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downshift


Nov 19, 2001, 8:23 PM
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Thoughts on the climbing gyms of Ontario  (North_America: United_States: Wyoming: Western_Wy_: Upper_Bridge_Bands: Hideout_Wall)
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Hey I've been discussing this a lot with my climbing partners and we seem to have heard a lot of altering opinion about gyms in our area so I was wondering what people think of the Southern Ontario gyms. Winter is about to hit and I wouldn't mind some variety. Not that it counts for much I'll give my opinions.

Gyms I've been to:

Joe Rockheads (T.O.) - Clean, with an decent bouldering area plenty of routes. I find they rate their climbs a little higher than they are and it can get really busy on weekends and evening. If you can go in the afternoon its pretty peaceful. It feels like climbing in a Sears for some reason.

The Rock Oasis (T.O.) - Tall climbs, that's cool. Really friendly atmosphere. The only real downside to it is their climate control and its really cramped.

Gravity (Hamilton) - It's my home gym so I guess I kinda biased about it. I like it. Bouldering room could be better though.

Guelph Grotto (Guelph) - I always heard mixed things about this gym and I was up in Guelph last weekend and went. I really like it, friendly staff, decent routes and really interesting bouldering caves. It's a bit on the small side but, they make good use of their space.

Gyms I haven't been to and don't go to because of what I hear. Are the rumors true?

Toronto Climbing Academy (T.O.) - I hear it's busy and there are no intermediate routes.

Of Rock and Chalk (Newmarket) - I keep hearing its pretty run down.

Peak Climbing Gym (St. Catharines) - I've just heard bad things...

Clarkson Rock (Mississauga) - I have never heard a thing about this gym I wouldn't mind hearing some info about it.

I apologize if I bashed anyone local gym. That is not the intention of this post.



[ This Message was edited by: downshift on 2001-11-19 20:26 ]


kriso9tails


Nov 19, 2001, 8:44 PM
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Gravity is my home gym as well. It would be so much better if Ried weren't such a slacker , but the new wall and potential bouldering area are really nice. The route setting and variety is also improving.

I have been to most of the local gyms. Of the ones that you listed, but haven't been to.

TCA is nice, clean, and the Pyramide stuff is really cool, but the service is really bad. I've heard several people complain about the owner.

Of Rock and Chalk is fairly nice but the owner was being a real jerk and pissed me off quite abit (maybe he was just having a bad day). The rest of the staff was super friendly. The set up makes good use of small space and the routes were pretty decent.

Peaks... it was alright. I just went for a small comp. The gym's not very large, but the people seemed friendly and easy going. I found the comp routes a little wierd, but it could have just been me.

I've never heard of Clarkson Rock...

I've been to several others that were'nt mentioned but I don't feel like writing anymore.





c_plante


Nov 20, 2001, 8:37 PM
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I've only been to 2 indoor gyms, gravity and joe rockheads.

Gravity: Could use some better a/c in the summer time, kinda hot when you reach the top, a good variety of climbs, especially for me since the toughest I've climbed is a 5.8 (so far ) Prices seem kind of high, but I'm poor, and I've only been to one other gym. I wish the bouldering area was more varied.

Gravity is my home gym.

Joe Rockheads: Downshift is right, it's like climbing in a sears. Very spacious and comfortable, nice squishee floors that you can fall on without worry. A monstrous variety of climbs, I really like the bouldering area. But the 5.7 I climbed felt like a 5.5- or less. The climbs aren't as high as gravity, but they do have several multi pitch routes that are really tough. And a few sloper walls that are cool. One day I'll climb them...

Of the two I prefer gravity simply because they have tougher longer routes, and I'll have to push myself harder to get to the top. Downshift is right, Gravity gets you ready for the outdoors, while Rockheads gets you ready for more indoor gyms.


