We are In Situ Climbing, a climbing and mountaineering shop in Scotland, established over 4 years ago. We’ve spent the last two years working on a new project to grow our business, which will cater for the needs of our community, outdoor sportspeople, and visitors to the area.
We are aiming to open a strength and conditioning gym in Dunkeld, to provide:
- a climbing training area, so locals can train with focus, improve and get good,
- a home for the local climbing scene,
- a sociable space for anybody, no matter what their sport or exercise preference, to work out, to train, drink coffee and plan adventures,
- an atmosphere to encourage reluctant exercisers from our community, and beyond, to join us for group training and classes, where we can give friendly and informed advice on suitable training and exercise,
- and to give visitors a wet weather alternative.
Dunkeld is just north of Perth, and because it has crags, hills, trails, lochs, and rivers it’s not just a great place to live and work, it also attracts a lot of tourism. But it lacks a decent training facility, where locals can train and visitors have somewhere to go when the weather doesn’t play nicely, and that’s what we are aiming to change.
When the weather is good, it's great, but when it's not there's no good alternative
We are committing to leasing a newly built industrial unit, within walking distance of some of the best climbing in Scotland. The unit will include:
- the gym - equipped with cardio machines, racks, free weights, Olympic platform, and a bouldering area with 40° Moonboard, 20° circuit wall, campus board, finger boards, and gym rings.
- the shop - with a seating area to drink Unorthodox Roasters coffee and plan trips, or just relax.
- the therapy room - available to independent health and wellbeing practitioners to offer services like physio and massage, a valuable asset to the community and an added bonus for visitors.
Sketch of the planned climbing training area
The Climate Issue
Environmental sustainability is at the forefront of modern business and our model has been created around energy saving and sustainability by:
- using a renewable energy supplier for our power needs.
- taking this a step further, we intend to procure our cardio equipment from Sportsart, The Green Fitness Company, provided by SA Green Fitness. Not only are their machines pretty nice to look at, and have all the functionality you’d expect, they also use technology that can harness up to 74% of human energy, converting watts generated through exercise into AC power and sending it back through the facility power grid to offset energy consumption, effectively reducing our carbon footprint further. So, you can join the leader board and win yourself the yellow jersey for most energy generated…
The strength and conditioning area will look something like this, but probably a bit more "industrial unit"
Why We Need Your Help
The pandemic has changed the financial and economic landscapes, and we were affected but we are adapting fast. The power of crowdfunding not only helps us to raise essential funding, but also gain support for the project, and that goes a long way, so a big thanks in advance.
We’re asking for your help to get us started - the money raised will contribute to the total cost of the Project, along with the business assets, growth loan and finance package.
What you’ll get in return – we are offering up early discounts on memberships and services, and a few other wee treats. We'd love you to take advantage of these rewards, share to your friends, and help us to reach our goal.
What Will the Money be Spent On?
The money we raise through the Crowdfunding campaign is a small fraction of our overall budget however it will allow us to place important orders and put down deposits for the initial equipment. Ultimately it will go towards everything that will make this project an asset to our community and a slick place to visit if you aint from round here.
And There's More
The other thing we think is worth mentioning, is our intention to work to create jobs for the local community. We want to build a team as we grow and we'd like to be able to provide jobs that will attract young people to staying in the area rather than leaving for work in the cities.
We’d also like to work with education providers to offer work experience. We want to invite outdoor activity providers to use the space for meeting and safety briefings, and to provide a booking service for them. We're keen for independent trainers and coaches to use the space to run classes and workshops, so there's something for everyone, no matter what level.
The therapy room will be available to health and wellbeing practitioners, providing an opportunity to work in a mixed discipline environment which is rare in rural areas. It not only strengthens knowledge and resources but ultimately improves the service for the end user
Who Are We?
I never thought I'd like lifting weights as much as I do, but it's made a lot of difference to my general ability to function. I've done a fair bit of rehab over the years for various injuries, sustained chiefly from not being very good at mountain biking. But it gave me empathy, so not all bad.
I like to use a combination of science and pragmatism in my approach to my work. There needs to be a paradigm shift in the health and fitness industry, and I want to do my part by keeping up to date with the research and educating clients and athletes, so they have control and confidence in their training and wellbeing. I cringe every time I see sensationalist adverts about weight loss, or the "dangers" of a particular exercise, or bold claims about what massage therapy can do. I'm all about the honesty, and if I don't know something, I'll say so. Then I'll probably go find out.
