Climbers of all experience levels learn to scale the rocks in this 20,000-square-foot climbing gym
About This Deal
- Indoor climbing
Indoor Rock Climbing FAQs
- Is it safe? Yes. Rock climbing gyms typically require a safety course on proper belaying techniques, knots, and other fundamentals for top-rope courses and have designated “beginner” courses for first timers.
- What should I wear? Loose-fitting clothing that you can easily move around in. You’ll be able to grab climbing shoes, harness, and other necessary gear onsite.
- Do I have to be in good shape? Not really—climbing gyms have courses that cater to a wide range of fitness levels. Generally speaking, if you can climb a ladder you can indoor rock climb.
- What if I’m afraid of heights? Try bouldering, which takes place on shorter walls and doesn’t require harnesses or other top-rope gear. Bouldering focuses more on moving sideways than vertically, so climbers rarely get more than 10–12 feet off the ground.
About Upper Limits Rock Gym
Chris and Pam Schmick had spent six months cleaning out the scrap metal from their abandoned silos and just finished drilling thousands of holes in its walls. With little time to spare, they prepared for their climbing gym's grand opening on September 2, 1995—a date on which they had already agreed to hold a regional JCCA competition. The effort they've expended in the nearly 20 intervening years shows: today, climbers scramble on top ropes, lead ropes, and more than 20,000 square feet of lava-free climbing surface.
Instructors prepare visitors to surmount the gym's features in a range of classes, such as Rock Gym 101, which is an introduction to top-rope climbing that covers climbing safety, basic technique, and equipment. Once climbers are equipped with gear from the pro-shop, staff shows them around a multi-level bouldering cave, a main climbing area with 30-foot walls shaped by arêtes, cracks, and waves, and the building's five original silos. Elsewhere inside the gym, six auto-belays safely cradle visitors who wish to climb without taking a class.