Rock climbing may seem like a niche sport – a dangerous and largely physical endeavor, but it’s actually a great workout that can be enjoyed by anyone in any shape, size or age. In fact, the older I get, the better I feel the benefits of rock climbing! Pretty much everyone can find something they need at their local climbing gym if they’re not looking for something seriously intense. They can go to one to meet new people or get back into shape with a personal trainer while they climb.
What is a Climbing Gym?
A climbing gym is a specialised facility designed for rock climbing. They are often found in indoor commercial settings, although there are also some outdoor options. Climbing gyms typically offer a variety of routes with different difficulty levels, as well as other amenities such as showers, locker rooms, and retail space.
Climbing gyms provide a great way to stay active and improve your skills in a controlled environment. They can also be a great place to meet other climbers and make new friends. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re an experienced climber, there’s something for everyone at a climbing gym.
Who Goes to Climbing Gyms?
Anyone who wants to learn to rock climb or improve their skills can benefit from a climbing gym. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, you’ll find routes to challenge yourself. Climbing gyms also provide a great opportunity to meet other climbers and make new friends.
How Much Does It Cost to Join a Climbing Gym?
The cost of joining a climbing gym varies depending on the location and amenities. Most gyms charge a monthly or yearly membership fee, with discounts available for students and seniors. Day passes are also typically available.
Some of the World’s Best Climbing Gyms
The Rock Mill in Lancaster, Ohio is one of the world’s best climbing gyms. The facility has over 12,000 square feet of indoor climbing, Bouldering, Lead Climbing, and Top Roping. The routes are changed frequently to keep things interesting for climbers of all levels.
The Vertical World in Seattle, Washington is another top-notch climbing gym. The 30,000 square foot facility has walls up to 55 feet tall and offers Bouldering, Lead Climbing,Top Roping, and Trad Climbing. There are also yoga and fitness classes available to help climbers stay in shape.
Stone Summit Atlanta in Kennesaw, Georgia is yet another great place to get your climb on. The 42,000 square foot gym has walls up to 60 feet tall with Lead Climbing, Top Roping, Bouldering, and Kids’ Climbing areas. There is also a full fitness center with free weights, cardio equipment, and group exercise classes.
So whether you’re looking for a great place to train for your next big rock climbing adventure or just want to have some fun at one of the world’s best climbing gyms, be sure to check out any one of these fine establishments.
Types of Climbing at Different Facilities
Climbing gyms come in all shapes and sizes, from small local operations to large international franchises. Each gym has its own unique set of features, making it more or less suitable for different types of climbing. In this section, we’ll take a look at the different types of climbing that can be done at different types of facilities.
Bouldering is one of the most popular forms of climbing, and can be done at most facilities. Bouldering gyms typically have shorter walls with plenty of routes (problems) to choose from, and often have a padded floor to cushion falls. Lead climbing and top rope climbing are also popular forms of roped climbing, and can usually be done at most gyms as well. Lead climbers ascend without the aid of ropes or pulleys, while top rope climbers use ropes that are anchored at the top of the wall. Both require belayers (partners who manage the ropes), and lead climbers also need to clip into quickdraws as they climb.
For those looking for a more intense workout, many gyms offer auto-belays, which allow climbers to climb without a partner. This is a great option for solo climbers or those who want to get in some extra climbs between belaying breaks. However, not all auto-belays are created equal – some are much better than others at providing a safe and secure experience.
Finally, some gyms offer specialty classes or programs such as yoga for climbers, belay lessons, and beginner climbing clinics. These can be great resources for climbers of all levels who want to learn more about the sport or improve their skills.
Why Climb Anyway?
Climbing is a great workout for your whole body. It’s low-impact, so it’s easy on your joints, and it uses a lot of muscles that you don’t normally use.
It’s also a great mental workout. Climbing is a problem-solving sport, and you have to stay calm and think clearly while you’re doing it.
And finally, it’s just plain fun! It’s a great way to spend time with friends, or to meet new people.
Update on 2021 and 2022 Top Climb Centers
As the world begins to open up again after a year of lockdowns and restrictions, we’re starting to see more information about upcoming events and projects. Here’s an update on some of the top climbing gyms in the world that we’re excited about.
In 2021, the World Cup circuit is expected to return with multiple events taking place around the globe. This includes stops in Munich, Shanghai, Moscow, and more. The World Championships are also scheduled to return in 2022, with a planned stop in Briançon, France.
Meanwhile, construction continues on several large climbing gyms that are scheduled to open in the next few years. One of the most anticipated is Vertical Life’s mega-gym in Innsbruck, Austria, which is set to open sometime in 2021. Other notable projects include Climb XR’s facility in Liverpool, UK (2021), Stone Summit Atlanta in Georgia (2022), and Movement Denver in Colorado (2022).
Best Indoor Climbing Gyms
A bouldering gym is a great place to train and improve your climbing skills, even when the weather outside isn’t ideal. Here are some of our favourites around the world:
The Spot Bouldering Gym in Boulder, Colorado is one of the largest gyms in North America, with over 17,000 square feet of climbable surface. The walls range in height from 12 to 24 feet and there are more than 100 routes to try.
If you’re looking for an outdoor feel indoors, check out Brooklyn Boulders in New York City. This gym has walls that mimic natural rock formations, along with a Cave area for extra challenge.
For a truly unique experience, head to Climbing Works in Sheffield, England. This converted warehouse has Europe’s first indoor real rock wall, plus dozens of other artificial walls to keep you busy.
Best Outdoor Climbing Gym
Looking for the best outdoor climbing gym in the world? Look no further than Climbing Escalade Canada in Montreal, Quebec. This massive facility features over 14,000 square feet of indoor climbing space, plus an outdoor bouldering wall and an attached ropes course. With so much to explore, it’s no wonder this is one of the most popular gyms in the city.
Climbing Escalade Canada isn’t just a great place to climb, it’s also home to a variety of classes and events. From beginner Introduction to Climbing classes to more advanced clinics on lead climbing and belaying, there’s something here for everyone. The gym also hosts regular competitions and social events, so you can always meet new friends while getting some exercise.
Whether you’re a seasoned climber or just getting started, Climbing Escalade Canada is the perfect place to get your fix. With world-class facilities and plenty of things to do, it’s no wonder this is one of our favourite climbing gyms in the world.
We hope you enjoyed reading about our favourite climbing gyms in the world. If you’re ever in any of these locations, be sure to check them out and let us know what you think! Climbing is an amazing workout and a great way to explore new places, so we encourage everyone to give it a try.