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G Ledge

Frank’s Mission Statement

To Build A Place Where My Friends Could Come Over And Climb With Me.

851 Bond NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503     616-774-3100      Climbon@higround.com

World Famous Higher Ground Staff

Frank started Higher Ground over 18 Years ago. He has been climbing for over 45 years and in 1991 he decided that he would make climbing into his full time profession. He is an NYSDEC Lisc. guide, a Ski patroller during the winter months and also the president of Emergency Care Training Services LLC. Over the years Frank has taught well over 50,000 people how to climb. Frank is currently also serving as the Chairman of the climbing Wall Instructor certification program of the Climbing Wall Association (CWA)  To read more about Frank just click on the picture

Frank Abissi

El Capitan

Lena has been the business manager of Higher Ground since day one. Everyday after work Lena would rush over to Higher Ground to help Frank build the gym.  Lena has worked very hard over the years to make sure Higher Ground runs smoothly and efficiently. Her main job though is watch Frank and make sure that he climbs safely. Lena is a Tax Accountant and Certified Financial Planner by profession. She is also a good mountaineer with ascents of Illiniza Sur, Gua Gua Pichincha,  Corazon and she reached over 19,000 feet on Coto Paxi.

Lena handles many different things at Higher Ground, from organizing comps, scheduling employees and keeping Frank safe, probably one of the hardest jobs there is to do. To read more about Lena just click a couple times on the pic on the left.

Lena Abissi

Business Manager and Frank Watcher

When he was just 8 years old Paulie climbed the hard (5.12c) Juggernaut Roof in American Forks Utah. This climb showed the talent that he had inside him. Fast forward 16 years and Paulie is climbing harder than ever. Paulie works at Higher Ground as the Wall Manager.  Paul is IRATA level 1 certified and a extremely talented musician.

Paulie is a great climber and if you ever need any tips just ask, he will be glad to give you a few pointers. If you click on his picture you can read a lot more about this talented climber


Mentor of Gnarliness

Carl “Danger” S.

Professor of Badassitude

Carl is one of our team of Routesetters so you can thank him for some of the frustrating routes in the Bouldering Rooms. Carl tries to travel and climb as much as possible. He is also the first person to ever hang upside-down by his feet off a hold and drink a beer. Though he doesn’t say much you kind of get the idea he is constantly scheming his next stupid human trick. Click on his picture to learn more about Carl

Charlie is a Biker well, actually he drives a Honda Spree but he thinks it’s just like a Harley....(compatible). Charlie has really great ideas for routes and it’s very evident in his work that he has a passion for setting.  Double click on this Biker Wanna Be and learn a few things about this great chef and purveyor of fine routesetting. Talking with Charlie you will find that he is definitely a true Gentleman Climber. He is one of those people who is everybody’s friend

Charlie “D”

Darwin Award Candidate

    Our Routesetters set on average a dozen new routes every week

Kellen is the coach of our Kids Club having graduated from Calvin College last year she brings to us a whole new dimension of training ideas. You will either find her holding court behind the counter at Higher Ground or teaching our Youth Climbing Club on Monday nights. She is a great addition to the World Famous Higher Ground Rock Climbing Centre Ltd. Staff.