Although rock climbing is a popular sport among humans, few realize that it was invented as a self-torture technique by masochistic rocks. Traumatize a cliff with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get an Intro to Rock Climbing class or two daily climbing passes (a $30 value) at Upper Limits Rock Gym on 21st Street.
At Upper Limits Rock Gym, climbers of all ages and skill levels get a full-body workout on a high-quality, indoor rock-climbing surface that covers more than 10,000 square feet of sculpted walls, crags, and honorary presidential busts. Novice cliffhangers can save themselves from a life of just hanging there by learning to climb with the two-hour Rock Gym 101 class ($30), which teaches basic top-roping procedures, knot-tying skills, and belay techniques. Classes, which are limited to 10 students for optimal instruction, include equipment and climbing for the rest of the day. Choose from the following times:
- Saturday: 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
- Sunday: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Tuesday and Thursday: 6 p.m.
Veteran rock warriors can skip the class and opt for two all-day climbing passes ($15 each), or climbers who don’t have their own gear can snag one pass and equipment rental ($8 for a harness, shoes, and a belay device or chalk bag). Day passes are good for the entire day, and climbers are allowed to leave and return within the same day. See here for equipment-rental rates.
Staffed by friendly experts, Upper Limits features a 35-foot main climbing area with slabs, aretes, cracks, roofs, dihedrals, and two gigantic arches perfect for experienced climbers and boulderers, as well as a 20-foot upper climbing area for easier climbing. The facilities at Upper Limits include showers, lockers, a lounge area, and free parking behind the building. Revive atrophied muscles and improve your physical fitness as you play pretend mountain goat, clinging to as many protruding emeralds, rubies, and giant skittles as your cloven feet allow.
Reservations are required for the intro class. If you opt for the one-day pass and equipment rental, change is not given.
Six Yelpers give Upper Limits Rock Gym 4.5 stars. > * Totally fun! I went here tonight, & it was my first time rock climbing. They have easy routes. I like the fact that they have autobelays. – Kat V. > * For some reason, I love climbing things. Which is really odd because I’m a little scared of heights. Upper Limits gives me the opportunity to climb in a safe environment. – Adam T.
Chris and Pam Schmick's passion for climbing inspired them to clear tons of rotting soybeans out of an abandoned grain silo in Illinois and transform it into a state-of-the-art climbing facility. Now, in St. Louis, the duo has converted a 10,000-square-foot historic train station into a climber’s haven. They installed massive rock arches that soar 35 feet in the air, and dotted the climbing walls with a diverse mix of slabs, cracks, and dihedrals. After their successful expansion in St. Louis, the pair acquired a 14,000-square-foot gym space in West County in which they designed a full-service climbing paradise. All three gyms cater to beginner climbers, with 18-foot-tall bouldering walls and 14 autobelays. The gyms furnish climbers with showers and a locker room, and stock their pro shops with top-tier equipment from Black Diamond and La Sportiva.