STEEP Dreams

“You can’t fall if you don’t climb, but there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground.” - Unknown

This is the story of a climb worth the risk – a story of two driven guys with a love for climbing and fitness, and a dream to bring both to the Billings community.

In November 2017, STEEPWORLD Climbing & Fitness officially opened the doors of its new gym in Billings, but the opening proved to be more than just a new facility. Building on the foundation of the original STEEPWORLD, founded and nurtured by Jim Rott, a new vision came to life through a partnership with the father-and-son team, Scott and Heath Lillie.

While Jim was laying the foundation for a climbing community in Billings, Heath had a dream of his own. He left his job as a firefighter and paramedic in South Dakota and sold everything he had to come and start something new. The two dreams converged, and together they expanded on the wonderful heritage of the original STEEPWORLD, creating a locale for hardcore climbers and families alike to enjoy bouldering, rope climbing, fitness, and more.

One visit to STEEPWORLD is all it takes to experience what makes it truly special and unique – the people. The vibrant, driven spirit of the owners is shared by all of the staff. Each team member is passionate about helping kids and adults at all levels enjoy their climbing and fitness experience. The space offers something for everyone, and even beginners will immediately feel right at home. There is an emphasis on service, a bright well-kept space, and creating meaningful relationships. It’s all about the community feel and a fun family environment.

“Each day I’m motivated by the opportunity we have at STEEPWORLD to share the love of climbing with others and see the positive impact it can have on someone's life," Heath Lillie says. It's evident that the entire staff feels the same – always looking for opportunities to interface, connect, and engage in quality service to those who walk through the doors.

The new facility is top-of-the-line in the world of adventure fitness. State-of-the-art walls and floors are complemented by a traditional fitness mezzanine with top-notch equipment. Members and guests can boulder, rope climb walls over 40 feet high, and slackline as well as get in a workout or practice yoga. The goal when stepping into STEEPWORLD is a “fit family” experience with something for everyone.

There are numerous ways to plug in to the STEEPWORLD community: climbing leagues, climbing classes, summer camps, after-school programs, birthday parties, team building events, and more. STEEPWORLD even offers guided outdoor climbs on the rims and a portable climbing wall that can be rented for a large outside event.

Heath and Jim are joyfully carrying on the work of introducing climbing to kids of all ages that Jim began years ago. STEEPWORLD has put up climbing walls in schools and is partnering to bring entire classes of fifth-grade students in for a day of climbing. This investment in young climbers is something they hope to grow and continue.

After nearly a year of serving the Billings community, the STEEPWORLD team is driven to provide a premier experience to each and every guest while looking to its future phase 2 growth. Stop by for a visit to enjoy an unforgettable experience.  


1230 S 31st St W

Billings, MT 59102

about the author...Anna Rogers is a transplant from the Carolinas with a background in marketing and graphic communications. She is a wife and mother who loves to garden, cook, and practice yoga. Anna is passionate about travel, which at its core is really a passion for people, as she believes people and community are what truly bring life and beauty into a place.

Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s September 2018 issue.

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