Friday, December 30, 2011

Earth Treks Rockville expansion

After months of following the updates, and a little over a week since it became official, this afternoon I finally got a chance to check out Earth Treks' newly expanded Rockville gym.  While I normally wouldn't write about visits to climbing gyms, I was way too impressed to not say something about this one!  I remember on previous visits already feeling like it was a large facility, but with the total area now at an unbelievable 38,500 square feet, the old section of the gym actually felt small.  No big shock, considering it's currently the largest climbing gym in the nation.

Note: this is only the new half of the gym
But while the size is impressive, what really sold me on the gym was the features of the walls.  I've always enjoyed Rockville's gently flowing angles, and the new sections are no different.  One of my favorites, called the Reactor Wall, makes a smooth transition from slab to overhang, and has beautiful hand cracks on either side.

Directly opposite this is a wall dedicated mainly to lead climbing, with another slightly overhung crack at the far right end, moving from (for me) slightly wide hands to thin fingers and back again to hands.  Very nicely made, and the routes using the crack (set at the moment by Jason Kehl) were equally brilliant.

The gym also had the steepest lead wall I've ever seen, with even the juggiest route earning a 5.11c rating if I remember correctly.

The great features weren't just limited to the routes... the massive bouldering cave had some pretty exciting terrain as well.  I didn't get a chance to boulder too much, but made sure to do at least one problem on the "Death Star" and on the large central overhang, and can't wait to go back for more.

Congrats to Earth Treks on such fantastic work!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

made it there myself yesterday - it is pretty awesome. --don

Post a Comment