If you’re looking to lose weight and gain strength but loathe going to the gym, go rock climbing. Don’t weather the weather, check out DC’s climbing gyms that promise to improve your flexibility, agility and balance while they challenge your brain.
315 G St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20003
Price: free; safety skills class $20
Hours: Mon to Fri – 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
With more than 1,200 square feet of climbing surface, including a 40-foot-high climbing section, nobody gets bored with rock climbing at Results Gym. Results requires a safety check prior to your rock climbing expedition, but experienced rock climbers may arrange a safety check evaluation with gym staff. Those who are new to rock climbing, however, must sign up for the one-hour safety class. The class discusses climbing safety, proper gear usage and reviews the basics of rock climbing.
Sportrock Climbing Center
5308 Eisenhower Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22304
Price: $18 daily rental for guests/$10 for kids 12 and younger/$14 members’ guests
Hours: Mon to Fri – 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat and Sun members only – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Learn how to climb both indoors and outdoors at the Sportrock Climbing Center in Alexandria. The facility offers a wide variety of classes from beginner lessons all the way to advanced fast-forward classes that combine educational material with specific rock-climbing exercises. Sportrock Climbing Center provides 18,000 square feet of climbing space with wall heights ranging from 12 to 40 feet tall. Guests may boulder, top-rope or lead climb. The facility also offers CrossFit, yoga and Zumba classes Monday through Thursday nights.
725 Rockville Park
Rockville, MD 20852
Price: $20 day pass; membership and other options available
Hours: Mon – 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Tues to Thurs – 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Fri – 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sat – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. November to March or 9 p.m. to 6 p.m. April to October; Sun – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Known as the largest indoor rock climbing facility in the country, Earth Treks offers its guests more than 38,500 square feet of rock-climbing space. Beginners and experienced rock climbers alike will appreciate the wide variety of climbing surfaces available, with each surface and course designed to help everyone develop and grow their rock climbing skills. The facility also features an extra-large bouldering cave, locker rooms, more than 200 top-rope climbs, a fitness gear shop and a fitness area.
Vertical Rock Indoor Climbing Center
10225 Nokesville Rd.
Manassas, VA 20110
Price: $18 one-day pass
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri – 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
New to the Manassas area, the Vertical Rock Indoor Climbing Center provides walls more than 50-feet tall, more than 50 top-rope routes, a 100-foot arch and roof climb plus bouldering areas and plenty of lead-only routes. Sign up for one of many rock climbing classes or join one of the programs, including climber fit, which combines exercise with rock climbing. The facility also offers strength and cardio equipment, a state-of-the-art yoga room, a retail store and a members-only lounge with free Wi-Fi.
City of Rockville Climbing Gym
860 Avery Ln.
Rockville, MD 20851
Price: $10 per climber
Hours: Tues and Thurs – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Grab the kids and head over to the City of Rockville Climbing Gym where all rock climbing gear, including a harness, shoes and a chalk bag, and the climbing itself costs $10. For those new to rock climbing, this gym also provides rock-climbing classes for children and adults. While the kids learn the basics of rock climbing, parents and guardians learn how to belay. The adult class also teaches how to put on the harness and tie the rope properly. The facility is also available for private events, such as birthday and office parties. Though the facility is a bit small, with walls going about 20-feet high, it is the perfect setting for those new to rock climbing.
Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.