Mankind's feeble climbing skills and inability to digest delicious tin cans are two ways in which evolution left humans inferior to goats. Channel an inner mountain goat with today's Groupon: you get a day pass or belaying class at Austin Rock Gym, with two locations in Austin. Choose from the following options:
- For $5, you get a youth day pass (ages 10 and younger), valid at the North and South Austin Rock Gym locations (a $10 value).
- For $8, you get a day pass (age 11 and older), valid at the North and South Austin Rock Gym locations (a $15 value). Access to using ropes contingent on belay certification through training course.
- For $12, you get for a belay-training course (a $25 value). This deal is valid at the South location only.
Austin Rock Gym’s indoor facilities abound with challenging terrain for seasoned stone-scalers as well as accessible features for casual and beginning climbers. Adult and youth day passes grant unlimited one-day access to all climbing features at either gym location. Earn your calluses clambering about the South Austin Rock Gym’s nearly 10,000 square feet of climbing terrain, including 30-foot vertical faces and daunting overhangs, best negotiated with geckos fastened to your fingers. The North Austin Rock Gym’s state-of-the-art bouldering features—including a replica called The Feather— enable climbers to practice unfettered by ropes and harnesses while above a cushiony crash pad, refreshingly bereft of slacker roommates and lingering smells of ramen noodles.
Climbers experienced with ATC or Petzl GriGri belaying devices can take a free skills test to access top-rope climbing features, while beginners can enroll in a belay-training class at the South Austin Rock Gym location. The nearly two-hour interactive course (time depends on how fast students learn) covers safety essentials, rope management skills, and potentially lifesaving quotes from the 1993 Sylvester Stallone epic, Cliffhanger. Along with training from Austin Rock’s experienced stable of laid-back, boulder-savvy instructors, the training course also gets you a day pass and gear rental.
Austin Rock Gym
Growing up in El Paso near Hueco Tanks led Austin Rock Gym owner Troy Wilson to view rock climbing as a way of life. In order to open his own facility he merged his experience running youth climbing programs and gyms with that of his wife and coowner Erica—a Houston native who has spent years scaling New Mexico's rocky ridges. Specializing in bouldering, belaying, and lead climbing, the duo brings mountain terrain indoors at two Austin area locations. The north Austin gym's 30-foot bouldering wall and colorful climbing routes challenge visitors to traverse steep angles, and its top-rope routes let belayed crag clingers scale to the perfect yodeling height. At the south Austin gym, sculpted, 30-foot textured walls loom over a 10,000-square-foot facility, in which climbers can belay, practice lead climbing, or conquer a bouldering cave.
Veteran climbers at each location teach classes and private lessons for rookie rockers 4 and older. In addition to bouldering, lead climbing, and belaying classes, instructors lead women's only sessions and Powerhouse courses that focus on strengthening the body's core. Troy and Tracy's team of experts also guides groups to outdoor climbing venues and lugs a portable rock wall to construction workers no longer challenged by ladders.