At nearly every climbing gym in the world you are bound to find some sort of competitive event. Some gyms keep them local, sporatically holding smaller comps that welcome their climbing community through there doors for a day full of fun and healthy competition. Some gyms take it to a global level, opening their doors to climbers from all over the country and the world to come in and test themselves against the best on routes and boulders that baffle the imagination. Bodies fly through the air with the greatest of ease, latching on to a climbing hold placed perfectly on the wall. Everything is designed down to the finest detail to make climbers push their limits to hold on til the very end until a king and queen are announced.
More and more, these competitions are gaining the momentum as a spectator sport, with vendors, lights, music and festivities to draw in a crowd from all over. MetroRock Climbing Centers is no exception. For years we've been perfecting the art of holding world class competitions, from fun comps like the Blackout Boulder Brawl, where climbers enter a different world of climbing under the blacklights with enough neon colors to make the 80's envious, to the Dark Horse Bouldering Series that over the last 2 years has grown into an international sensation. With hundreds of competitors and just as many spectators busting through the seams, we saw a perfect opportunity to give back to the climbing community.
We are proud to announce that at every climbing competition held at MetroRock Climbing Centers, a portion of every entrance fee will go to Urban Peaks, an organization dedicated to bring the sport of climbing to disadvantaged and underrepresented youth.
Here is a list of some upcoming competitions at MetroRock Climbing Centers:
We are very sad to announce that Walter Bonatti, the Italian mountaineer, author and inspiration to a generation of climbers, passed away after a long bout with cancer. His life was filled with daring ascents of some of the world’s most formidable peaks. As an Alpinist and later as a travel journalist, he was an inspiration for a generation of climbers.
His checklist includes first ascents of Gasherbrum IV, solo ascents (during winter) of several peaks in the Alps, exploration of the Andes and his controversial role in the first ascent of K2. After retiring from climbing with the first solo winter trip up the Matterhorn’s north face, Bonatti turned to journalism. For the next several decades, he traveled the world, chronicling his adventures for Italian magazines and writing several books about his exploits. Most notable would be “Mountains of my Life,” which is highly recommended if you’d like to learn more about this man and his remarkable life.
Hang out in the living room of any hardcore climber and amidst the random rope coils, ‘biners and trad gear littering the area you’ll probably find a few climbing video cases lying about. Catch the climber relaxing at home and you may even find him or her kicked back on the couch, beer in hand, empty burrito foil on a plate in front and one of these videos playing on the screen. Climbing “porn” as they are commonly known, are videos featuring climbers around the world performing sick sends, wicked falls, random exploits and general mischief for your entertainment. They are the perfect inactive rest for climbers, a chance to sit on one’s butt and stare at a screen while still engaged in a climbing activity.
These videos range from the roughly edited home version found all over the web to the slickly produced feature length of the sort seen at film festivals like the Reel Rock Tour or the Banff Mountain Film Fest. Whatever the quality and whether you watch it in a theatre or on the couch in your undies, climbers love the way these videos get them stoked for climbing and getting out there in the world to visit new crags, reach new heights and get to know their idols a little better. They serve as travelogues, advertisements for the climbing areas, character studies and pure comedy. Some will appeal only to the grimiest dirtbagger with years of experience while others can keep even your non-climber friends enraptured. No matter the format or topic, climbing videos are a fun way to spend some downtime or just to get your fix when real climbing isn’t an option.
As a climbing center, MetroRock offers a variety of programs designed to teach, train and develop climbers so they can reach their greatest potential and enjoy all the benefits of the sport. Even though we are one of the largest gyms in the area, we hope that you take the sport outside and enjoy the natural beauty that climbing offers in New England and around the world. However, when taking this step, it is important to remember that the impact of human activity on such places can be devastating. Indiscriminate use by climbers can devastate plant and creature habitats if we’re not careful. Even if your primary goal is sending the climb, the basic rules for all who venture out into the great outdoors apply to you as well.
Recently, we were notified that a group of climbers from the Boston area were spotted at Maine’s Shagg Crag behaving badly and ignoring all the local and common sense rules of camping. They built fires in a restricted zone, burned their trash and camped directly at the crag instead of at an appropriate campsite away from common areas. As representatives of the Boston climbing community, we feel it is very important to address the issue and make it clear that we don’t condone such behavior nor is it in line with the spirit of climbing and outdoors adventure that we foster. If you are one of the people involved in this incident, we hope you are properly shamed into changing your ways—your behavior ruined the experience for others and was an insult to the locals who cherish the crag.
To beat the summer heat, some people barricade themselves inside the house and stand motionless in front of the air conditioner vent. Today's offer gives you a good reason to get out and get physical, while steering clear of the sun's wrath. Pay $129 for a 10-Visit punch card with equipment rental to MetroRock Rock Climbing Centers, a $262 value.
