The Hive Vancouver
As rock-climber, Andrew Coffey saw a growing interest in bouldering among his fellow climbers and he also noticed a lack of dedicated bouldering gyms in the city— so he decided to build one himself. He teamed up with architects and graphic designers to plot out a floor plan and contracted undulating walls of custom-designed rock that could be climbed without ropes. When he and his team finished laying the soft-mat flooring in the 10,000 square foot space, they'd finally brought The Hive to life. To supervise and lead classes, Andrew has gathered a team of climbers with extensive outdoor experience, including some who also hone their bodies for rock-climbing through gymnastics, dance, judo, and tai chi.
Inside the facility, instructors and visitors traverse overhangs, vertical angled slabs, an archway, and top-ups where they can climb up over the lip without any ropes. The walls reach up to 16 feet throughout most of the gym, with grades ranging from V0- to V10+, remaining closer to the ground and free of avalanches in a dedicated children's area. In one of the central structures, summit-reachers can glide back to earth in a tube slide.
Instructors require new visitors to take a tour and small lesson prior to climbing, and gym staffers change the challenging routes every three weeks to keep climbers from discovering hidden deposits of Skittles. They also teach in-depth techniques during short or long courses lasting up to five weeks and expand instruction to the outdoors during up to two-day programs. When not teaching visitors how to climb without ropes and evade roving packs of mountain bikes, gym staff host climbing competitions, special film screenings and parties for local climbers, where they pit their skills against each other in friendly competition.