Thursday, September 30, 2010

DO: SLC Climbing Gyms

There are 3 real climbing gyms in SLC (The Front, Momentum & Rockreation).  When I say "real", I mean not your local rec center 6' wall.  Each gym has good and bad.  Which you go to depends on what you are looking for from a climbing gym.

The Front in SLC is a bouldering gym (their Ogden gym has some top rope).  I have only climbed there a few times because honestly I don't like the set up.  The bouldering wall is along the south wall with large windows on the north wall which creates a "stage" for you to climb on while your "audience" seats and watches.  I have a hard time climbing if I think all eyes are on me.   Understandably, there will always be someone watching you climb, but this design just optimizes it.  Despite this I recently purchased a $30 month membership to The Front from groupon (cause really who can pass up that deal). If you don't like the feeling that everyone is watching you, this is not the gym for you.

This tiny gym packs a lot of great climbs into a chill climbing culture gym.  Rockreation is probably the size of my apartment (of course with higher ceilings), but still offers bouldering as well as lead and top rope climbing.  Some areas are designed like a cave with short passes between so be careful as you walk around that you aren't in someone's climbing path.
Rockreation has a great down to earth climber environment.  I climbed here frequently and loved the people.  Climb at Rockreation for the people. Don't if you are afraid of climbing in tight quarters.

This is what some would call your "corporate" gym.  The largest gym by far, it offers everything you can imagine for climbing.  Top rope, lead, bouldering, crack (climbing that is).  Find your favorite climbs here.  The gym is spaced out so you have lots of room and it is designed with many different climbing areas so you never feel like you have a large audience.  And there is TONS of climbing.
Momentum is well run, but can sometimes lose that climber environment with its conveniently located coffee shop.  This is where I typically climb because there is so much climbing.

With any gym you want to feel comfortable and relaxed so you can focus on climbing.  And at any gym you will have people watching you so get over that and just climb.  Every gym will have a different feel, but it is really the climbers that make the gym great.  My advice:  Leave your friends at home and go by yourself (at least once).  Chat with other climbers.  Ask for their help on problems and offer help if you can.  Climbers are a fun and friendly group of people so don't be scared to chat it up with complete strangers.

The Front
1450 S 400 W

2074 E 3900 S

220 W 10600 S

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