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Travel & Outdoors

A Guide To Indoor Rock Climbing In Philadelphia

January 14, 2011 9:00 AM

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(credit: www.upenn.edu)
There aren’t too many places in Philadelphia for indoor rock climbing, but there are still a great number of resources available for the adventurous to stretch their muscles a bit. 

Know Before You Go:

  • Facilities usually offer climbing equipment for a rental fee (shoes, harness, etc.)
  • Climbers are required to sign a waiver before gearing up and hitting the wall
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing makes climbing more comfortable
  • Trained staff will provide instruction and supervision to maintain a fun and safe environment
  • Classes for every aspect of climbing are available and can often be done in private
  • Most facilities have a day pass available if you’re not interested in membership

 

Go Vertical

950 North Penn Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 928-1800
www.govertical.com

Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

With nearly 14,000 square feet of textured wall, Go Vertical bills itself as the largest indoor rock climbing gym of its kind on the East Coast. The gym boasts 250 climbing routes, which changes weekly. Day passes start at $15 for adults and require climbers to have their own climbing buddy for unsupervised all-day climbing. Equipment rental ranges from $1-$6 for individual items, or $12 for the whole works. If you’re totally new to climbing, Go Vertical offers a 2-hour class for $65 as well as more focused courses for advanced climbers. If you want to make Go Vertical your go-to spot for indoor climbing, a membership (monthly @ $65, yearly @ $625) provides for unlimited gym use, private lessons and can get some of your friends a free day pass on their first visit.

 

Philadelphia Rock Gyms

E-520 122 Mill Road
Oaks, PA 19456
(610) 666-7673
www.philarockgym.com

Hours: Monday – Friday, 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Philadelphia Rock Gyms, similar to Go Vertical, claims to have dibs on the largest bouldering wall on the East Coast and a 12,000 square-foot climbing center and a slew of other features. A day pass is $17 (discounted Friday nights for students), the rental fee is $6 and multi-climb packages start at $35. Philadelphia Rock Gyms also offers instructional courses.

 

University Of Pennsylvania

David Pottruck Health and Fitness Center
3701 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-6100
www.upenn.edu/recreation

Hours: Specific to season,  see website for details

UPenn’s David Pottruck Health and Fitness Center offers a 40-foot wall for climbers of all skill levels and no membership is required to take advantage of the school’s facilities. A day pass is $5 while an annual climbing pass costs $100. Classes for all skill levels are also available starting at $40. In addition to classes, there are also certification courses for belaying, top rope belaying and lead climbing. Every November the university’s outdoor club hosts the Penn Pull Down Bouldering Competition for anyone interested and with $25 to spare.

 

Drexel University Recreation Center

3301 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 571-3777
www.drexel.edu/reccenter

Hours: Specific to season, see website for details

The climbing wall at Drexel Recreation Center is a great place for newbies and hardcore enthusiasts alike to climb some crag, but the facility is only available to students and members. Membership ranges from $50/weekly – $600/annually based on a single sing-up. Climbers and belayers are required to show their stuff before hitting the wall, and instructional classes as well as certification courses are available. Learn To Climb 2-hour classes are offered every week at $35 for non-student members.

Make It Social

The Philadelphia Rock Climbing Meetup Group has nearly 600 members who meet up regularly to hit the rock climbing gyms or get together to climb outdoors: www.meetup.com/rockclimbing-87

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