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By cfuttner
Mar 17, 2013
My wife and I are probably moving to Chicago in the near future,jobs at Northwestern. I'm aware of the lack of climbing nearby (Devils Lake the closest nice option?) and pretty bummed. I'm looking for gym recommendations. Its still not decided where in the city we will move to but considering the issues with commuting, it will probably be somewhere within the city proper. Reasonable access to a gym could sway our location.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Mar 17, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Well faaar western suburb has the biggest and best gym around; probably an hour commute on expressway out to Warrenville. Also right off the Metra electric line out of downtown to the south suburbs is a great gym in Homewood, IL. I'm not familiar with the north side gyms, but hear many are just small bouldering places mostly under 25 ft high. Best of luck.

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By ZoeyG
From Evanston, IL
Mar 17, 2013
Me.
There's a gym (EAC--Evanston Athletic Club) in Evanston with two small climbing walls and a friendly group of casual climbers. But as mentioned in the previous post, there's a big gym opening this fall in South Loop, and from what I heard there's another climbing-only gym (sort of belongs to EAC) being built near the North and Clybourn subway stop. EAC has the advantage of being right next to the university; on the other hand, it's easier to drive to the Red River Gorge from South Loop.

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By EricSchmidt
Mar 17, 2013
Turd Ferguson! wrote:
Supposedly there will be a mega gym opening in the South Loop area in November. firstascentclimbing.com/


Now I see why you are always so angry.... a climber living in Chicago! Which Burger King is it that you work at?

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By EricSchmidt
Mar 17, 2013
Turd Ferguson! wrote:
You are mildly retarded aren't you? EricSchmidt is a dumbass


I just like to make ill informed assumptions like my favorite stalker!

Also "retarded" is kind of not a PC thing to say for about the past 10-15 years or so.... Please try to get with the times, kthx.

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By SDY
Mar 17, 2013
Turd Ferguson! wrote:
You are mildly retarded aren't you?



My guess is oppositional defiance disorder

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By Craig T
From Chicago, IL
Mar 19, 2013
EAC should work if you live in Evanston. Go south into the city and you have Off Belay and Hidden Peak (bouldering gyms), LVAC, LPAC, Fitness Formula Clubs Old Town (all health-club toprope/boulder gyms). First Ascent will be in the south loop, and last I heard accessible by the Red Line train (of which the Purple Line in Evanston is an extension of).

City dwellers with cars and suburbanites also tend toward Vertical Endeavors (Southwest burbs), Climb-On (south burbs), or North Wall (way northwest burbs). All are solid gyms that take advantage of the cheaper not-in-the-city real estate and are thus a little roomier.

..and yes, its 3 hours to Devil's Lake or Governor Dodge for day-trips and short weekends, then the 6-8 hour treks to Jackson Falls or to Red River Gorge for full weekends. Thus is the life of Chicago climbers.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Mar 19, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Just being picky on Craigs directions above. (I've always been like this) I-55 definitely has to be the dividing line between what could be considered 'southwest' of the city. Vertical Endeavors is NO way in the southwestern part of Chicago area. It is totally west on the compass straight out of the city right on I-88 in far western suburbs. Nobody out there (since they have lots of money) wants in any way to be associated with the poorer and less classy southwestern suburban area,,they want no part of us down here. Naperville is kinda their last border of richy rich-ville. From there on it is 'southwest' and not in their economic, social or financial world. We lack climbing gyms down here...there are none southwest ..just the Climb On gym in the south suburb of Homewood.

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By ErikaE
Mar 19, 2013
In Las Viñas, Lima, Perú
I'm currently an NU grad student -- brace yourself, it's going to be grim. Chicago is not a great place for climbers who like the outdoors to live. Are you at the Evanston campus, or the Chicago campus? I know people that climb at EAC, but they don't have great things to say about it (and it's pricey).

I climb at Hidden Peak, but it's a trek from Evanston. It also has weird hours which can complicate scheduling. I often drive because it takes much less time than the L. Belmont might be a good compromise if you plan to climb somewhere downtown. You have the purple line express for getting to/from Northwestern, and a shorter trek back home at the end of the day.

I'm mostly a sport climber and recently moved, so I haven't been up to Devil's Lake yet. I went down to the Red quite a lot last fall. Feel free to shoot me a DM if you want more neighborhood advice. :)

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By Craig T
From Chicago, IL
Mar 20, 2013
Woodchuck ATC wrote:
Just being picky on Craigs directions above. (I've always been like this) I-55 definitely has to be the dividing line between what could be considered 'southwest' of the city.


Fair enough...I'm a recent transplant north-sider, so just about everything is "south" to me, and the city pretty much ends at 35th :)

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By cfuttner
Mar 20, 2013
We would be in the medical school, Chicago campus. We're both biomedical science types and my wife would be taking a faculty job. Yeah not looking forward to the change in pace. We currently live in NC and I climb all around the south east. Ge to the Red a couple times a year, the New, Moores, Stone, Rumbling Bald, etc...

