp’s mission is to help young people foster lifelong outdoor skills in a fun and challenging environment. Our focus is to help each camper build leadership skills, develop teamwork and improve their confidence and self-esteem.

 

Peak Experiences Midlothian:

Welcome to one of the largest indoor rock climbing centers in the United States!  We’re outdoor enthusiasts that share a passion for climbing and we’ll make your experience with us unforgettable! Climbers of all skill levels are challenged by more than 125 top-rope routes, lead-climbing, and bouldering. The climbing wall landscape is continually transforming to keep climbers engaged and challenged upon every visit! The climbing center is located behind the Shoppes at Bellgrade in Midlothian, just 15 minutes west of downtown Richmond.

 

Peak Experiences Richmond:

Opening soon, this 21,000 sq. ft. climbing center will be located in the Sports Center of Richmond's (SCOR) 50,000 sq. ft. sports complex.  This gym will feature a over 15,000 sq. ft. of climbing terrain with over 5,000 sq. ft. of bouldering.  Peak RVA will also feature a lead climbing specific area, and a separate group event space.  We will have state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a dedicated yoga studio, a full retail shop, and more!

Building a Lifetime of Adventure!

Jr. Team Coach Jim Bell helping a new climber at a birthday party in 2006.

Jr. Team Coach Jim Bell helping a new climber at a birthday party in 2006.

Jim Bell and that same climber 2017.  A lot has changed except her love for climbing.

Jim Bell and that same climber 2017.  A lot has changed except her love for climbing.