Weekly TUESDAY At Sportrock

  • September 4, 2012 · 7:30 PM
  • SportRock - Alexandria

If you're new, welcome to the group! If you're not, welcome back!

Directions & Parking: 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.

Cost: 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 us. If you can’t find us, please ask one of the staff members to point out 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. 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, we're still happy to belay you your first time.

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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  • A former member
    A former member

    Apparently I missed the RSVP window, but I'll be heading over tonight!

    September 4, 2012

  • Stephanie P.

    For those of you that don't know me, I will be wearing a dark blue tank and black yoga capris. I have a purple harness with a meetup tag on it and will have a meetup sign. See you soon!

    September 4, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey- where do you guys usually meet, at the front or the cubbies?

    September 3, 2012

    • Stephanie P.

      Hey Sarah - we usually meet at the front by the TV with the slideshow of SR advertisements. By all of the chairs and the glass showcase.

      September 3, 2012

  • Adam M.

    There is no charge to take the belay test, but if you've never used an ATC, you may want to take Sportrock's "Beginner Skills" class. The cost for the class isn't much more than the cost for a day pass plus shoes and harness rental (which are included in the class fee). Check their website for the schedule. I believe it usually starts at 7pm.

    September 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Katy, I was climbing at a couple of gyms out west before I went to sportrock, and the main difference I noticed is that they require you to do a safety knot when you test to climb, whereas I never had to do that at any of my former gyms, also make sure to rope in through both sections of the harness

    September 3, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Okay, great. Thanks!

      September 3, 2012

  • Adam M.

    Hi Katy. For the belay test, Sportrock requires you to use an ATC-style belay device (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belay_device#Tubular_devices). If you pass the belay test with that device, you can then use whatever device you want (e.g. Gri-Gri, Mammut Smart, figure 8, Munter hitch).

    September 3, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Oh, okay! Thanks for the link. Does the belay test cost anything? I have never used an ATC-style device, so I would need them to show me

      September 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Quick question, I have been to rock gyms before while living in TX but I have never been to Sportrock. From what I read, their belay devices sound different from what I have used, so do I have to take a class to learn to belay that way? Does it cost money? Thanks!

    September 3, 2012

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