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.


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.

Our Team

Dustin Buckthal

  • Successful Entrepreneur
  • Private Investment Expert
  • Business Operations

Dustin’s passion for climbing businesses came while pursuing a Ph.D. 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

  • 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 of the climbing industry. Targeting ways to impact the future of the industry, 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. Then, John’s love for impeccable woodworking detail created the vision that led to VS being best 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 intelligent, 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 a part of our team. 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.
  • Kelly Carter

    • Director of Employee Development
    • Grew up skiing in Park City and camping in the Wasatch Mountains.
    • If she’s not at The Front climbing or working, you can find her backpacking, snapping night sky photos, practicing yoga, or loving on her animals (a dog, two cats, four turtles)!
    • Works for VS because she is extremely passionate about creating, cultivating, and developing company cultures… and having the opportunity to work in the climbing world was WAY too good to pass up.
    • Did we mention she loves climbing?
  • 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.
  • Aaron Raby

    • Designer
    • Bio coming soon!
  • Reed Debus

    • Designer
    • Bio coming soon!
  • 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.
    • Works for Vertical Solutions to combine her love of design and the outdoors. She values working as an in-house designer because it facilitates a real connection to her art and tangibly supports her community.


  • 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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