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. Once he and his brother set their sights on building an indoor climbing gym in Lake Norman, they focused on building their dream facility from scratch, to deliver a completely original experience.
Prior to launching Cliff Hangers, Keith was the crew chief for Action Express Racing, a sports car Daytona Prototype race team and also worked in the NASCAR Busch Series, where he earned the nickname, “Cold Stone”.
When he’s not at Cliff Hangers or watching football (don’t mention the recent Super Bowl to him, as he’s a major Carolina Panthers fan), you may find him wake surfing, wake boarding, or spending time with his family – which just grew by a new, little climber. Be sure to congratulate him when you see him at the gym!.
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!
Jon is the General Manager of Cliff Hangers. He brings over 10 years of experience in climbing gym management to the gym. Prior to Cliff Hangers Jon was co-owner of the Gainesville Rock Gym in Florida. He is very happy to be close to climbing again. His favorite climbing areas are the New River Gorge and Horse Pens. If you see him around the gym make sure to say hi! Jon holds a B.A. and M.A. in Ancient History from Old Dominion University.
Drew is Rock Climbing…
Customer Service Manager
Katie was first introduced to climbing about three years ago while working at a summer camp in Asheville. From that moment, she fell in love with the sport and joined the competitive climbing team at University of Florida that fall where she later served as the team’s president. After two years as a staff member at the climbing gym in Gainesville and three years of competitive climbing, which included two national competitions, she changed gears and began route setting and coaching a youth team, where she had the privilege of coaching a national-level climber. She was happy to leave Florida following graduation and is psyched to be a manager and coach here at Cliff Hangers!
Joel has been climbing for 4 years and worked in the industry for 2. He holds a Single Pitch Instructor certification through AMGA and enjoys spreading his technical knowledge to new climbers. Joel came to Cliff Hangers from the great state of Texas (yee haw). His favorite outdoor areas to climb are Little Cottonwood Canyon and Moe’s Valley. Come let Joel show you a rootin tootin good time!
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.