Weekly THURSDAY At Sportrock Sterling

If you've never climbed before, YES, it's OK to join us. (That's the #1 question I get asked, so I thought I'd get it out of the way first.)

Cost: If you're not a Sportrock member the cost for a day pass is $18. You will also need to rent climbing shoes and a harness ($10 for both) if you don't have your own gear.

For those who are new to climbing: SportRock's "Basic Skills" class is the best way to learn the basics of climbing, namely how to "belay" another climber. Belaying refers to the technique(s) used to exert friction on the climbing rope so the climber doesn't fall very far. SportRock charges $25 for the class which includes gear rental and an all-day gym pass. The class starts at 7pm and usually takes 2 hours. Sign up on the SportRock website. Then, after your class is over, you can climb with us if you're not too tired. If you don't know how to belay and don't take the class, you are still welcome to come climb with us. We're happy to belay you at your first one or two events.

For experienced climbers: If you know how to belay but haven't been belay checked at a Sportrock gym, ask one of the staff members to test you when you first arrive. There's no charge for taking the belay test. If you pass, they'll give you a pink laminated belay card to wear on your harness so everyone knows you're OK to belay. If you fail, you can try again the next time you visit the gym.

About the group: The Meetup group consists of members of all skill levels and abilities. We are a friendly bunch of enthusiastic climbers who enjoy the physical and social aspects of climbing. When you are a part of the group you will always have a climbing partner as well as a fellow climber who might just know the special technique or trick to help you get past that difficult climbing problem.

What to bring: This is *indoor* climbing, so dress for the gym, not the mountains. If you wear shorts, you may want them at least mid-thigh in length so the harness straps won't be on your bare skin (though it isn't really a problem if you wear short shorts). There are locker rooms to change in and cubbys to store your stuff. I recommend you also bring a water bottle, but the gym does have a water fountain and they sell drinks.

One final note: Your forearms will be really sore the next day since holding onto the wall uses muscles that you don't normally exercise. Don't worry: once you've been to the gym a few times, those muscles will get used to it and soon you won't even notice.

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  • Quinn

    Hi, I'm new, but I'm planning to come tonight! I haven't climbed in years, so I'll try to take the belay test first...

    May 9, 2013

    • Quinn

      Actually, I signed up for the basic skills class. But I'll look for you, Tim, and introduce myself.

      May 9, 2013

    • Tim F.

      Good idea, I wouldn't be comfortable having you belay me without someone looking you over first. Come and find me once you finish the class, you're allowed to belay people that night.

      May 9, 2013

  • Tim F.

    I'll be there at the normal time, 7:30. I'll probably do some bouldering but if anyone else is coming last minute, please rsvp so I know to stick around.

    May 9, 2013

  • Tom

    I will be there from 6-11pm. If anyone from this group wants to join in, just ask the front desk for direction to Tom Laretto. The more the Merrier.

    May 9, 2013

    • Tom

      Nvm, sorry. I spoke too soon. Friend just passed away, will not make it tonight. will be there next week def.

      May 9, 2013

  • Adam M.

    I won't be able to make it but if others want to still go you can use this comments section to coordinate finding each other.

    May 5, 2013

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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