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Cryptic Climbing - About Us

Cryptic Climbing's Mission:

"Our mission is to make high-quality, safe, and affordable climbing holds for your home wall."

Like many rock climbers, I built a home climbing wall during the pandemic to get my "climbing fix." I spent a few hundred dollars on climbing holds and put up a few boulder problems. My wife and I would spend many evenings and many hours in our new playground, getting hooked climbing on our very own climbing wall!

It didn't take long for us to want more rock climbing holds, a bigger climbing wall, and more training equipment (hangboards). I was continually shocked at the prices of climbing holds and the costs kept mounting. The quality of everything we purchased was "gym quality," which was great, except it was also "gym pricing."

home rock climbing walls, cryptic climbing


A few hundred dollars doesn't go quite as far as I would like, especially when I was rapidly becoming addicted to climbing holds!

In 2020, I made my first few climbing holds. Surprisingly enough, they weren't a disaster and I still climb on them today! Over the last several years that morphed and I kept shaping, molding, and pouring new climbing holds. Instead of spending a fortune on climbing holds for my home climbing wall, I traded that for spending a fortune on shaping foam, silicone, and resin!

I realized I have a passion for climbing holds and sincerely enjoy the process of making them. Hence, Cryptic Climbing was born. 

I don't think you need to take out a second mortgage or work an extra job to afford climbing grips. In order to keep our overhead costs low, we don't have "middle men," we don't have huge advertising budgets, and we won't sacrifice quality for profits. Our holds are made with home climbers in mind.

Every hold is shaped to be safe, ergonomic, and tendon-friendly. We love making holds for kid's climbing walls as much as V10 crushers. We want everyone, of all ages and skill levels, to enjoy climbing at home. 

Cryptic Climbing is based in Springfield, Missouri. Our "home" climbing crag is all of Northwest Arkansas. If you haven't climbed there, you are missing incredible single-pitch sandstone cliffs with the perfect mixture of bouldering, sport, and trad climbing. 

Thanks for visiting our website and I hope to have the opportunity to make you some climbing holds that you will enjoy pulling on for a lifetime!

Nick Hartman

Founder & CEO of Cryptic Climbing

Our Top 5 Favorite Climbing Crags:

  1. Red River Gorge, Kentucky
  2. Indian Creek, Utah
  3. Northwest Arkansas (Horseshoe Canyon, Sam's Throne, Rock Creek)
  4. Eldorado Canyon & Boulder Canyon, Colorado
  5. Ten Sleep, Wyoming
 rock climbing lady crushers

Favorite Hold Types:

  • I absolutely love climbing on small edges in straight-up vertical terrain. Technical, finger aching, face pressed to the rock... Gosh, I love it. That was my inspiration for our Classic Edge climbing holds.
  • My second favorite type of hold would be a monster jug in steep terrain. It's why we travel to the Red River Gorge every fall for our annual pilgrimage. Closer to home, Northwest Arkansas has a ton of jug-fest lines that are sure to please. Check out "Bucket Brigade" and "Gracious Grant" on Mountain Project. Gracious Grant, the best 5.10 in the South (imo), was the inspiration for our Thuggin' Jugs climbing holds.