Partner missedyno


Nov 21, 2001, 2:52 PM
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Rockheads in Toronto is really like climbing in sears. not sure why i agree, it just seems right.
rockheads climbs are usually pretty fluid and technically friendly.

oasis is great for height, but it does get kind of congested.
climbs are pumpy, especially if you're a bit shorter than giant.

rockheads also has a markham location. very small, but you can lead climb the ceiling. climbs are graded a lot harder than the toronto location.


krillen


Nov 21, 2001, 3:08 PM
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Gravity is my home gym, too. The routsetting is getting better recently, and tends to lead towards more technical climbing.

Rockheads in TO has a great bouldering section, and I have to pretty much echo whath the others have said. The one thing it excels in is harder lead stuff. Gravity lacks lead stuff that is over 12- (not that I climb it). this due mainly to harder leaders migrating to Rockheads. Rockheads has a great leading section with soem hard hard routes. the rest is pretty under graded.

Vertical Reality (I think that was the name) in Ottawa was pretty good. Decent bouldering area, and the TR section was slightly cramped, but the lead area was phenominal! you can climb up one side, across the roof, and down the other wall. It's built in an old Mill or Hydro plant of sorts, the lead routes are approx 60' up one side. The routes tend to be reachy, and the holds get pretty grimy. I did enjoy it though


downshift


Nov 21, 2001, 4:34 PM
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C_p:
Quote:Downshift is right, Gravity gets you ready for the outdoors, while Rockheads gets you ready for more indoor gyms.

I'm flattered with the above but what I really meant to say is Gravity gets me ready for the bar. It's vary rare that you acknowledge my correctness, I'll have to mark this day on my calender.


[ This Message was edited by: downshift on 2001-11-21 16:36 ]


krillen


Nov 21, 2001, 4:52 PM
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well if it helps, you are both wrong. just wrong...just because....


c_plante


Nov 22, 2001, 1:46 AM
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Downshift:

I only did that 'cause you're scoring me a game Although I sometimes blackout with hard drinking, and since that's what we like to do after a long climb it's probably why I forgot to mention it...

What was I talking about?


sparker


Nov 24, 2001, 6:01 PM
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I've spent time in Waterloo for university (Wilfrid Laurier) and climbed at Higher Ground/Sportsworld. Route setting was good, one problem is that they have packed a lot of climbs into a small space so the routes tend to be narrow and sometimes overlap at the bottom. You could also find a bouldering route put up with taped holds on the middle of the wall. Climate control and floors were good. I don’t boulder much but I think the cave at sportsworld is the best I’ve seen. It is much better then Gravity and Rockheads. (I have not been to sportsworld in over a year so things may have changed)

I currently live in Hamilton and climb at Gravity. It is by far my favourite gym. Great routes, atmosphere, members and staff. It does get hot in the summer but that’s when I’m outside so it doesn’t bother me much.


c_plante


Dec 5, 2001, 3:08 PM
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Sparker: Is higher ground worth a road trip?


sparker


Dec 5, 2001, 3:25 PM
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Yes, Higher Ground is worth a road trip. I think the phone number is 519 650 4487. Gravity is better but Higher Ground is good for a change.

Let me know when you are going. I'm easy to recognize, my hair is currently blond with candy cane shapes in it.


downshift


Dec 10, 2001, 4:41 PM
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Sparker,

I keep meaning to get up to Higher Ground in Kitchener me being UW Alumni and all. Hopefully, I get the crew on a road trip out there. We've just been recently hitting the Grotto in Guelph a lot since its really quiet and has some decent problems.


c_plante


Dec 10, 2001, 8:56 PM
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Apparently there are a few indoor climbing gyms in London too. I have yet to confirm this and I have this info on heresay alone, I'll work to confirm over the next few days, however if anyone knows for certain please reply.


sparker


Dec 11, 2001, 12:56 PM
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Years ago I climbed at a gym in London called Adventure Connection. It is now closed.

