Back in the days when climbers were still actively developing the Gunks, NY, there was a climbers' house nearby. The house had an iconic purple couch. It was a place where local climbers could gather day after day while they look for more boulders and work on their projects. The house was filled with energy. Everyone knew each other, and more and more climbers were introduced and welcomed. Years have passed, and the house is gone, but for some climbers in New York the house still stands as a symbol of a primitive climbing community and good old days. It goes, "Hey, you remember the house with the purple couch?"
The first time I heard about this story from my friend, Hans Ma, I said "That sounds like a true community!" That was a little before I was leaving NYC for Japan for good, and being so fortunate to be a part of NY climbing community, I wanted to recreate something like it in Japan to stay connected with my fellow climbers. A couple of days later, I asked PJ, the director of routesetting at the Cliffs, if he knew anything about the house with the purple couch. For a fraction of a second he looked a little surprised, then laughed and told me"That's my house and that's my couch!" That was the moment I decided to call my future gym "Purple Couch Project (PCP)."
In the midst of the rampancy caused by COVID-19, many of us realized how fortunate it is to be able climb with our friends, and to have a community that we feel home. No matter how well we build a home wall, there will be no place like our favorite climbing gym. The pandemic did not dissipate the need of a community, but it highlighted it. Although PCP starts as a climbing brand and gym, and climbing will always be our primary concern, our ultimate goal is to connect and propagate communities globally. Our destination is, in short, to make the world an easier place to explore. To start with, we need to build a place that we can welcome you to Japan.
Our immediate goal is to open a climbing gym in Japan, which is going to be our basecamp. We are planning to have a place to stay, and eventually a bar and cafe as well. The location is good for climbers because if you drive for two hours or less you get to many of the famous crags.
(To be continued)