Thursday, December 18, 2008

Boulderz - a fun new bouldering gym in Toronto!

Last night I went to Boulderz, a great new climbing/bouldering gym that recently opened up here in Toronto. I was fairly excited as I tend to stick mostly to my home gym, Oasis.

Boulderz is run by a friendly gentleman named Andrew.

He started Boulderz after having to move and take down his home climbing wall (of course the story's a bit longer and more involved than that...). Congratulations Andrew -- building and starting a climbing gym on your own is a significant accomplishment you should be proud of.

Consulting with Vertical Solutions, Andrew built Boulderz over the course of about 8 weeks. Some 4000+ holds pepper the walls of the gym, which is primarily oriented towards bouldering, although a few short top-rope routes are also available.

There are a variety of different overhangs and angles to try out. What was particularly fun was topping out -- climbers can finish problems by going over the top at the end of problems, and then take stairs to go back to the ground floor.

The problems were a solid mix of beginner, warm up, moderate, hard and insane. What I liked was that Andrew was soliciting qualitative feedback about the problems, as well as the fact that the boulderers there were taping up their own. It just means that attention is going to be paid to make sure the problems are fun and that there's a mix for everyone.
The facilities are decent too. A/C in the summer. Changerooms, washrooms, lockers, a shower. And a drinking fountain!!

I wound up getting a good workout, though I definitely felt out of climbing shape. Add a couple of requisite bloody knuckles (the wall friction and all the holds are sooooo new!), and it made for a fun climbing session.

Boulderz is located east of Dupont and Landsdowne. (I took the subway to Landsdowne, then the bus up to Dupont.) It's a little bit hidden -- from D&L, walk west under the bridge and then turn right at 1444. You won't see the entrance from the street - you have to enter the parking lot to find the specific building.

More pics here. Tell your friends!