Cat Footwear’s Earthmovers are doers, dreamers, strivers…and climbers. When we heard about Cody Erickson and his team building a rock climbing facility not far from our headquarters, we just had to see it.


Photos by Ted Bingham Photography

They call it Terra Firma. For the last 5 or so months, they’ve been turning a long empty manufacturing space into a multi-floored bouldering (and more) experience the likes of which West Michigan has never seen before.

We were so excited, we got the Terra Firma team geared up with work shoes and boots. Then stopped in a few weeks later to see how things were going.

Cat Work Boots: Cody, this place is pretty amazing. What inspired it? Where did the idea for Terra Firma come from?

Cody: My wife and I really wanted to create the place we wish existed already. A place where people can climb and take classes. Even just hang out and answer emails and stuff. It’s the kind of place that exists in cities out west, and we just wanted to bring some of that here.

CWB: That’s really cool. Okay, so tell me about the actual build out. Did you have any experience constructing something like this?

Cody: Haha, I certainly have never built anything like this, but we’ve got some guys on the team that travel around the country building facilities like this. In general, though, it’s been this really cool, sort’ve Midwestern process of getting friends and acquaintances involved. Our carpenter friends helped out. Our friend who is welder built the massive amounts of steel framing. It’s been this really fun process of coming together and building this thing.

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CWB: It’s pretty darn impressive.

Cody: It takes a lot of dedicated people to install over 12,000 T-nuts.

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CWB: Ha, ha, I bet! Okay, so you guys got some Cat Work Boots sent your way. What exactly did you guys get?

Cody: We got a couple pairs of Salvo 8″ Work Boots for the guys who wanted the extra ankle support. A couple pairs of Navigators with a steel toe. A pair of of Inherit and Wellston because a couple of guys loved the idea of pull-on work boots.

CWB: How’d they work out?

Cody: They’ve been great. All the guys were really excited to get some new boots on their feet and they’ve been happy with the way they feel. Our welder buddy has been especially happy with his Salvo’s because they’re so much lighter than his last pair of steel toes.

CWB: Very cool, man. Well, Cody, congrats on the beautiful new facility and good luck with Terra Firma! We can’t wait to get out there and get up on your walls!!!

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