Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New York Climbing Gyms

New York City is one of the largest cities on this egg shaped rock we call earth.
It is home to 8.2 million people, 20,000 street venders, 12,700 yellow taxi's, 48 white castles and 5 climbing gyms in or nearby!

Whether you're a first timer or a veteran climber, there's a gym in New York (or close by) to suite your needs. Below is a map of all the current and upcoming climbing walls in and around the city so that no matter where you're staying, you can get your climbing fix!

The gyms covered here are: 
Brooklyn Boulders, Chelsea Piers, The Cliffs, MPHC, Reebok and The Rock Club.

1. Brooklyn Boulders
Located within walking distance of the Union St metro station and highly accommodating for cyclists with its large bike rack facility. Brooklyn Boulders is a great wall for locals and commuters alike. It is one of the largest climbing centres on the east coast with over 22,000 sq feet of climbing!

There is a real community atmosphere here and there are always plenty of people willing to help you solve problems you may be struggling with. The instructors here are qualified, experienced climbers and always happy to answer your questions whether its how to become a climber or how to push your limits.

Top ropes
Auto belays
Lead wall with arch and staligtite
Tons of bouldering
Multiple styles of campus board
Systems board
Slack lining

The facility really speaks for itself. It offers lessons for everyone of all abilities and at a reasonable price. A standard day pass here will set you back $20 without gear hire which is the average cost here in New York. Instruction is more and needs to be booked. The only down side to here is that it can get pretty crowded during peak times which is generally any day after 4pm.

Tel: (347) 834-9066

2. Chelsea Piers
Out on the west side of Manhattan, Chelsea Piers is one of the most difficult walls to commute to and one of the more expensive one too. However, It has a very impressive 46' high by 100' wide main wall, the 14' high by 70' wide bouldering wall and the adjacent 16' high by 18' wide bouldering cave which combined offer over 11,000 square feet of sculpted, three-dimensional climbing surface that will challenge novice and expert climbers alike. In addition, a radically designed, overhanging competition roof provides experienced sport climbers with the ultimate challenge and stamina fest!


Huge lead wall with overhang
Bouldering wall
Bouldering cave

The facilities are very impressive and if you're already a climber and are serious about improving then this is a place that you must visit! It is much more expensive here than other facilities around New York and is better suited to those who have plenty of extra cash and climbing experience. A day pass here will set you back $50!

Tel:  (212) 336-6083


3. The Cliffs Long Island City 
Opening early Spring 2013, this is set to be one of the biggest climbing facilities in the entire US! It will be easily accessible by public transport, car and bike with its roadside parking and easy bicycle store. Combined with its huge 30,000 sq feet of climbing, multi-gym, fitness bathrooms (showers) and a retail store. This could be New York's one stop shop for climbers. 

Let's see what happens!

Massive top out bouldering
Crack climbing
60 ft lead wall with a 35 ft overhang
Cutting edge new wall designed by Walltopia
Fitness area including bathrooms and showers
Retail store

It's currently still under construction but their will be a review as soon as i get a glimpse at the new place.

Tel: (914) 328-ROCK

4. Manhattan Plaza Health Club 
A community driven climbing wall in the heart of the city. It is the smallest climbing facility in the city but what it lacks in size it makes up for with goings on. There are always creative and fun events happening here from glow stick climbing to film festivals. This is a great place to take beginner lessons if you prefer not having a large number of people watching you as its never too crowded.

Overhanging lead wall
Short top ropes
Small bouldering wall
Campus board and fingerboard

Small and friendly but could invest in some new climbing holds to make climbing a little more enjoyable. A standard day pass will set you back $20 which is the average rate in the city and overall its a nice place to climb!

Tel: (212) 563-7001

5. Reebok Sports Gym
Sports club is not the right word to describe this facility. It's more of a country club and it's members only! I never actually got to go here as there is no day pass. To visit you must go with another member and pay a $35 entrance fee to climb. There are no lessons here and a yearly pass is upwards of $2,200!

40 ft by 18 ft wall with 4 lines

Not worth the effort unless you really have money to burn and even then you could spend the same money going to any of the other gyms and getting a better facility and experience.

Tel: (212) 355-5100

The Rock Club

6. The Rock Club

The Rock Club is the dubbed "New York area’s premier indoor climbing center". featuring a 40 foot high main wall with terrain ranging from easy to radically extreme. With around 80 climbing stations with over 200 individual routes.
Whatever your climbing interest, ability or age, you'll enjoy your time at The Rock Club. The walls were designed, engineered and built by RockWerx, the leader in indoor climbing walls and the staff are pros with a passion for climbing and commitment to customer service. Their enthusiasm will rub off on you!

Boulder wall, cave and VOLCANO
Multiple overhangs, slabs, dihedrals, arches and more angles than Mt. Rushmore
Full cardio training area
Beginner and group area
Function rooms
Childrens Nursery

Full retail store

A truly incredible climbing gym with staff that care a lot about the sport. It has everything you could possibly need to become a climber and improve. A day pass is just $15 to boulder which is by far the best price of any gym! The only downside would be travelling from the city as it would take some time and be difficult without a car. If you can go, do it!

Tel: (914) 633-ROCK

All this information and more can also be found in the upcoming climbing book NYC Bouldering Guide.