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By Woodchuck ATC
Mar 20, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
cfuttner wrote:
We would be in the medical school, Chicago campus. We're both biomedical science types and my wife would be taking a faculty job. Yeah not looking forward to the change in pace. We currently live in NC and I climb all around the south east. Ge to the Red a couple times a year, the New, Moores, Stone, Rumbling Bald, etc...


You should be close to the Metra electric line then,,,and a quick ride down to the Homewood station which is half a block walk from the Climb On gym. Could be your best bet. Think they still offer monthly passes besides full memberships. Best of luck.

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By Craig T
From Chicago, IL
Mar 21, 2013
cfuttner wrote:
We would be in the medical school, Chicago campus. We're both biomedical science types and my wife would be taking a faculty job. Yeah not looking forward to the change in pace. We currently live in NC and I climb all around the south east. Ge to the Red a couple times a year, the New, Moores, Stone, Rumbling Bald, etc...


...or instead of taking the Metra, just head down Chicago Ave to Hidden Peak

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By Daniel Wade
From Oakland, CA.
Mar 24, 2013
I climb once a week at Hidden Peak (bouldering only) since I'm down the Loop area for work. Otherwise and often at Lakeview Athletic Club. My girlfriend and I live down the street. Small but tall and fun wall. Once its warms up, Lincoln Park Athletic Club opens their large outdoor wall which we can use as CAC's members once a week. When it warms up we'll also be at Devils Lake and Jackson Falls on the weekends. Excited to get down to the Red but have not been there yet. Chicago is not ideal for climbers (we are from CA and used Joshua Tree every weekend and endless backyard crags) but it's a cool scene here. Don't be bummed. Neat ice in the area too if that's your bag. Munising, MI is great and North of Superior, Ontario, Canada is even better. You just need to be willing to drive. Welcome to Chi-town!

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By Søren Kierkegaard
Mar 29, 2013
Chicago has a great climbing culture for as dense of a concrete jungle as it is. Located between Devil's Lake and Red River Gorge provide, outdoor climbing just a short/medium distance away.

In the city, all Chicago Athletic Clubs offer at least a bouldering wall, while many offer top-roping. LPAC even offers an ~80' outdoor wall with leading available (pretty neat experience taking a whipper with the L zooming right behind you). Other great gyms like Hidden Peak and Off-Belay are easy access, aggressive bouldering gyms within Chicago. In the suburbs, gyms like Vertical Endeavors in Warrenville and Climb On offer your usual large scale indoor climbing atmosphere.

Check out thechicagoclimber.blogspot.com... (a recent project of mine for climbing in Chicago), for updates on the climbing in Chicago.

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By Healyje
Mar 29, 2013
girl40
cfuttner wrote:
We would be in the medical school, Chicago campus. We're both biomedical science types and my wife would be taking a faculty job. Yeah not looking forward to the change in pace. We currently live in NC and I climb all around the south east. Ge to the Red a couple times a year, the New, Moores, Stone, Rumbling Bald, etc...


Well, there is a long and demented history of cross-fertilization between NC and SoIll climbers due to a couple of the more somewhat dubiously employable SoIll climbers working at NC OB. That OB HR mistake eventually resulted in some of the more crazed and probably disease-ridden NC climbers variously making the trek towards the NW-most of the range of 'Southern' sandstone.

The outcome was always worthy and bastardly diabolical FAs put up by your crew during long, depraved visits. And, while I'm not entirely sure now that all of the smoke has cleared if the names of the guilty are still remembered outside of the annals of SoIll law enforcement (such as it was), one can suspect there are at least a few illegitimate children in at both ends of those exchanges who, though lacking parental specifics and pedigrees, are nonetheless now demonic boulderers and climbers in their own right.

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By michaelp
Apr 28, 2013
Turd Ferguson! wrote:
Supposedly there will be a mega gym opening in the South Loop area in November. firstascentclimbing.com/

Has anybody heard recent updates about this? The fact that they haven't put anything on facebook, twitter, or their website for a couple months has me wondering if things aren't working out.

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By Craig T
From Chicago, IL
Apr 29, 2013
michaelp wrote:
Has anybody heard recent updates about this? The fact that they haven't put anything on facebook, twitter, or their website for a couple months has me wondering if things aren't working out.


Still moving along last I heard, but now its in the phase of slogging through final financial and permit details. Someone needs to slip an envelope under Rahm's door, get this thing on the fast track...

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By michaelp
Apr 29, 2013
Thanks for the update, Craig!
Craig T wrote:
but now its in the phase of slogging through final financial and permit details

Sounds fun...

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