After six years of heavy training in Muay Thai kickboxing, Levi discovered climbing on a whim when he randomly decided to take a belay class. He was surprised to find that like Muay Thai, he enjoyed the mental aspects of climbing, and it wasn’t long before he wanted to climb more often than he could find climbing partners to belay him. This led him to give bouldering a try since you can do it alone, and he quickly came to enjoy the fact that bouldering often had more powerful moves and technical sections condensed into short problems. He became hooked, and after taking Seth to his first climbing class and watching him fall in love with climbing as well, they started climbing together as often as they could.
At the time, Levi owned and operated a swimming pool business, but was worn down from the non-stop grind of it. Seth was facing some of the same issues on the job front, so every time they were at the gym they found themselves daydreaming about quitting their jobs and owning a climbing gym together. And so the seed for The Overlook was planted.
The road to turning their dream into a reality was not easy. They faced just about every obstacle imaginable (including a worldwide pandemic!), but Levi is confident that he and his brother have built something special, and he is excited to be a part of the interesting and culturally diverse West End community. His greatest hope for The Overlook is that it is a place where folks come for the climbing, but stay for the people. And that a fun, supportive, accepting community is forged as a result.
A Georgia native, Levi graduated from Tucker High School and attended the University of Georgia on the Hope Scholarship, where he earned a degree in Risk Management and Insurance.
Eager to try something new, Seth discovered climbing when he took an introduction to climbing class with his brother and found it was love at first sight! An hour and a half class turned into a full day of climbing, and after reaching the top of his first 16-foot wall, the rush of adrenaline was so rewarding that he had a membership before he left the gym.
Seth’s passion for climbing grew with every session, so after twelve, travel-intensive years with his previous company, he was ready for a new challenge. He had a strong desire to further develop the climbing community in Atlanta, so together with his brother, Levi, the idea for The Overlook was born.
While there are many reasons that led these brothers to open a bouldering gym, for Seth, it’s all about the joy that comes from sharing. And what he wants most is to share his love of climbing with as many people as possible and to make it accessible to those who haven’t been exposed to it or who traditionally wouldn’t consider giving it a try. Seth’s greatest hope for The Overlook is that it is a climbing community comprised of both members and staff that are active in lifting up the surrounding neighborhoods in the West End of Atlanta and in giving back to these communities.
Born and raised in Tucker, GA, Seth is a graduate of the University of Georgia where he earned a degree in Cell Biology. He is married to his longtime love, Jana, and they are parents to three amazing children. As a family they enjoy outdoor adventures and spend most of their weekends camping and searching for waterfalls together all throughout the Southeast.
Head Coach and Youth Programs Coordinator
Michael Blackmon is our Youth Programs Coordinator and Head Coach here at The Overlook. Along with leading the Team Program he is a valued member of our route setting team as a level 1 USAC route setter.
Michael is an Atlanta native and a graduate from Georgia State University, who has been climbing for the past 13 years. Michael started climbing when he was 11, and started climbing competitively when he was 12. He was taught to climb by US team Head Coach Claudiu Vidulescu, and National Champion Brad Weaver. Throughout his youth he consistently competed on a national level in sport and speed climbing, with a highlight in 2012 when he competed at the Pan-American Championship for speed climbing in Chile.
Head Route Setter
Max Jackson was born in Paraguay and raised in Somerville Massachusetts, he climbed for the first time in Zion National Park when he was 12. Whether climbing in the USA, backpacking in Chile, or mountain biking in Moab, spending time outside helps remind him what’s most important in life.
When he’s not guiding in New England, he works as a head route setter and instructor at the Overlook gym in Atlanta creating climbs for people to enjoy. He received his Single Pitch Instructor Certification in Acadia, and got his Wilderness First Responder in Conway, NH. Down to earth and constantly making jokes, he’s ready to help people connect -or- reconnect with the outdoors.