Today I climbed at a new gym in South Bay, CA called Hangar 18. It is part of a chain of three climbing gyms; the other two are located in Riverside and upland, CA (just in case someone wants to check them out). They have a really great website which makes them more accessible. I am sure climbing gyms don’t realize how hard it can be to find a new place to climb in cities you have never been to before.
This gym was fun because you could top out. I don’t know what it is about topping out to make you feel like you really have accomplished something. Like slapping the top of the wall is great and all, but when you get to stand on the top and look down it’s the greatest. Maybe it is a king of the mountain kind of a thing (outside is better of course). Either way, it was a great gym. They had really cool routes with upside down bouldering problems, which is a weakness of mine. I was happy to work on some of my weaknesses.
My ten year cousin also joined me for this trip. It was great to watch someone who has never climbed before. He had really good instincts; he knew to keep his hips in and had a great reach. I am sure if he built a bit of hand strength he would be really good. It is like trying anything you love with a child. Try to hype them up with YouTube videos (Chris Sharma) and hope for the best. You really never know how it will go. I think he liked it though, so I hope I helped to spread climbing love.