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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
New Climbing Gym In Coburg 22-Jun-2015 At 4:02:52 PM ldshield
I don't know a heap about the economics of the outdoor industry, but I suspect that a climbing gym focussed solely on 'high-end' climbers would sooner or later go broke. (For the purposes of the exercise let's say that 'high-end climbers' are, say, people who can lead and/or top-rope grade 20 and over). High-end climbers are probably regulars, and no doubt support gyms a lot, but I doubt it's a sufficiently large community by itself to support five or six gyms across Melbourne. It's probably school groups during the day (when most of us never see them) and children's birrthday parties on weekends that keep that many gyms solvent. If gyms focused solely on 'higher-end' climbing they'd be more expensive and there'd be fewer of them (and thus harder for many of us to get to). Having easier indoor climbs also helps introduce more people, particular younger people, to the sport. That benefits all of us through a better range of better-priced gear and more people to climb with; we don't want indoor climbing to become an obscure niche activity like curling, croquet, or trugo. [Disclaimer: I am a terrible climber and if I've finished a 13 I consider it a successful outing].

I agree strongly that at least some of the staff should actually be qualified climbers. I always get a little nervous when I reflect on the likelihood (or otherwise) of timely professional assistance if I got snagged halfway up a climb for some reason.

I think individual routes should be there for long enough that you have an opportunity to work on them to improve. There are one or two at Hard Rock that I have worked on as small projects, and knowing how long I had to complete the project would be good. It would be awful to be nearly finished something you'd been working on for a while, and then come in one day to find that the route had been reset. If there's going to be frequent route changes, I think having a clear expiry date would be nice.

My personal request would be for one or two routes which have really big, easy holds all the way to the top, like a ladder. One reason I climb is to address my fear of heights, and the quicker I can get up high without needing great technique the better. I have no idea how realistic it is, but in winter an area for dry-tooling (or some simulation thereof) might also be nice.

Speaking of ladders, I really love the climbing rope and rope ladder at Cliffhanger. The last thing my wife and I do before going home at the end of a Cliffhanger outing is always climb the ladder to see how high we can get. Having things that require climbing but are not actually a climbing route with holds, such as free-hanging ropes, ladders, or maybe something with climbable shelves protruding from the wall, would add interest and variety.

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