REACHING NEW HEIGHTS

Rock Climbing at Gripstone in Prescott

In search of something to do on the weekends? Tired of hiking the same cluster of rocks at the dells? Look no further than Gripstone Climbing, Yoga & Cafe, for they have days of entertainment all in one building. This place is known for its various rock climbing and bouldering walls that have hundreds of different paths to get to the top. Included in the all-day pass is access to the indoor gym if you are interested in lifting some weights or running, yoga classes that focus on strength training as well as balance, and of course the various trails on the walls to climb. Of course, for beginners and anyone interested in improving, they offer lessons for all types of climbing and techniques. They even begin to teach you inside the gym how to properly and safely rock climb outside with their Outdoor Adventure Classes.

Bouldering is climbing without ropes and is limited to a certain height upon the walls due to the concerns of falling. The entire fall zone, between seven to ten feet of the wall, is padded for protection of climbers and makes a gentle landing. At first, the instructors teach you the safety of all the equipment to use such as the Auto-Belay system and that there are drag bags to keep under you while bouldering. The Auto-Belay system is a really great place to start if you are one who needs to trust that they can fall without injuring themselves because the rope will release you slowly to the ground and you can simply walk down the wall. More advanced climbers can be certified to use the Top-Rope courses, which use a rope that passes through an anchor system at the top and comes back down to a belayer, yet you need another person at the base of your climb. 

For both bouldering and Auto-Belays, there are color-coded courses with cards that describe their difficulty in the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) that ranges from 5.0 to 5.15, getting more difficult as the decimal increases. As always, climbers can choose to go on whatever course they are comfortable with or to use any color to get to the top and back down.

After an intense workout or just playing around to test your strength on the walls, there is a cafe with snacks, smoothies, and other refreshments available for purchase. People of all ages can climb the walls here, and it is a full-body work out that tests your strength and flexibility. If you have not already tried it, go for a day and see what it is like for only $16 and it will be one of your favorite workouts.

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