Experienced climbers, novice climbers and people who often think about getting into climbing because it looks cool and challenging you kind of think you’d be good at it – rejoice!
Salt Pump Climbing Co. in Scarborough is now open.
The indoor climbing gym opened quietly at the end of July (the grand opening is September 19) and local climbers have already found their way to the climbing and bouldering walls inside the impressive 10,000 square foot space.
Co-owner Taki Miyamoto gave me a tour of the space (he’ll give you one, too, when you show up for the first time) and pointed out all the amentities – everything from the array of climbing walls with plenty of route and hold variety, to the bouldering walls (downstairs and another upstairs), fitness area with weights and machines, yoga room (which can also be used for parties), sitting area with free wifi and a cool deck overlooking a small pond (there’s even a grill out there for members to use).
Experienced climbers will find plenty of challenge here, Taki said. But Salt Pump also welcomes beginners, too. They offer Intro to Climbing classes on weekdays from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. Classes cost $40 and you’ll learn basic climbing techniques knots, top-roping and more – and rental equipment is included.
For climbers with more experience, day passes are available for $17 ($12 for kids 12 and under, $170 for an 11-punch pass) or get a monthly membership ($68 monthly EFT or $75 pre-paid). There are other options, too – check the rates online for all the details.
There are two bouldering walls – one downstairs (pictured above) and another upstairs (pictured below). This way, newer climbers can practice in a smaller, quieter space. “Bouldering can be intimidating to get into,” said Taki. The upstairs wall helps reduced the intimidation.
Also upstairs, there’s a fitness area with a treadmill, rowing machine and weight bench, plus hand weights, kettlebells, gymnastics rings, fingerboards and other climber-specific equipment.
And while my climbing expertise will probably always hover in the beginner range, there’s plenty at Salt Pump to aspire to, like the climbing crack. It’s a crack – wide enough to fit your hand – all the way up the wall. I marveled at it for a while, then watched a climber climb it and marveled even more.
And for a climber’s down time, there are picnic tables and free wifi upstairs and a really cool wooden deck on the back that overlooks a small pond. Kids can toy with fishing poles out here and members can take advantage of the grill.
Salt Pump also has yoga classes (Strala Yoga on Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. and Yin Yoga and Meditation on Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.) with plans to offer more fitness classes in the coming months.
In a nutshell, if climbing is your jam, then you’re going to dig this place. And if you’ve never climbed a thing, but want to give it a try, well then, you’re going to like this place, too.
I think the Salt Pump website says it well: “Inspired climbing terrain, hold variety, and route setting keeps first-time, long-time, two-foot tall, seven-foot tall, introverted, and extroverted climbers alike motivated and challenged.”