How to Choose a Climbing Gym

How to Choose a Climbing Gym
Climbing gyms are springing up all over the country. Choosing the right gym to accelerate your climbing abilities is easy if you know what to look for.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Choose a gym that's easily accessible - consistent training is key to good climbing. If it's an option, choose a gym with a convenient location.
Step 2
Find a gym with excellent route quality, which is important to your indoor climbing experience. Good route setters are not easy to find, and bad ones can set routes that may cause injuries. Good route setting is on target for the grade (for example, 5.10 is really 5.10), consistent, makes you think, and doesn't encourage injury.
Step 3
Select a gym that features flexible pricing, such as an off-hours punch card that offers discounted rates during less crowded times. Other price features could include auto debit discounts, student deals, and discounted annual memberships.
Step 4
Ask in advance if there is a way to suspend your membership for a period of time. Most gyms will let you do this for a small fee.
Step 5
Look for a gym that has warm-up equipment and a significant bouldering area. Of course the higher the walls, the better the pump - a really good gym will have 25-foot (or higher) walls.
Step 6
Select a gym that matches your attitude. Some gyms attract only elite climbers that flash 12's and beyond. Other gyms that cater to kids and corporate programs may have tiny walls and few routes, leaving you with few challenges as you advance. The right gym will be the one that you feel comfortable in, allowing you to hook up with other climbers of similar skill and experience and offering plenty of challenging routes in your range.

Tips & Warnings

If the routes feel way too hard or easy for the grade, or if they're consistently awkward or "tweaky," choose a different gym.
Climbing is a physically demanding sport that could result in serious injury. We recommend that you seek the proper equipment and training before undertaking this activity.

Article Written By eHow


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