January 30, 2010 · 11:00 AM
SportRock - Alexandria
Hello all! Katie here with a Saturday meetup. We're going to hit the walls a bit early, hopefully before all of the crowds arrive at the gym. In my opinion, climbing is the ideal way to start the weekend! I'd prefer for this meetup if the attendees are at least top-rope belay certified at Sportrock so that we can all spend more time climbing. However, if you are new to the sport/gym and feeling the urge to climb, please come join us anyway! I'll plan on being at the gym for 3-4 hours, so if coming later works better for you, indicate that on your RSVP. Cost: Normal day pass- $18** Climbing shoes and harness rental- $6.50 **If you tell the staff you are with the Meetup group, they will usually discount the day pass price to the member-guest price of $14 Gym Info: The gym is a short walk from the Van Dorn metro station. There is also sufficient parking; look for extra spaces around the back of the building if the spots near the entrance are full. Check http://www.sportrock.... for more details. Bouldering and rope climbing are both available at Sportrock. Bouldering requires only shoes and a chalk bag and involves climbing up a 10-16 ft wall under the protection of crash pads and a spotter. Rope climbing requires that you tie into a harness with a rope and have another person belay you as you climb up a 25-43 ft wall. There are both top-roping and sport leading available at Sportrock. If you have not been to the gym before, you will need to sign a waiver. No matter how long you have been climbing, you will still need to pass Sportrock's belay test to be allowed to tie-in yourself and belay other people. Top-rope belaying and sport lead belaying are two separate tests so be sure to specify the test you'd like to take. If you do not know how to belay and tie-in with the rope, find a belay-certified Meetup member with a pink or green certification card and have them tie you in and belay you. This Meetup group is quite generous, so you will most likely have people offering to belay you. If you want to learn how to tie your own knots and top-rope belay other people, you can take Sportrock's Basic Skills course. The course lasts for one hour and costs $25. Tips: Wear clothes that won't restrict your movement; think about something you would wear to yoga. This is indoor climbing, so the gym can get quite warm especially after your first climb. Avoid short shorts, because they tend to be uncomfortable with the harness. To prevent scraping your knees against the wall, I highly recommend longer shorts or pants that cover the knees. There is a water fountain next to the new 45 degree bouldering area, so having a water bottle around is handy but not necessary. If you have any questions at all, just send me a message and I will be happy to help. Climb on!