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big new climbing gym New York City
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By kenr
May 15, 2014
At long last ... Really open ...

The Cliffs at Long Island City

Who's climbed there now in its Really Open mode?

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
May 15, 2014
Rumney
$25 for a day pass? I don't know how anyone could afford to live in the NYC area. EVERYTHING costs literally double the prices we enjoy in the rest of the universe.

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By Jon Frisby
From New York, NY
May 15, 2014
Yeah it's open. The bouldering at BKB is better but the lead climbing is extremely good. I think the facilities outmatch their talent as routesetters. Also, it's not that crowded

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By Jon H
From Boulder
May 15, 2014
At the matching crux
It's been open for weeks. Bouldering is decent, mostly taller than BKB. The lead wall is huge, with a massive overhanging cave, which should be good, but.....

I do have some pretty big gripes with that cave though. When you're belaying, as soon as the climber pulls over the lip at the end of the cave, and onto the final 15-20' headwall, the climber is absolutely out of view. Because it's a loud, crowded gym, communicating (even shouting) with the belayer is almost impossible. This, by itself, is an annoyance, but not a critical problem.

The bigger issue is that (most) belayers then walk 20' backwards from the wall to be able to see their climbers. This is an absolutely terrible habit and when these climbers transition from gym to real rock, people are going to start getting hurt. Worse, because of the friction of the rope running over the edge, it's seriously difficult to give a soft catch. Finally, because the transition from horizontal roof to vertical headwall is so abrupt, it's not hard to see a scenario where a falling climber could fall under the roof with his legs, but hit the base of the headwall with his face/torso.

All in all - the cave, while very cool, is poorly designed, in my humble opinion.


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By Jon Frisby
From New York, NY
May 16, 2014
Jon H wrote:
It's been open for weeks. Bouldering is decent, mostly taller than BKB. The lead wall is huge, with a massive overhanging cave, which should be good, but..... I do have some pretty big gripes with that cave though. When you're belaying, as soon as the climber pulls over the lip at the end of the cave, and onto the final 15-20' headwall, the climber is absolutely out of view. Because it's a loud, crowded gym, communicating (even shouting) with the belayer is almost impossible. This, by itself, is an annoyance, but not a critical problem. The bigger issue is that (most) belayers then walk 20' backwards from the wall to be able to see their climbers. This is an absolutely terrible habit and when these climbers transition from gym to real rock, people are going to start getting hurt. Worse, because of the friction of the rope running over the edge, it's seriously difficult to give a soft catch. Finally, because the transition from horizontal roof to vertical headwall is so abrupt, it's not hard to see a scenario where a falling climber could fall under the roof with his legs, but hit the base of the headwall with his face/torso. All in all - the cave, while very cool, is poorly designed, in my humble opinion.

I don't disagree with that. I have a really good belayer, so I guess I didn't think about it but now that you mentioned it I remember the staff saying something about being careful in over-the-lip fall scenarios

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By NateGfunk
May 16, 2014
The lead wall is fine. You frequently cannot see the climber as a belayer outside, and it shouldnt be a problem to belay by feel. The setting is on the whole better than bkb, not to mention the place is way cleaner and a much nicer environment to spend time in overall.

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By rogerbenton
May 16, 2014
Whoever this guy is, he's just plain irresponsible...
have to agree with nate. you should be able to belay someone over a roof, and you take your chances with a fall once over a roof- just like "real" climbing. that big roof is a small part of the leading available.

in my opinion the setting quality has really been stepped up since they reopened.

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By Jon H
From Boulder
May 17, 2014
At the matching crux
I agree completely - you should be able to belay by feel. But that wasn't my point. My point is that it was a poor design.

There's no reason to force people to belay by feel in a gym. And since nobody seems to stand under the first draw anyway (and instead walk 20 feet out) they don't learn to belay by feel regardless.

