How local climbing gyms have been adjusting to COVID-19

There’s nothing quite as rewarding as reaching for the next hold on the climbing wall and surpassing your personal best. Whether you’re a professional looking for places to practice in between climbs or just looking to expand your exercise routine and get some cross-training, indoor rock-climbing walls are great for strength building, balance and confidence.

The pandemic has shaken up most of our lives, including our exercise routines. If the current global affairs have you feeling helpless or disempowered, this might be the perfect time to take up indoor climbing and remind yourself of your own strength. Or, if that doesn’t work, you’ll at least have fun taxing a different muscle group than usual.

Located in Downtown Spokane, WILD WALLS CLIMBING GYM offers yoga classes, youth activities and, during non-pandemic times, space for group events and parties. Wild Walls has adapted a set of protocols to keep workers and customers safe during the pandemic, including a reduced capacity, regular sanitation and temperature checks. Once the state of Washington or Spokane County has made it to Phase 3, the gym will resume its Acro Yoga classes. These use the same balancing techniques perfected on the wall in a unique, partnered yoga practice that lets you take your poses to the air.

Up north, BLOC YARD BOULDERING GYM offers an unparalleled bouldering experience. Bloc Yard Bouldering is also following health and safety guidelines from Gov. Jay Inslee, including mask-wearing, restricting water fountain use to the refilling of bottles, and urging climbers to stay home and get well if they have symptoms. The gym offers fun weekly specials including a Ladies’ Night on Wednesday evenings and discounted entry for everyone on Fridays.

If you’re out in the Valley, you’re probably aware of the excellent indoor climbing wall at the SPOKANE VALLEY YMCA. This wall has certified staff and equipment on hand as resources for members ages 4 and older. You also can rent the entire wall for a special event. And if you’re serious about climbing, you can earn your Belay Certification through the Spokane Valley Y, which will allow you to check out equipment yourself, and belay other climbers.

Wherever you decide to go, you will find compassionate experts there to guide you from the floor to the wall and back again. Who knows, after your first climb you could be hooked and start a Pinterest board of all of the mountains you’ll go scale once we can travel again. Or, maybe you’ll be extra grateful to return to your feet.

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