Here to Help. Here to Inspire.

Greetings, River Rock Community!

My name is Evan, and from now on I’ll be writing to you all several times a week on behalf of your favorite climbing gym. It is my hope that I can share information with you that you find not only interesting, but also personally relevant and maybe even inspiring. My attitude is this: cultivate wellness of your mind, body, and spirit now in order to reap long-term benefits later on while still seeing immediate results. I’m here to not only help you cultivate or further that wellness, but also maintain it throughout the weeks, months, and years to come.

First off, though, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself so you can know who I am going forward. I’m a college student with a passion for simple, healthy living; rock climbing just happens to be a particularly perfect way of getting in tune with that natural simplicity I love so much. I also love being involved and productive in my community. I have a dream of a world comprised of people who live with empathy towards others, and I believe that starts with inner confidence that is only achieved through holistic wellness. By connecting with people like you, I hope to incrementally accomplish this grand ambition one step at a time.

I very much look forward to the journey we have ahead of us and hearing what you have to say along the way!

The Great Outdoors

Indoor vs. Outdoor

People used to begin rock climbing as an extension of hiking or other outdoor activities. It was an organic progression for these well-rounded outdoors people, looking for another way to explore their natural surroundings; a new perspective.

These days, with gyms like ours, people have another avenue into the climbing world:  many new climbers start off in gyms, and it might be months before they head out to try their skills outdoors. This transition has the potential to be a rocky one — for the best experience, proceed with some care.

Environmental Awareness

The access fund offers a great visual guide here to some of the biggest differences between a gym experience and being outdoors on a rock wall. It’s very worthwhile to read through that as well as their other information about being responsible outdoors.

The focus is that we need to cultivate a greater awareness about the effect of our actions when we’re out in the natural world. In the gym it is easy to relax, forget about everything else and just focus on the next route. Outside, every piece of the experience matters: from how you hike in, to how you clean up after yourself (finger tapes and chalk count as litter too), to where you leave your gear as you climb. These things might seem secondary on an excursion devoted to climbing, but they are primary when it comes to preserving our natural resources and keeping access to them available.

Rating and routes

Many climbers who begin their training in gyms also find new challenges outdoors when it comes to the climbing itself. For instance, the routes outdoors are not marked with brightly colored tapes and holds. Also, different outdoor climbing areas are known for different things — and some of the ratings may feel very different from those at the gym, especially at first. Going in with an attitude of exploration rather than competition will help ensure a positive experience.


We hope that our gym can help introduce people to a love of climbing that will enable them see the the transition to outdoor climbing as an enhancement of their climbing experience.  Ask us your questions and let us know if there’s anything we can do to help ease your transition from the gym to the great outdoors!

Kids Climb: Physical Benefits

Did you know that the World Health Organization recommends that kids aged 5-17 should be getting at least an hour of physical activity daily to stay healthy?  They go on to say that 3 or more times a week those physical activities should include something to strengthen their muscles and bones.

That might sound like a lot of work in today’s sedentary culture.  Have no fear: we have just the thing to make those hours fly by.

Let’s Climb!

When a kid climbs, her whole body is involved in the activity.  Holding her own weight up as she climbs the wall will help her muscles and bones get stronger, and it will raise her heart rate as well.  The thing that makes it a perfect all-around workout, for kids especially, is that the puzzle, challenge, and fun of climbing makes it seem like it’s not a workout at all!

In addition to building physical strength and endurance, climbing is also a great way to develop and maintain flexibility and coordination.  Kids often have a natural flexibility and when they learn to pair that with good climbing technique and coordination, they tend to excel as natural climbers.   If you want some inspiration and an example of this, look at the video of 11 year old Ashima climbing in yesterday’s post!

Join us!

Do you know a kid who might like to climb?  We have series of week-long summer camps in June and July for different age groups, ranging from 5-14.  We also have a day camps for preschoolers (aged 3-4) on July 1, 2, 3, and 5.  Take a look and sign up!

Kids Climb!

Where can you solve puzzles, have fun with friends, and learn some climbing skills — all while getting a great workout?


Setting the route to a healthy adulthood

As they point out in this article about fitness on WebMD, “kids who have positive experiences with exercise are more likely to be active, healthy adults.”  One of the great things about climbing is that it’s easy to forget you’re getting a workout because it’s so fun and engaging.

Want to learn more about the physical, mental, and social benefits of climbing for kids? Check back over the next few weeks as we discuss all that and more!

Join us

Do you already know of a kid who loves to climb, or is interested in trying it out?  We’re offering some fun summer camps for kids in June and July.  There are different sessions for different age groups, ranging from 5 to 14!  Click here for details.


Hidden Peak – Culture of Climbing

Here’s a fun video from a climbing gym in Chicago all about the culture of climbing.  The interviewees talk about why they climb, and highlight some great aspects of the sport:

Athletic Challenge

Climbing can take your mind off of daily life, and help you focus on something else.  There is a thrill to the challenge!
“This is definitely a great release.”

Puzzle Solving

Climbing provides the satisfying experience of doing something that seemed impossible before.  There is a social aspect to the problem solving too, with climbers pushing each other, getting excited for one another, and being driven to try solving new problems together.
“You keep progressing by working with other people.”

Diverse Community

Climbers come from all sorts of different backgrounds, and find common ground together through climbing.  When climbers come together for climbing trips, the social aspect is multiplied, carrying beyond the rock wall into the campground and beyond.
“It’s a pretty rich activity”