I heard that "Spikes indoor volleyball(?)" has a wall with a few lines. I don't think this is a "real" gym.


c_plante


Dec 11, 2001, 1:06 PM
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According to Canada411.com there's a Spikes Indoor Rock Climbing Gym Inc Phone: (519)673-6847


120 Weston, London, ON N6C 1R4

Is that it?


downshift


Dec 11, 2001, 2:18 PM
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Ok here is my understanding of the London area. There are two climbing walls:

1) Spikes, as c_plante mentioned which is just a climbing wall with 16 routes.
www.spikes.on.ca

2) Intencity www.eastparkgolf.com/rockclimbing.htm

Both of these are just amusement park walls so I don't imagine them to be very good.


c_plante


Dec 11, 2001, 3:13 PM
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Thanks downshift, I'm told that the spikes place has corporate type stuff mostly.

christian


frogirl


Jan 4, 2002, 11:43 PM
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I live in London and would like to add my 2 cents.

Spikes:it started as just beach volleyball but about a year ago they added rock climbing along one wall.Not much, but they've got some good problems and great staff(talk to talonsofsteel, he works there).
Eastpark:Mainly set up so that 8 year olds can pay $5 to climb up once with a member of the staff belaying them.Like someone said, it's an amusement park.
Neither of these are really gyms.Hope I answered some questions!:)
By the way, is it fair to say that Gravity is your favorite?


c_plante


Jan 5, 2002, 6:42 AM
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I'd say that gravity is my fav.


downshift


Jan 6, 2002, 7:30 AM
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My favorite... Hard to say. It's a toss up between Gravity (since it is my home gym) and the Grotto (which is small quite and Tranquil). But, Rockheads and Oasis has it merits. So come to think of it I guess my favorite gym depend on what mood I'm in.


c_plante


Jan 8, 2002, 11:34 PM
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I think that the grotto would be nicer if they'd clean their holds


stewbing


Jan 9, 2002, 6:56 AM
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Here are a few thoughts on this topic. The Grotto is a good gym with nice intermediate to advanced climbs. I found that when I just started they had a lot of mid range climbs that allowed me to improve while feeling like I accomplished a lot by finishing the climbs. The Grotto can get very busy but hey that's great from our climbing community right!! And yes sometimes the climate control is a little off, and the staff are great.

The Boiler Room in Kingston, a lot of varitey in the climbs, not very long though except for a 100 foot chimney climb, I think the highest indoor climb in Ontario, kind nice to get that high indoors and worth a visit if you're in the Kingston area.

Higher Ground, by far my favorite gym, big enough to give you a lot of variety in climbs, but small enough to make it feel intimate enough to get to know all the regular climbers. Their route setting is great, both for routes and bouldering (kudos to Zach, Chris, Harry and others). I would suggest to anyone that is in the area to come to Higher Ground, Day passes are available at a good price.

my thoughts


jarek


Jan 9, 2002, 12:39 PM
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c_plante

I don't understand what your beef with the Grotto is? It's a well run gym with good, CLEAN holds. If youre complaining about the amount of chalk on the holds I suggest you invest in a brush, but really the amount of chalk on the holds is average for an indoor climbing gym.

jarek


c_plante


Jan 14, 2002, 2:54 PM
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When we were at the grotto again on the weekend I got a really good look at the holds, and the route that I was complaining about was gone. I didn't say that I hated the grotto, only that some of the routes were dirty. I do like their routes though, they're rated harder than I'm used to and that's okay. I'm also a growing fan of the squishy floors. But I really believe that the grotto has the best bouldering area that I've seen so far, not counting the glen of course.



kriso9tails


Jan 15, 2002, 3:47 PM
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Higher Ground is an odd place. I haven't been there in a while, but I remember there being no real climbers around. The place is really pretty, but the route setting was no good. These things could have easily changed since I last visited, but due to its direct surroundings I somehow doubt that.

On the plus side, the bouldering cave is great. It even has a semi-hidden make-out section.

Oh yeah, they also used to have a small competition that was really cool. The rowts were really nice when they were set for the comp.

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