Vertical Generation

Vertical Generation works to promote a growing generation of diverse climbers who are passionate about both their community and the outdoors. They provide under-served, low-income youth the opportunity to be part of the rock climbing community. These youth can learn invaluable skills of problem solving, self-determination, physical and mental awareness, and positive support by developing their skills via indoor gyms and preparing for outdoor climbing excursions. Vertical Generation wants youth to experience the life and exhilaration of the outdoors to become stewards of the environment.


Vertical Generation offers:

  • Monthly Indoor Gym Climbing Sessions where partner local youth agencies bring a group to a participating local gym for an experience in rock climbing, community building, and environmental awareness. Gym fees, gear, food, and goodies are provided.

  • Stonemasters Mentorship program (similar to Big Brother/Big Sister) provides youth who find continuing interest in rock climbing and want to experience it more than just monthly gym events. This program gives interested youth the opportunity to sign up for a one-on-one mentorship program where youth are matched with volunteers to bring them climbing on a regular basis, helping develop climbing skills of the youth. This program will immerse the youth into the climbing and outdoor community!

  • Seasonal Outdoor Excursions will be organized excursions where VG leaders and volunteers bring youth from the climbing gym to the outdoors. Here, the youth can apply their knowledge and education by experiencing the exhilaration and joy of climbing on real rock.

  • Place-Based Environmental Education Programs (Field Trips) will provide school curriculum for geology, natural science courses, and physical education the opportunities for climbing field trips at participating local participating gyms with integrated course material. This allows VG to reach youth across the community while also taking course load, field trip planning, and budgeting work load off of busy teachers.

Contact us to let us know if you would like to volunteer directly with this project. All donations are tax deductible.

Vertical Generation’s mission is to share the invaluable experience and culture of rock climbing along with the love for the outdoors with youth who otherwise may never have the opportunity.

Vertical Generation's Leadership Team

Marc Bourguignon

Co-Founder of Vertical Generation

Marc spent over seven years in Seattle, where he fell in love with the outdoors and rock climbing. After traveling around the world with climbing as his vehicle he gained a deeper appreciation for the Pacific Northwest and its unique culture and nature. Now his life revolves around the climbing culture and how to bring even more positivity into the community. When Marc isn’t pulling on the bulletproof granite of the PNW he can be found strumming his guitar or shooting photos of buddies sending the gnar.



Julie Gardner

Co-Founder of Vertical Generation

Julie is a native to the Pacific Northwest, where Emerald City was home for many years. Now she is completing her Masters of Public Health in the Mile High City. She pours all of her energy into youth enrichment programs and activities from teaching rock climbing, yoga, hiking trips, and even within the formal classroom from time-to-time. Her mantra: If we get youth to touch their world then hopefully they’ll take care of their world. If you can’t reach her then she is probably somewhere in the US with her best friend/ truck Hank trying to find mint-chocolate chip ice-cream in small, quaint towns.