45935 Maries Rd, Sterling, VA
Welcome to the Tuesday Sterling Sportrock Weekly Meetup Page!
This group is designed for both new and veteran climbers who are looking for climbing partners at Sportrock Sterling on Tuesday nights.
Find details below, and don't hesitate to join in if you need a top rope, lead belay, or just want some company to climb with.
When you show up, just ask the front desk to point you towards Tom. (or an assistant host if Tom is not present).
Please come say "hi" even if you don't intend to climb directly with the group this time. You may want to meet us so you will feel more comfortable joining us again in the future.
Tuesday night is also slackline night at Sterling SR. The slackline gets set up at 8:00. Its a flat line that gets set up between two of the bouldering walls, and is a bit like tightrope walking with a little less tension. It takes a bit of patience and persistance, but everyone can get into it if you have the desire and willpower. I will probably be hopping on it at some point during each weeknight (depending on who I am with, I won't be abandoning climbing with anyone who does not want to try). I will be offering advice and tips for those newcomers who desire to get good at it.
Come out and have fun! All are welcome.
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. (Tom does however have a spare harness, so if he is present, check in with him before renting gear and he may be able to help you)
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 when they let go of the wall. SportRock charges $30 for the class (or $24 if you are a member) 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 few 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: If you are not used to climbing, 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.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them in the comment section below!