Indoor rock climbing offers workout with rush

New Jersey may not be anywhere close to places like Wyoming or Utah where rock climbers have their pick of all sorts of interesting and challenging climbs, but those in the Garden State looking for a different sort of workout still don’t have to venture too far, thanks to local indoor rock climbing facilities — which are also ideal in chilly weather.

“Indoor rock climbing is a great one for the wintertime because it’s indoors, but you are still able to be active, which is also great for kids who are cooped up inside all day,” said Amity Warme, manager at Rockville Climbing Center in Trenton, who has been climbing for five years. “For climbers who are more advanced, it’s also a good way to stay in shape in the wintertime.”

Rockville Climbing Center, which pulls in about 1,000 visitors a week, 150 of whom are newcomers from as far as two hours away, offers a $5 harness rental fee and a flat-rate day pass for $16 per child and $18 per adult, which allows customers to come and go as they rock climb for as long as they want in a 24-hour period, besides some of their other pricing and specials.

Rock climbing is suitable for those of all ages. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Michael Fortunato)

Rock climbing is suitable for those of all ages. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Michael Fortunato)

At the facility, a full spectrum of rock climbing is available, from beginner climbing to bouldering, in which participants climb a shorter wall with no attached rope. Plus, Rockville Climbing Center has more auto belays, 19, than any other rock climbing facility in the state, which allows people to belay themselves, which is ideal for parents with children, those looking to rock climb alone and beginner climbers, since they can skip the 40-minute belaying lesson.

“Anyone can become a rock climber,” said Warme. “We have 2-year-olds and we have 85-year-olds who have climbed here since it’s a very level playing field for anyone who wants to try it for the first time. Both athletic people and also people who have never played sports enjoy rock climbing.”

Warme said that many people become interested in rock climbing because they’re looking to try something adventurous or complete an item on their ‘bucket list,’ but she said that many of them realize that besides it being a fun sport, it’s also a great workout, and for some, can be much more enjoyable than lifting or running.

The bouldering wall at Rockville Climbing Center. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Michael Fortunato)

The bouldering wall at Rockville Climbing Center. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Michael Fortunato)

“People think that you have to be super strong or lift a lot of weights to be a good rock climber, but we often find that it’s the smaller people who are very good at it,” she said.

For those who are turned off by rock climbing’s daredevil reputation, Nate Cooper, climbing instructor at Rockville Climbing Center who has been climbing for three years, said, “People think it’s this total adrenaline-junkie sport, but it’s actually about trying to be as safe as possible and it’s usually not very dangerous if you’re thoughtful about what you’re doing.”

Warme said that Rockville caters very well to beginner climbers with their auto belays, plus, for newcomers, staff members can show visitors how to put on a harness and use the auto belay in a quick and easy orientation, then talk them through their first climb and descent. Visitors should come wearing comfortable clothes that they can move in and sneakers.

Rock climbing provides both a rush and a workout. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Michael Fortunato)

Rock climbing provides both a rush and a workout.
(Photo: ~Courtesy of Michael Fortunato)

As the weather gets warmer, Warme recommended that those looking to do some advanced outdoor climbing can check out the Sourland Mountain Preserve straddling Somerset, Hunterdon and Mercer counties for bouldering and for rock climbing. They also can head to High Rocks State Park in Pipersville, Pennsylvania, and Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Kerhonkson, New York. She noted that options for outdoor rock climbing in New Jersey are fairly limited.

As the weather gets warmer, Warme recommended that those looking to do some advanced outdoor climbing can check out the Sourland Mountain Preserve straddling Somerset, Hunterdon and Mercer counties for bouldering and for rock climbing. They also can head to High Rocks State Park in Pipersville, Pennsylvania, and Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Kerhonkson, New York. She noted that options for outdoor rock climbing in New Jersey are fairly limited.

In the meantime, though, Cooper said, “You could be grabbing on to these icy rocks by rock climbing outdoors in the wintertime, which is very difficult. If you still want to do something physical and exciting, indoor rock climbing is a great fit.”

Rockville Climbing Center has rock walls of all types. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Michael Fortunato)

Rockville Climbing Center has rock walls of all types. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Michael Fortunato)

Rockville Climbing Center

Where: 200 Whitehead Road, Trenton

Cost: $18 for an adult day pass, $16 for children

Contact: 609-631-7625, rockvilleclimbing.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s