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Climbing Gym in Knoxville
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By Adam Floyd
From Las Vegas
Apr 11, 2011
Vegas the Dog

I am curious about climbing gym options in Knoxville. I am moving to Knoxville in the fall for grad school and was looking for advice. I saw that the university has a gym that looked to be free, if this is the case is crowded and open all day? I would love any feedback as I work for the park service in the summer and could order some holds at reduced prices to build a woodie if the gyms around are expensive or super crowded.
Best,
Adam


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By Reece Henson
From Knoxville, TN
Apr 12, 2011
Photo by Paul Hassell

the gym at ut is sweet. it's open 3-9 monday - thurs then closes a little early (7 i think) on friday. it's mostly bouldering but has plenty of top rope. they don't let you lead in there which sucks but it's all free if you're in school. it's generally not too crowded but definitely can be at some points especially with a bunch of beginners..... the other option is the climbing center at river sports. if you're going to be in school i wouldn't bother paying to climb there if you can climb at ut's gym for free but it has more actual climbing and lets you lead. i think it's like $7 to boulder and $10 to climb? haven't been there in a while so it could be more now


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By Brad Caldwell
From Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Apr 12, 2011

Not trying to be a douche, but every time I went to The Climbing Center I was extremely disappointed. It has been a few years since I've been, but overall its the worst gym I've ever climbed at...always too hot or too cold, terribly loud obnoxious music that many times was offensive to someone there, incompetent yet arrogant employees that seemed to have little to no real, outdoor climbing experience, not to mention the fact that the routes were generally sub-par. I hate to be such a hater, I'm not trying to stir anything up, it was Just so bad every time I went, I'll never be able to forget it. I finally stopped going and just sucked it up and made the drive to the Obed when I wanted to climb or boulder...which was not a bad thing.


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By Evan Sanders
From Westminster, CO
Apr 27, 2011
Flaming Pumpkin

I think the Climbing Center (which i've always just called River Sports because i thought for the longest time they were the same place, and now it's just stuck with me) isn't all that bad. It's definitely no where near the best but as gyms go it does get the job done, plenty of routes (they set boulder problems very hard there, I boulder v6 outdoors but could only do up to v4 in the gym) and i didn't think the staff was all that bad. There's only one small section for lead though, and that wall usually only has one or two routes on it. It's 12 dollars for non-students per day and 8 for students (you can just say you're a student, last time i was there they never asked for my ID). But if you're just going to spend that much, go to Obed.

Or you might consider going to a not so well known location called Black Mountain in Crab Orchard, TN (about 30 minutes away from UT). The approach is only 5 minutes to the climbing area, and the routes are absolutely amazing. There's stuff from 5.6 to 5.12, TONS of bouldering V-easy to V8, and still lots of options for FAs. There's one multipitch route (2 pitches, 160 ft, you can do it in one). Huge trees on top for natural anchors and setting up top rope solo systems. As of right now I think bolting isn't allowed, but last I heard they were working on changing that. Everything right now though is top rope or trad. Just letting you know another option.


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By Reece Henson
From Knoxville, TN
Apr 27, 2011
Photo by Paul Hassell

can you tell me more about black mountain? if it's where i think it is it's more than 30 mins away from ut but i still want to check it out!


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By Evan Sanders
From Westminster, CO
Apr 27, 2011
Flaming Pumpkin

Reece Henson wrote:
can you tell me more about black mountain? if it's where i think it is it's more than 30 mins away from ut but i still want to check it out!


If your driving West to Nashville on I40, you take the exit right after Airport Rd (I think the exit is Crab Orchard, but it's been a while). Take a left at the exit, drive for about 5 minutes down that road. You take another left (again I can't remember the road name, but I'm 80% positive it's Owl Roost Road). I made the drive in 35 minutes when I was at UT. It's absolutely gorgeous. I'll be in TN in two weeks, if you have a free weekend I can meet you and take you up there sometime if you'd like.

This is one of my favorite boulder problems, route starts on the right rock in the picture.

www.topix.com/album/detail/crossville-tn/J3V5DI68TN84FOAK

One of the many cliff sides on BM. Second picture down obviously.

www.exploring-america.com/tennessee-budget-travel-guide.htm


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By Reece Henson
From Knoxville, TN
Apr 29, 2011
Photo by Paul Hassell

sweet well i'll definitely check that out. i have no idea what i'm doing this summer yet but i'll shoot you a pm if i'm free here in a few weeks


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By Chad Sontag
From Vacaville, CA
May 1, 2011
Gym climbing in Korea

I am in Knoxville for the next 3 weeks if anyone needs a partner let me know.


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By Jfergus4
May 10, 2013

Chad, i am in TN until the 15, addmitedly it would be awesome if i could do some climbing today. but otherwise i am looking for a partner to climb with.


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By David Barbour
From Longmont, CO
May 10, 2013

this thread is 2 years old, may want to post a new one


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