Are you a Cleveland hiker looking for another way to test your strength and stamina? Consider a trip to the Cleveland Rock Gym, where you can either hone your climbing skills or discover them for the first time. Outdoor climbing areas in Cleveland are scarce, to say the least. The highest point in all of Ohio is the 1,549-foot Campbell Hill, located in the city of Bellefontaine. The Cleveland Rock Gym (located at 21200 St. Clair Avenue, Building B3, Euclid, Ohio) is one site where you can get the experience of an outdoor climb without a long drive. Check the gym out online at www.clevelandrockgym.com.There are three areas in the gym:
- Top Rope Area: The main part of the gym, featuring walls 30 feet high. These walls require a belayer.
- Bouldering Area: A smaller section of the gym with twelve foot walls, available to climbers without ropes. Recommended for advanced climbers.
- Weight and Exercise Areas: Non-climbing areas where you can use lifting machines and free weights. Yoga classes are regularly held here in the enclosed exercise area.
Experienced climbers are welcome to come in at any time (the gym is open from 4pm-10pm on weekdays and noon-6pm on the weekends, so there’s plenty of time to work it into your schedule). Those who have not climbed before are recommended to make a reservation for the all-ages, 2-hour class “Introduction to Climbing.” In this course, instructors will help to safely harness for you and then belay for you. More advanced courses are available for those who want to learn how to belay and climb on their own. The ability to belay is necessary if you want access to the climbing walls on your own, and is also useful if you want to eventually go climbing outdoors.Cleveland Rock Gym has a Facebook page if you’re interested in getting a better sense of the spirit of the place (as well as meeting other interested climbers). If you’re attracted to the social aspect of hiking, this is a great way to get to try something new with your hiking buddies while also meeting new people. You may find yourself making the gym a regular part of your routine, in which case you can purchase multi-visit punch passes or monthly or yearly memberships. There are even family memberships for the family (up to 4 immediate family members) that wants to climb together.