Ice Climbing: Turning Passion into Business
Passion can be the differentiating factor between success and failure for an innovator. Garret Peabody, a Michigan-grown entrepreneur, started his own company based around a hobby he grew to love.
Peabody’s ice climbing activities began in Europe over a decade ago. He became further involved in the sport after moving back to Michigan in 2007. In an interview with Pure Michigan Radio Show, Peabody shared his appreciation for the world class ice climbing located around Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. During the short winter months, Peabody would take trips to the Upper Peninsula with friends for ice climbing. However, Peabody understood that he couldn’t excel in an activity that he only participated in a few times a year.
“If you don’t get time to do something often, you don’t get very good at it.”
As many entrepreneurs often do, Peabody set out to solve a problem that he was directly facing - access to quality ice climbing close to home. By repurposing his family’s retired apple orchard in Fenton, Michigan, Garrett brought quality ice climbing to the lower peninsula allowing him to pursue his passion year-round. The facility includes both a 45 ft and a 65 ft ice tower, a heated clubhouse, a 10-person sauna and an altitude training facility. The goal of the Ice Climbing Club is to assist individuals in pursuing the sport. To do so, the facility provides a controlled and safe environment for individuals to ice climb alongside certified trainers.
“We just try to be the door to get into the sport.”
Ice climbing grants individuals more freedom by allowing them to make up their own rules. In terms of entrepreneurship - passion, perseverance and freedom are the elements that drive a new business to progress. Similar to ice climbing, there are no set of rules to being an entrepreneur and starting your own business. Peabody Ice Climbing Club exemplifies this idea through the development of their facility.
As an entrepreneur, being presented with a problem and armed with passion creates opportunity. Peabody’s passion for ice climbing, accompanied with his commitment to creating a business, drove him to create Peabody Ice Climbing Club. His understanding and love for the sport is demonstrated through the success of his business. Now 10 years later, the facility has become a destination for ice climbers, ranging from beginner to advanced, all over the Midwest.