Family Travel 2012

Nichole Livengood



Indoor climbing gyms offer high scale fun for families

Posted 9/1/2012 12:06:00 PM

Is your family looking for a little excitement? Try indoor rock climbing.

Wanda Gwinn, owner of Climb @ Blue Ridge, says it’s a great way to encourage family team building and have some fun. Her gym is just a short drive from Spartanburg, Greer or Greenville. She has been in the business for 17 years teaching people of all ages and sizes the ropes. A few climbers on the world circuit have trained under her wing.

Beginners get a short intro class teaching gym safety and beginner skills, such as how to knot ropes to your harness and how to belay for your partner. Belaying is when you control the amount and tightness of the rope your climbing partner needs to ascend the wall. It protects them from falling if they should lose their hold. Don’t worry. The floors are padded, too.

Once you’ve covered the basics, spend the day taking turns making your way up the 18 ropes stations around the gym for all skill levels. There are more than 60 routes, so no matter how many times you go back, there’s always another 25 foot wall to tackle.

A big part of the whole climbing experience is just problem solving and practice, Gwinn says. Not ready for the big walls? Make your way from hold to hold (rock to rock) a few feet off the ground.

Climb @ Blue Ridge is at 301 Bulls Road, Taylors. The beginner class is $17 for adults and $10 for 10 and younger, and your fee includes a harness and other gear rental and climbing time. Click here or call (864) 895-1416 for more information.

There are several climbing gyms in South Carolina, so if you’re rained out of your big plans or are just looking for an indoor adventure, find a gym, rent some gear and belay on.

Trailhead Climbing & Outdoor Center, 505 Camson Road, Anderson; (864) 225-1010;

Climb Upstate, 208 Daniel Morgan Ave., Spartanburg; (864) 699-9967.

Glendale Outdoor Leadership School, 270 Wheeling Circle, Glendale; (864) 529-0259.

The Mountain Goat, 61 Byrdland Drive, Greenville; (864) 469-5042;

Goose Creek Community Center Climbing Wall, 519-A N. Goose Creek Blvd., Goose Creek, (843) 569-4242.