March 3, 2010 · 7:00 PM
SportRock - Alexandria
If you're new, welcome to the group! If you're not, welcome back! The location: The gym is a short walk from the Van Dorn metro station. It's next to a group of car repair shops. If the shops are closed - and they usually are at night - you can park in their spaces. There is also overflow parking available in the Carrier HVAC business next door on weeknights and weekends For those who are belay certified: (if you know how to belay but haven't been belay certified 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 fail, you can try again the next time you visit the gym.) Tell the gym staff you are with the climbing Meetup group and they will discount the day pass price to $14 (the normal 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. Once you are set with the front desk come find me. If you can’t find me please ask one of the staff members to point out me or a member of the Meetup group. For those who are new to climbing: SportRock's "Basic Skills" class is the best way to learn how to climb safely. 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. The next time you visit the gym they will make you take the belay test to make sure you remembered what you learned in the class and can belay safely. Don’t worry though, if you take the class and practice belaying a bit afterward, you should have the necessary skills mastered. After your class is over come find me in the gym and I will introduce you to the rest of the group. We will have another 2 hours to climb but feel free to leave when you get tired. 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.