VIDEO: Maggie Daley Park’s Rock Climbing Walls Open

By Evan Garcia

The Malkin-Sacks Rock Climbing Walls at Maggie Daley Park opened somewhat anticlimactically on Tuesday.

For most of the afternoon, park employees outnumbered climbers.

“It’s going great, we’ve had two climbers so far,” one worker said sarcastically just before noon. The worker asked not to be named.

The weather was likely to blame for thin attendance. It was windy and the temperature hovered in the high 40s for most of the day.

Jonny Nelson, 30, was the first climber to take to the wall around 11 a.m.  He’s been climbing for 10 years and had been anticipating the walls’ construction for at least a couple of those years.

“It’ll pick up more on the weekends probably,” Nelson said. “The weather is pretty lousy today for climbing.”

One of two rock climbing walls at Maggie Daley Park. (Evan Garcia/Medill)
One of two rock climbing walls at Maggie Daley Park. (Evan Garcia/Medill)

The two rock climbing walls take up 19,000 square feet of the park and reach a maximum height of 40 feet. There are sections for beginners and advanced climbers on both walls. Up to 100 climbers can use the wall at the same time.

Maggie Daley Park, located in the Loop within Grant Park, was opened last December after a redesign of what had been Daley Bicentennial Plaza. The park also features a mile-long ice skating ribbon.

Photo at top: Jonny Nelson climbs the rock climbing wall at Maggie Daley Park. (Evan Garcia/Medill)


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