Welcome, we’ve got a lot to show you

Vertical Solutions leads the evolution of indoor rock climbing through business consultations and by manufacturing stunning, world-class climbing gyms that are Never The Same.

Through our passion and expertise in climbing-culture creation, we provide a variety of products and services that make our clients community anchors for outdoor enthusiasts.

Our team is unmatched, and so is the depth and breadth of what we have to offer.

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SLC

You’re most likely already knowledgeable about rock climbing. So, it’s no surprise when you hear that Salt Lake is one of the few rock-climbing epicenters in the world. It’s also our home base.

Here we are immersed in climbing culture from every angle, both outside and indoors. Salt Lake is a source of inspiration every day – it’s where we grow and where we’ve formed close industry relationships. The Wasatch Mountains and Utah’s desert fuel our imaginations and creativity, which helps us produce unique products and designs.

We’re proud to call this city home.

Get to Know Us
  • We are just like you. No, really.

    We started as passionate climbers who utilized our entrepreneurial mindsets to preserve and advance our community. But we had an idea focused on doing something differently.

    We didn’t mean to build the nation’s leading climbing gym company, it was simply the result of having no company to build what we wanted. So, we did it ourselves.

    Through word of mouth, people sought us out to do what we already proved we could: Separate new climbing gyms from the rest of the accepted “norm,” and create authentic communities that are unlike ones found elsewhere.

    We’ve stood in your shoes and tackled the same challenges you face now. And we want to help you tackle them, too.

  • We are the only climbing wall builder in the industry that can deliver everything you need, from business formation to grand opening and beyond.

    This means you’ll have one point of contact through the entire process, from getting funded to building the gym we design with you, to training your staff and running a competition.

    We do this so we can facilitate your success as a business owner from every angle, and to align your business with the community you’re trying to reach. We don’t want to leave any holes in your plan, and as owners and operators of multiple climbing gyms, we can deliver an authentic formula for a comprehensive winning strategy.

    No one else can provide the full attention to detail and craftsmanship that we can. We deliver on your vision without wavering.

WHY CHOOSE VERTICAL SOLUTIONS?

Our Team

Dustin Buckthal

CEO/Co-Owner

  • Successful Entrepreneur
  • Private Investment Expert
  • Business Operations

Dustin’s passion for climbing businesses came while pursuing a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Utah, after graduating with B.S. degrees in Mathematics and Biochemistry. His entry into the climbing industry came by way of owning, operating, and growing three climbing gyms in the Intermountain West. Not satisfied with ‘good enough’, he sought to establish a business that could create authentic climbing cultures everywhere, just as he did with his own gyms. Dustin now heads multiple climbing industry businesses, focusing on products like flooring and holds, training and physical therapy, and creating and operating gyms.

John Stack

Pres./Co-Owner

  • Ex. Pro-Climber
  • Steel and Wood Expert
  • Manufacturing

As a pro-climber on the PCA circuit, John competed for 10 years while also gaining an intimate understanding about the climbing industry. Targeting ways that he could impact the future of the industry for years after, John set his creativity loose and his sights on changing the environments and spaces in which climbing communities focused so much of their time. He quickly became a master carpenter and expert metal fabricator and it was John’s love for impeccable woodworking detail that created the vision that led to VS best being known for aesthetically beautiful, and incredibly durable climbing wall construction.

Our team is what drives the success of not only our company, but our clients. We recognize that we would not be anywhere close to where we are today without the collective abilities of our inteliigent, passionate, creative, and extremely dedicated employees. We started this business with a singular focus on climbing walls but it was recognizing the talent within our team and their capacity to push for more, that led to Vertical Solutions being a full climbing gym solution provider.

When you choose to work with Vertical Solutions, you are developing long-term relationships with many members of our company that you can rely on professionally, and also personally. No matter the size of your project, you will be treated as one of our family. So when you get introduced, here are some ice breakers to get the conversation started:

  • Jaime Garza

    • Design Manager
    • University of Utah
    • Works with climbing wall clients to bring their vision to reality through 3D modeling
    • Has designed over 40 climbing gyms/projects
    • Personally passionate about all types of climbing and outdoor exploration
    • Works at Vertical Solutions because here he is able to fulfill his passions for creating authentic architecture with clean lines and heavy social interaction, for a community he is proud to be a part of
  • Derek Foote

    • Production, Manufacturing & Shop Manager
    • Climbing industry professional with 10 years experience
    • Works closely with design team for smooth project builds and to navigate unforeseen construction hurdles
    • Has excelled at a variety of roles from route setting and gym management, to wall building and client management
    • An enthusiastic climber, fly fisher, and general outdoor enthusiast
    • Met his wonderful wife while building Ground Up Climbing Center in Squamish
    • Works for Vertical Solutions because he finds inspiration in leading the construction process and contributing to beautiful and functional products for people just like himself
  • Clayton Leuba

    • Sales Associate
    • Utah State University
    • Works with all clients on projects in their early-stages
    • Lives a mobile climbing lifestyle
    • Has been enjoying all disciplines of climbing for 8 years— except for speed climbing, he’s just not that into it
    • Works for Vertical Solutions because it allows him to continue developing strong relationships in national climbing communities and fuels his passion for the industry
  • Andrew Knuth

    • Designer
    • University of Kansas
    • Works with clients on project details, and intricate customization of designs
    • An Iowa native, but has been drawn to exploring the mountains for over 15 years
    • Backcountry skiing and rock climbing has been his jam for over 10 years
    • Works for Vertical Solutions because he excels at tackling interesting design projects from start to finish, and considers this the perfect mixture of business and pleasure every single day
  • James Mobley

