More Climbing

It’s 2012 and we are headed full speed ahead into the new year. We hope your resolutions include some climbing goals – maybe there’s a certain level of ability you would like to achieve, maybe it’s to to climb more often to stay in shape, or maybe you’ve never tried climbing before and you’d like to do something different or get over your fear of heights. Rocktown is the place.

Our list of things to do and improvements remains lengthy. To that end, we stay busy always adding new elements to our climbing environment. Some of you may have noticed the project just past the belay training room. This is a new bouldering cave room. We’re not sure what to officially call it yet – the chute, the shaft, the the cave? Right now it looks more like a fun-house than anything. The climbing wall is 24 feet long and overhangs about 50 degrees off vertical. The floor is about the same angle and parallels the wall. The plan is to “sculpt” and pad the floor to create a cush landing surface. We’re also working on building-out a staging area just outside the room. (The chamber?) This will allow people to hang out and wait their turn outside of the room when someone else is climbing. The project is about 60% done. We still have the floor, the the remainder of the staging area, lighting, painting, and routesetting. I know people are anxious to get in there but these things take time. Patience folks.

With the new semester back in session so are the after-school Touchstone groups. Each day we have a different group of kids at the gym along with a number of volunteer mentors. This has been a part of the culture at Rocktown since the beginning. If you would like to know more about Touchstone and what the program does you can check out their website.

The Oklahoma Climbing Team is in the midst of the invitational round of the USA Climbing American Bouldering Series (ABS) with Divisionals on January 14-15. We have 6 team members competing at the competition in Atlanta, GA in hopes of qualifying for Nationals. Nationals will be held in Colorado Springs in March. The rest of the team is already gearing up for Sport Climbing Season which also begins in March.

Speaking of the Sport Climbing Series, Rocktown will host the first competition of the season on March 31st! So mark your calendars. More to come about the competition at a later date.

Some of you may have noticed the change in directions for the gym. The new I-40 eastbound lanes have opened so that changes the way you get to Rocktown if you are coming from that direction. Now you must take the Shields Blvd exit. Currently only the eastbound lanes are open, the westbound traffic continues to use the old I-40 crosstown. Once the new I-40 is fully open all traffic will exit on Shields to access the gym. It should also be easier to get on I-40 when leaving the gym as well.

Finally, being the winter season, we have been receiving a lot of questions about when we are going to do the ice climb. The answer is that it depends. The weather has not been nearly cold enough to form ice. And the forecast thus far does not give us any indication that we are going to have a weather event that will allow us to create an ice climb. In order to farm ice we need at least 3-4 days of below freezing temps, we’re talking about days in the teens. So far we haven’t seen that. For those of you that are ice climbers, this is a real bummer – for those of you that are rock climbers – this January has been AWESOME!

Truthfully, if this winter stays warm, we’re okay with that. From a staff standpoint, it’s a lot easier for us to work in the gym when it’s 50 degrees than when it’s 20 degrees inside.

That being the case, we welcome those of you that want to practice dry-tooling on the routes inside and outside. Some of the natural feature routes we have are awesome for dry-tooling. And the dry-tool route we create outside is also a lot of fun.

Whatever style of climbing you want to try, just keep climbing. We are looking forward to what 2012 holds.