Hone your climbing skills and ascend new heights at one of MetroRock's state-of-the-art facilities featuring professionally-designed climbing structures and bouldering areas - for those of us who like to stay closer to the ground. With a comprehensive variety of routes, climbers of all levels can show off their mad mountaineering skills, not to mention their midair victory dances upon reaching the tippity top. Rock Climbing is not only great for character building, but it's a super strength-training workout too. And unlike weightlifting or stationary cycling, rock-climbing really takes you places.
Besides free-climbing, MetroRock also offers expert instruction for all levels of climbers - from beginner to boulder-bashing. To climb on ropes you must have Toprope or Lead Belaying certification (which is not included in this offer). Please contact either MetroRock location for information on how to get your certification.
As you may have heard, Petzl has issued a recall for a large number of the GRIGRI 2s that were released earlier this year. The recall has been made to address a potential fault with the brake.
This device has been for sale at both MetroRock locations. As soon as we heard about the issue, we pulled the product from our gear shops. We cannot say for certain if we sold any of the GRIGRI 2s in question but chances are we have.
We understand there are a lot of questions out there regarding the recall. We’d like to help you get the information you need.
First off, here’s Petzl’s official site with the information you need for technical specs and information on getting yours replaced. It’s very thorough and you can submit a question to them directly if you can’t find what you need.
To help sort through all the details, we’ve summarized the information for you in an FAQ format:
Are all GRIGRI 2s being recalled? What about the original?
The original GRIGRI is still fine to use. Not all GRIGRI 2s are affected, you need to check your serial number to find out.
How do I know if mine needs to be returned?
Those GRIGRI 2s with the first 5 digits of the serial number falling between 10326 and 11136 have the potential to fail. The range of serial numbers includes all colors. You can find the serial number here:
Great news! The Rumney Guide will soon be available on your smartphone. The new iPhone app (android version coming later,) developed by Cambridge-based Alpinewerx, will help newbies and veterans alike better navigate the vast climbing area with Interactive maps, route descriptions and other perks. Basically, the whole print version will be in the app plus a bunch of enhancements, including:
- more pictures of the routes and walls, including route info superimposed on actual photos of the rock.
- full topo map of the mountain to help you find your crag. With cell reception, you'll be able to interact via gps to figure out where you are.
- search function allowing you to find climbs by grade or cliff.
Update: The full version of the app will be on sale for $19.99 and include every climb, every cliff and all the perks. A portion of the sale will go to the Rumney Climbers Association, which is dedicated to preserving the climbing area. So while it may cost more than the average app, it's still less expensive than the book and you support a worthy cause.
A free version, covering only three crags on the mountain will be available for the skeptics out there. However, given what the developers at Alpinewerx have done with the iphone apps for Joshua Tree and Red River Gorge, you'll want the full version. For more info on the app and the developers, check them out on Facebook or twitter.
A short while ago, I was talking with a climber who was new to the gym, having just moved to Boston from Spain. We were having some fun with the language barrier in terms of climbing gear (not usually part of foreign language study) and when it came to shoes, she called them "pies de gato," or "cat's feet." I fell in love with the phrase and wanted to adopt it here in the US but I couldn't get it to catch on. I guess climbers are mostly
No matter what you call them, good shoes are the most basic tools in the climber's toolkit. Whether you're on boulders, top rope or a multi-day ascent of El Cap, you're going to want a pair of good climbing shoes to help you get to the top. Shoes have evolved over the years from leather boots to soft-soled tennis shoes to the purpose built rubber soled shoes we wear today. As the sport developed, so did the gear but the essence of climbing is the same. See the pic below of Royal Robbins, one of the pioneers at Yosemite in the mid 20th century. The boots he’s wearing are far from what we’d consider typical climbing shoes today.
It’s Springtime and climbers everywhere are planning their trips for the summer season and setting their eyes on certain goals and projects. It’s time to dust off your gear, book the campsite and ask the boss for time off. Though all this planning and sorting, it can be easy to forget that the most important part of climbing isn’t the gear, the roadmaps or the vacation time, it’s your abilities as a climber.
When you get down to it, it’s really just you and the rock. The simplicity of that equation is the essence of why we climb and what draws us out to the crags every weekend and the gym during the week. The fact is, the rock isn’t going to get any easier to climb so reaching those goals comes down to what you can do as a climber. However, it can be tough to go it alone when your training routine gets stale or you simply run out of ideas on how to make yourself a better climber. Don’t worry, we can help!
At MetroRock, we offer a range of training programs and classes through the to take you to the next level of climbing. Whether you need some basics on rope management to make the transition to real rock or you want to bump up to higher grade of difficulty, the MetroRock Climbing School can help you make the leap. Training to develop strength and technique, along with conditioning your mind to tackle fear and conquer pain are the core of what makes us better climbers. Our instructors are experienced and capable of helping you build the strength you want, the technique you need and the mental focus to put it all together. Let us help you reach your goals sooner than you thought possible.