Author: Clif Cody
While many colleges and universities have rock climbing facilities on campus, members of the Occidental Rock Climbing Club must venture outside of Eagle Rock to practice their sport.
The good news is that multiple new rock gyms have sprung up in Los Angeles over the last few years, giving climbers access to cutting edge facilities and various gym options; the bad news is that all these new options make it harder than ever to decide where to go. Members of the Occidental Rock Climbing Club weighed in on the matter to make that decision easier.
Arcadia Rock Climbing (The ARC)
Address: 305 N Santa Anita Ave., Arcadia, CA 91006
The ARC is primarily a bouldering gym, meaning that climbing is done without ropes or harnesses and utilizes large pads to soften falls. However, there are few options for those interested in top roping — climbing that requires a belay partner, rope and harness.
“It’s a smaller place that feels a little more nitty-gritty,” Claire Henriques (senior) said.
A day pass at the ARC is $15 while a monthly student membership costs $42. If climbers arrive between the hours of 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays, they get a $7 discounted day pass.
Students who plan on going to the ARC should be prepared for a challenge.
“There are no easy routes,” Riley Wall (junior) said. “This makes it the best place to train.”
Hangar 18 Southbay
Address: 4926 W Rosecrans Ave., Hawthorne, CA 90250
Hangar 18 is the cheapest option for a student membership.
“If you are someone just getting into climbing, Hangar 18 might be one of your best options, just because of the cost,” Wall said.
For $33 per month, students have unlimited access to the 12,000 square feet of climbing terrain, featuring both bouldering and rope climbing. A day pass costs $16.
But according to Will Cornell (senior), that bargain comes at a price.
“Sometimes you feel like stuff is about to break off,” he said, referring to the quality of climbing holds they use.
Hangar 18 is also the furthest gym from Occidental. Because of heavy downtown traffic, a trip there takes up most of the day.
Stronghold Climbing Gym
Address: 650 S Avenue 21., Los Angeles, CA 90031
Stronghold is one of the newest climbing gyms in LA.
“It’s really close, and you don’t have to take the highways to get there,” Stronghold member Matt Schorr (junior) said.
A student day pass at Stronghold is $20 while a monthly membership costs $73.
Though a membership is more expensive, it includes access to daily yoga classes, extensive rope climbing and bouldering and a 2000 square foot area dedicated to free weights and cardio machines.
A majority of Occidental Climbing Club members have Stronghold memberships. Since the driving time is significantly less and the amenities attract both those who prefer bouldering and rope climbing, the gym provides a unifying hub for the Occidental Climbing Club.
LA Boulders (LA.B)
Address: 1375 E 6th St. #8, Los Angeles, CA 90021
LA.B is exclusively a bouldering gym. Climbing Club members say it is a perfect choice for students who do not have any gear or are not comfortable with rope climbing, or if bouldering is their favorite style of climbing.
“The LA.B is just generally a really fun place,” Cornell said. The gym places an emphasis on indoor climbing culture, meaning that the routes are primarily set to be entertaining rather than realistic to outdoor climbing.
Those who arrive before 3 p.m. on weekdays get a $15 early-bird day pass. The general day price pass is $20 and a student membership costs $75.
Like Stronghold, LA.B is a new gym that opened in 2013. It is owned by the San Francisco-based company Touchstone Climbing Incorporated, which has plans to open three more gyms in the LA area.
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