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By USBRIT
From Cumbria.UK
May 17, 2014
Yes now even more misguided people into the game..when they ever hit the real outdoors and non bolted climbs.. Due to indoor climbing walls it now becoming more and more unlikely to find many "climbers" on rock routes that have any form of risk.The death of pure rock climbing started with the end of risk.

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By RockinOut
From NY, NY
May 17, 2014
Gear
Jon H wrote:
you should be able to belay by feel. But that wasn't my point. My point is that it was a poor design. There's no reason to force people to belay by feel in a gym.



Definitely agree with you there. They can't change the wall now. But they can properly space the bolts to mitigate taking a fall into the lip. Either have the climber fall well past the lip or have them hit the wall just above the lip.

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By rogerbenton
May 17, 2014
Whoever this guy is, he's just plain irresponsible...
positives-

-a better than decent work out/campus/cardio area with treadmills, ellipticals, weights, kettle bells, plenty of space to do your thing

-lots of non-cave leading and tr-ing with newer routes actually living up to the grade (original rates were way soft)

-well placed auto belays (my opinion) for good endurance burns. you can show up solo and lap routes from 5.12 to 5.7 without unclipping (when it's not balls crowded)

-showers, rental lockers

-crack routes. three of them. hard, harder and WAY HARD. fingertips to fists. plus a big wide chimney.

-routes set to mimic local gunks testpieces


people are going to do dumb stuff no matter what the layout of a gym. the staff should definitely be way more attentive of the antics going on, i'm sure we've all seen a few near disasters while climbing there.

lead belay cert should certainly include a bit on how to safely deal with the cave, but it doesn't. something a couple emails to management could probably change. the owner and the manager are both experienced climbers who would probably take your safety concerns pretty seriously. that won't change the layout, but could change belay practices.

the cliffs is on par with NYC pricing and if you use the regular gym equipment as well as the climbing there is more value yet. i'm sure there are gyms out there that are half the price but the sticks just aren't for everybody, same as city living.

i will say on the record though: the music has been sucking lately. they need to erase those playlists and fire whoever made them.

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By J. Serpico
From Saratoga County, NY
May 22, 2014
haven't been there, but the gyms in the sticks generally suck, while city gyms are pretty awesome. It wasn't until recently that the Capital Region had a good gym, and even though it's a fairly awesome gym (no real complaints from me), it still pales in comparison to more densely populated places.

$25 for a day pass seems like a lot, but if they have decent workout equipment, plus high walls, good routes, and such, then it's probably 2x the entertainment/value of a hill billy gym in the sticks.

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By kenr
May 22, 2014
J. Serpico wrote:
It wasn't until recently that the Capital Region had a good gym


Which gym in the NY capital region do you like?

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By Michael Schneider
May 22, 2014
USBRIT wrote:
Yes now even more misguided people into the game..when they ever hit the real outdoors and non bolted climbs.. Due to indoor climbing walls it now becoming more and more unlikely to find many "climbers" on rock routes that have any form of risk.The death of pure rock climbing started with the end of risk.

the advent of the pulling on plastic to train for the rock was the 1st stab of the thousands that now so disfigure "climbing"as to make it unrecognizable to many of us who sought to get away from the banality of the normalcy shoot, the sucking sphincter that leaks stuff like the gym rats .
P.S. you brits are to blame... some greasy gym in Leeds OR Brickston was my 1st intro to indoor climbing
it was '82 or '83 ?

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By J. Serpico
From Saratoga County, NY
May 22, 2014
kenr wrote:
Which gym in the NY capital region do you like?


as far as i am concerned, there is only one. The Edge in clifton park. very nice, but i refuse to pull plastic, so i havent gone in over a year. im not one of those guys that transitions well, and quite frankly,i dont care if i can climb 5.11 in the gym.

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By USBRIT
From Cumbria.UK
May 23, 2014
Michael Schneider wrote:
the advent of the pulling on plastic to train for the rock was the 1st stab of the thousands that now so disfigure "climbing"as to make it unrecognizable to many of us who sought to get away from the banality of the normalcy shoot, the sucking sphincter that leaks stuff like the gym rats . P.S. you brits are to blame... some greasy gym in Leeds OR Brickston was my 1st intro to indoor climbing it was '82 or '83 ?

