Group Indoor Rock Climbing and Bouldering at Hub Climbing in Markham, Ontario
Climbing gyms are different than regular gyms in a thousand different ways. One big difference is ceiling height! And if they don’t already have them, climbing gyms give guests the required footwear at the front desk; what other gym would ever give you gym shoes?
Another difference that always impacts guests is the mountain of paperwork that needs to be read and signed at most climbing gyms.
Hub Climbing in Markham Ontario is different than every other climbing gym in the GTA. The facility is a ‘Hub’ for fitness, and that includes Yoga and Meditation workshops too. The gym floor has exercise bikes and treadmills just like regular gyms, but the facility also boasts over two hundred climbs and some of the longest and most complex bouldering traverses in Canada.
Hub Climbing is an enormous 20,000 square ft facility in which the layout and the climbing attractions are always being changed. Two employees work full time moving boulders and safety rope hoists at least one climb in the gym every day. This means that members and guests who visit infrequently are constantly surprised by the shifting landscape inside the building.
Group climbing activities are very popular there and well regimented with Climbing Instructors who not only detail exactly how to proceed, but also quickly demonstrate the fine points of the exercise.
Group Climbing begins with lessons on the auto-belayer mechanism that retracts the safety rope as the climber ascends the wall. Should the participant trip and slip and fall, the auto belayer will catch their weight in a fraction of a second and gently lower the climber to the soft matts on the floor below. But the action of falling down a wall requires some practice as the boulders can cause bruises all the same.
Speed Climbing Competitions – Hub Climbing also has Speed Walls which are the focus of intense competition in most Group Climbing events. Otherwise friendly people fight like siblings to get the best time on the clock.
Speed Climbing courses appear the same as other climbs at Hub Climbing Markham, except there’s a tiny foot peddle at the base of the wall and a digital clock above. Just below the clock display there’s a glowing yellow button. When the climber releases their foot from the peddle and begins their ascent, the clock above starts counting-up their time. The clock will only stop when the climber punches the button and locks in their score.
The Dragon sculpture at Hub Climbing is probably the most distinctive element of this modern climbing gym. The plywood sculpture is painted green and grey and covered in small stepping-stones. The 23ft high monument is a solo challenge, and yet a very public climb.
Climbers who face The Dragon are immediately presented with the hardest part; scaling the beast’s chest requires climbing at an acute angle and this forces climbers to use their arms, legs and stomach muscles all at once. The boulder encrusted beast has glowing red eyes and dominates the centre of the gym, guarding a giant foam pit-of-gold.
Group Climbing is a great way to make memories with old friends, and fun new people. Hub Climbing’s introduction teaches initiates the art and science of wall-climbing and bouldering, and it’s a fantastic all-around fitness workout that combines core exercises into a series of pass or fail challenges.