There are few exercises more invigorating, adventurous and exciting than rock climbing. The great thing about rock climbing is that America’s love affair with the sport has caused it to move comfortably indoors in many places, ensuring a safe, climate-controlled and well designed course of climbing for year-round usage. If you happen to live in the Baltimore area and are looking for an opportunity to learn the ropes (so to speak) or maybe you want to pursue your preexisting passion for rock climbing indoors, check out one of these fantastic locations.
1930 Greenspring Drive
Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093
Earth Treks is one of the few locations on this list which is solely dedicated to nothing but rock climbing. Its purpose is to train you, equip you, turn rock climbing into your passion and then set you free to pursue that passion both at its large, safely regulated facility and in the larger world of natural rock climbing. Earth Treks has a warehouse-sized facility with multiple rock walls rated from beginner to expert difficulty. The staff are all experts themselves and more than willing to train and belay you in your recreation. At Earth Treks, you can also receive certification to belay.
Earth Treks has a fairly extensive shop from which you may purchase professional rock climbing gear to take your pursuits outside the four walls of the building.
13200 Mid Atlantic Blvd.
Laurel, MD 20708
If you are a parent who is interested in getting your kids excited to pursuing your personal hobby of rock climbing, Climb Zone may be the perfect place to visit. Climb Zone is a fun rock wall center with dozens of walls, each with its own engaging theme. Climbers can scale walls with crags shaped like Mt. Rushmore, or hand-holds shaped like spider-webs, volcanoes and other fun items to climb. Parents may rent out Climb Zone for parties or take advantage of the training they offer for children learning to climb. All of these features make it an attractive and convenient center for young rock climbers to enjoy themselves.
The Pip Moyer Recreation Center
273 Hilltop Lane
Annapolis, MD 21403
A recreation center open to any members of the public who choose to enter and purchase a guest pass, the Pip Moyer Center is owned and operated by the City of Annapolis. Among the many recreational and leisure activities offered within the center sits a rock climbing wall, named “best climbing wall” for the 2013 edition of What’s Up? Annapolis. The wall offers climbing for ages 5 and up; and the center offers classes for those who are interested in learning climbing from the pros.
1209 Ritchie Highway
Arnold, MD 21012
The Big Vanilla Athletic Club in Arnold houses a 40 foot climbing wall with five faces. If you choose to drop by to try the wall, Big Vanilla suggests that you wear comfortable workout clothes and bring plenty of water in order to remain hydrated. As far as shoes go, the club offers rental climbing shoes; they also offer classes for learning how to climb the wall.
4501 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21210
Loyola University is proud of the professional-grade climbing wall which it houses and of the classes, courses and competitions which it hosts related to its climbing wall. The wall itself has a number of climbing “routes” which range in difficulty from beginner to advanced. Unique among most of the climbing courses in this list, Loyola hosts a bouldering cave, which allows for rock climbing without a rope. If you happen to attend one of Loyola’s belay classes, you can expect to become belay certified, which will give you the opportunity to spot climbers professionally as they climb. If you want to extend your love of the sport to the competitive level, Loyola hosts an annual climbing competition with local colleges on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Turn up to attend or to cheer on your favorite team.
Joel Furches is a freelance writer and researcher for The Examiner and Logos Software, and also manages his own catalog of writing on Hub Pages. Joel is on the board of directors for Ratio Christi. He has a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Education.