    • Construction Foreman & Crew Manager
    • Climbing industry professional with 20+ years experience in a variety of roles from route setting, climbing hold manufacturing, store operations, sales, wall building, and building client relationships
    • Travels from job to job to work directly on-site with clients for smooth project builds and efficiently navigates through unforeseen construction situations
    • Father of two boys that are his everything, his rock, and inspiration, who have grown into young men entirely too quickly
    • Avid climber for over 20 years (sport, trad, & bouldering) and general outdoor enthusiast
    • Works for Vertical Solutions because he is passionate about supporting the growth of the climbing industry and local climbing communities and because he loves bringing clients' dreams to life from raw materials
  • Tommy Chandler

    • Marketing Director
    • Photographer/Videographer
    • Husband to an amazing wife and Dad to two wild and smart kiddos
    • 20+ years of outdoor industry experience, as well as stints in the agency and non-profit worlds
    • 3 decades of climbing experience, with a focus on long free climbs, but with a deep enjoyment of all the varied people, locations and disciplines of climbing
    • Also enjoys travel, music, film, backcountry skiing, bikes, skateboarding, and good coffee
    • Work at VS because we take a different approach to climbing gyms, by creating warm, inviting spaces that go beyond just climbing and function as community hubs for outdoor minded people
  • Kaleigh Malinowski

    • Marketing Manager
    • Portland State University
    • 4 years of climbing gym industry experience - Kaleigh originally started working for The Front Climbing Club when she moved to SLC in 2015; now an Oregon resident, she continues to do marketing for both The Front and VS
    • Lover of climbing, music, concerts, traveling, snowboarding, yoga, barre, dogs, and long walks on gloomy beaches
    • Works at Vertical Solutions because she’s inspired by the climbing gyms and communities that VS helps to create
  • Tim Behuniak

    • Brand Journalist
    • 4+ years of professional writing and photography experience
    • Loves climbing, backcountry skiing, hiking and all-things outdoors
    • When not outside or traveling, you can find him cooking, watching Quentin Tarantino films, or writing and reading about photography and climbing
    • Works at Vertical Solutions because he is passionate about the outdoor industry and believes in our unique, community-orientated approach to business and climbing gym design
  • Cassidy Wasko

    • Graphic Designer
    • Chicago native and University of Michigan grad (Go Blue!)
    • Five years of graphic design experience at local Utah institutions with a background in the outdoor industry from years at boutique gear shops
    • Lifelong skier and outdoorswoman; began climbing in college and has no intention of stopping
    • Works for Vertical Solutions to marry her love of design and the outdoors; values working as an in-house designer because it facilitates a real connection to her art and tangibly supports her community
  • Alyssa Nannetti

    • Human Resources Manager
    • On a mission to bring in the best, cutting-edge talent to lead the evolution of indoor rock climbing gyms
    • HR experience in Salt Lake's Silicon Slopes tech world and Utah's craft beer industry
    • Born in Chicago suburbs and moved to Salt Lake for the mountains and great outdoors
    • Michigan State die-hard fan, Go Green!
    • When not climbing, you can find her hiking with her pup (Karma), backpacking, at a concert, or expanding her whiskey collection
    • Works at Vertical Solutions because she is passionate about people and the outdoor industry, and she has the opportunity to create a culture and employee experience that rivals the best

Customers

  • Lance Pinn
    Brooklyn Boulders

    From the inception of Brooklyn Boulders we have always thought bigger than our competitors. Our business model differs from the standard climbing gym offering, and we needed to partner with a team that understood our large, ambitious vision, and could adapt to the challenges presented by working in the most densely populated urban environments out there. We operate multiple gyms in top-10 DMAs, where it’s easy to become background noise, lose the public’s  attention, and generally grow stale. So it was critical that we leveraged our wall builder to always design and deliver something unique to our brand, because our customers expect high-end experiences and environments. Vertical Solutions is the only company that had the meticulous attention to detail, and unwavering dedication to craftsmanship to pull it off, in every city.

  • Lauren Watson
    Ground Up Climbing

    When setting out to build a rock climbing gym, it's important to have an experienced team in your corner. As gym owners and Climbers themselves, VS matched our passion for the project, showed patience and shared expertise and professional opinion throughout both the design and build phase. They understood our values and drive to build a gym that would last through the ages and showed integrity from beginning to end. The whole process felt less like a business transaction and more like a collaboration and their help didn't stop at walls. Their team never hesitated to share their experience in community building, management systems and other integral components to building a successful business. They were professional, on time and very easy to work with. We would recommend them for any project you want to pour your soul into, they will take very good care of it.

  • Michael Cesari
    Steep Rock Bouldering

    The team at Vertical Solutions was integral to our success as a climbing gym. As an owner of multiple businesses, I was confident in our plan and strategy, but I absolutely needed a rock climbing gym designer and builder to execute on time and on budget. Setbacks in our market are extremely hard to recover from. From day one, the VS team was on the same page with me and was incredibly easy to work with. They adapted to everything that they were challenged with and the result was outstanding! Our customers are psyched to be climbing on such beautiful walls, and we have unique hardwood features that really set us apart in their minds. With the success of this gym, we are considering another and if we pull the trigger, we will be going with Vertical Solutions again.

  • Jason Mullins
    The Bloc

    We already owned a rope climbing facility in our city when we decided to pursue a new bouldering gym for our community. We wanted to keep the culture and vibe similar between the two locations, while also giving our customers something completely new they have never seen before; something they could get stoked on. So we took a look around at who was really standing out from the crowd, and Vertical Solutions' body of work really impressed us. They built our bouldering facility and consulted with us on a number of different things in order to keep our customers interested and safe. It could not have worked out any better. I would recommend using them without hesitation based on my experience. 

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