About Cliff HangersAn indoor/outdoor rock climbing gym built to give you a place to climb, hang and have a good time. Cliff Hangers was established by brothers, Kris and Keith Johnson, to bring the excitement of indoor/outdoor rock climbing to Lake Norman. After falling in love with the sport and visiting many of the incredible facilities all over the U.S., they decided their passion was to build a facility that would provide a fun and challenging experience for all climbers – from newcomers to hard-core enthusiasts and from children to older adults.
Our Team… Highly Skilled Climbers …
Keith Johnson fell in love with rock climbing back in 2009 and has been climbing ever since. Years of being avidly involved in counter culture sports, rock climbing was the obvious evolutionary next step on his list. Once he and his brother conceived Cliff Hangers, they set their sights on building their climbing gym in the Lake Norman area from the ground up, to deliver a completely original and groundbreaking experience.
Prior to launching Cliff Hangers, Keith was a crew chief for Action Express Racing, a Daytona Prototype sports car race team. With a lengthy career in racing, he came to a fork in the road and decided to take a path less traveled.
When he’s not at Cliff Hangers or climbing some of his favorite spots in the southeast you may find him wake surfing, wake boarding, and spending time with his family. He is the proud father of one new little climber. Keep an eye out for his future little crusher!
Kris first stepped into a rock climbing gym in 2007. Years of travel and consistent adventure gave Kris an understanding and a hunger, which ultimately led to the decision that bringing a climbing gym to the area would be rewarding. After visiting numerous gyms and crags in the USA with his brother, Cliff Hangers took hold.
Prior to Cliff Hangers, Kris worked as Director of Admin for Action Express Racing, and tried his hand at teaching high school and audio engineering. Spare time activities include destroying sound, art, and some climbing. When you meet Kris in the gym, you may also be lucky enough to run into his wife and best friend, Cassie. You’ll want to convince her to host a potluck because if Kris could have an unlimited supply of anything in the world, he’d choose his wife’s cooking.
Aaron Davis is the head route setter at Cliff Hangers and we’re stoked to have him on board. With over 9 years of route setting experience and a USAC Level 4 certification, Aaron pushes thought-provoking movement. Some of his greatest accomplishments include when he was chosen as a US Team Setter for Open Sport Nationals in 2014 and Youth Sport/Speed Nationals in 2015.
Head Route Setter
North Carolina offers up some of Aaron’s favorite climbing locations including Rumbling Bald and Boone and outside of climbing, you might find Aaron traveling with his wife, playing Xbox, or watching his beloved Dallas Cowboys. Every so often he also busts out his lucky paddle for a fierce match of table tennis, challengers beware.
Aaron, his wife Brittany, and their fur-child Juneau, recently relocated to Lake Norman to be a part of the Cliff Hangers community, so be sure to give them all a big welcome when you meet them. You might also want to point Aaron in the direction of the nearest Cracker Barrel because he’s a huge fan…and he’s got the tattoo to prove it!
Motivating others to “get things done” is Cassie’s forte. Food and beverage management, team building, and event organizing are some other areas of expertise Cassie brings to the table. She has been working on V1, V2, and V3 boulder problems recently. Her husband Kris sometimes calls her Cass, and creative culinary pursuits are always underway at home!
A true and accomplished climber who brings his experience inside. Joel is a native Texan and was unaware of the amount of climbing in North Carolina until he moved here! Joel has a Single Pitch Instructor certification through AMGA and can give you a few pointers in one of our classes. His favorite outdoor areas to climb are Little Cottonwood Canyon and Moe’s Valley. Ask Joel about photography or long boarding adventures when he isn’t climbing.
Josh came to Cliff Hangers from the great state of Florida. He gained his setting chops from Aiguille Rock Climbing Center and he is excited to bring his experience to our community. Josh can be bribed for beta with donuts and cookies. When he isn’t climbing, Josh likes to drink fresh squeezed lemonade with strawberries and long bike rides while questioning why Firefly was cancelled. Star Wars is way better though.