Boring credentials - the abridged version: I have an BSc Hons in Strength and Conditioning from Abertay University. I'm also a sports massage therapist, and I've done quite a lot of CPD in pain science education, because I have a particular interest in pain and it's impact on sufferers. Another rabbit hole I've found myself down is womens health, because I think it's an important consideration that is often overlooked.
I’ve called myself a climber for 18ish years, usually seeking out rompy trad but have also enjoyed phases of chasing boulder grades and the occasional Scottish winter climbing self-flagellation trip. I’m going to blame my limited progression into the higher grades on lack of appropriate training facilities rather than my lack of natural talent and/or (finger) strength.
I’ve lived in Highland Perthshire through most of that time which means lots of schist climb-time, and a good depth of local knowledge, and lore. Living in this upland playground also allows easy access to other outdoor pursuits – I enjoy and can pass as competent when canoeing, skiing, and wild swimming (aka swimming) though I can appreciate less vertical mountaineering, and mountain biking if I must…
I do get a bit excited about quality kit – working retail in gear shops has been great for surrounding myself with it, when coupled with drinking coffee and talking about climbing all day – optimum job satisfaction. Outside the shop/gym (hopefully), I’ve been a retained firefighter for six years – very interesting, rewarding and as you would expect at times, challenging. Also, because I like to keep busy and that timing is everything, I’m currently 3 years into a BA (Hons) Business & Management degree.
Crag dug and terroriser of tiny beasties. Shown here looking magnificent. Better known about the town than either Alison or James, and with a more exciting social life. Originally rehomed from Yorkshire, he's a combination of sheer delight and mortifying embarrasment, depending on his inclination. He really likes sausages.
In Situ Climbing - Where We Started
James opened In Situ Climbing in July 2016 and we were originally two separate businesses - the shop and Alison in the therapy room. James has been a climber for more years than he cares to remember, and he likes shiny things and drinking coffee, so a climbing shop was the best career choice for him. Alison was a massage therapist, and with the premises having a small space to accommodate a therapy room, the combination of the two worked out pretty well.
The old shop on the high street
The gym idea
Things were good, but we wished there was a decent gym in town, an S&C gym with a boulder wall, so we could train and hang out with friends. We weren't the only ones, it was talked about often amongst our customers and regular visitors. So the search for suitable premises began.
Dunkeld is old, it’s beautiful and historic and interesting but it doesn’t have many modern premises for businesses like ours. We approached Atholl Estates, a local landowner, and asked if they had any plans for industrial development in the area. The planets must have been aligned that day, because as it happened, they did have an area earmarked by the existing Cally industrial units, tucked away right beside the crags. Atholl Estates have been extremely accommodating and helpful, and since this kind of project is a first for both of us, that has been nothing short of good fortune.
How It's Going
What followed was a couple of years of learning a whole new skillset. The meetings, the research, the planning, management and coordination, frankly, it was wild. The opportunity to collaborate with other small business owners, from health and wellbeing practitioners to outdoor activity providers, has opened up a whole new area of potential. The encouragement, support and input from friends and strangers alike has been both humbling and inspiring. Even with a 12 month delay caused by the pandemic it still hasn't dampened the enthusiasm for the project. We are now at a stage where it got very real - the unit is in progress, the fit out is decided, the climbing training area has been designed, and the quotes for equipment are in.
A Reminder, If You Made It This Far
Helping us out by taking up the rewards, donating, and sharing our campaign will make this project happen. We thank you for any contribution, a little help from you will make sure we can help you when we open.
When are you hoping to open?
We’re aiming for July/August 2021 if all goes well.
Is there going to be an age limit?
You’ll need to be 16 years old or over, no upper age limit.
Why no children in the boulder wall?
Two main reasons: There is a fantastic climbing wall in Perth which caters extremely well for children, we don’t want to take away from that. Secondly, strictly speaking it’s a training for climbing area, and we will have an Olympic lifting platform, cardio equipment and free weights in the same space. Getting insurance for children in that space would be very costly.
Where are you going to be?
Unit 7, Cally Industrial Estate, Blairgowrie Road, Dunkeld, PH8 0HU
Will you have parking?
Yes, we will have a limited number of free spaces and we’re close to the Cally Car Park, also free to park. Dunkeld is a 10-minute walk away, with on street and metered parking. We will have cycle racks and encourage none motorised travel.