Good one .and yes the Brits are still at it .Now being built in my town a new rock wall as well as a frozen ice wall.Maybe that will keep them indoors for ever. Bye the way I am also an all American that as has yet never managed to touch a greasy plastic wall.I guess I enjoy the outdoors too much .Grades mean nothing.

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By Eric Engberg
May 23, 2014
USBRIT wrote:
Good one .and yes the Brits are still at it .Now being built in my town a new rock wall as well as a frozen ice wall.Maybe that will keep them indoors for ever. Bye the way I am also an all American that as has yet never managed to touch a greasy plastic wall.I guess I enjoy the outdoors too much .Grades mean nothing.



Hardest moves ever done were on a woody in Sheffield...

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
May 23, 2014
Stoked...
Jon H wrote:
It's been open for weeks. Bouldering is decent, mostly taller than BKB. The lead wall is huge, with a massive overhanging cave, which should be good, but..... I do have some pretty big gripes with that cave though. When you're belaying, as soon as the climber pulls over the lip at the end of the cave, and onto the final 15-20' headwall, the climber is absolutely out of view. Because it's a loud, crowded gym, communicating (even shouting) with the belayer is almost impossible. This, by itself, is an annoyance, but not a critical problem. The bigger issue is that (most) belayers then walk 20' backwards from the wall to be able to see their climbers. This is an absolutely terrible habit and when these climbers transition from gym to real rock, people are going to start getting hurt. Worse, because of the friction of the rope running over the edge, it's seriously difficult to give a soft catch. Finally, because the transition from horizontal roof to vertical headwall is so abrupt, it's not hard to see a scenario where a falling climber could fall under the roof with his legs, but hit the base of the headwall with his face/torso. All in all - the cave, while very cool, is poorly designed, in my humble opinion.


Sounds almost exactly like climbing outside... so mother nature poorly designed most the roofs outside too?

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
May 23, 2014
Rumney
Morgan Patterson wrote:
Sounds almost exactly like climbing outside... so mother nature poorly designed most the roofs outside too?


I think their point was that this was something engineered (poorly), and that for liability/safety reasons you would think this would have been a consideration.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
May 23, 2014
Stoked...
Kevin Heckeler wrote:
I think their point was that this was something engineered (poorly), and that for liability/safety reasons you would think this would have been a consideration.


sarcasm Kev... i get the point but its just a fact of having roofs. To me, its like complaining because water is wet.

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By Derek Jf
From Onset, MA
May 23, 2014
A great spring day on Main Cliff,  if I recall
+1 to everything Morgan said hahahahahaha

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
May 23, 2014
Rumney
Morgan Patterson wrote:
sarcasm Kev... i get the point but its just a fact of having roofs. To me, its like complaining because water is wet.


Your sarcasm aint crisp/obvious enough. Some people really are that dumb to think that. Unfortunately.

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By rogerbenton
May 23, 2014
Whoever this guy is, he's just plain irresponsible...
sarcasm police?
new one...

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
May 24, 2014
Rumney
rogerbenton wrote:
sarcasm police? new one...


Want to be a deputy?

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By rogerbenton
May 24, 2014
Whoever this guy is, he's just plain irresponsible...
no thanks kev i have a li....

waaaaaait a minute- i see what you did there!

Sneaky!

you made a sarcastic reply to my comment about your comment about that other sarcastic reply...

you're really "showing us how it's done"!

write it down people, good stuff here and FREE!

oh how well timed and facetiously apropos-

and to think i just let that zoom over my head at first! gods, what a turkey i must seem. tricky bastard!

and the wit!

oh i'll be keeping my eye on you, mr. zinger...

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By Gunkiemike
May 24, 2014
I hear the roof there leaks when it rains and it was a poor design to build the wall right under the leak. But that's OK because sometimes real rock gets wet too.

(How's that??)

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