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By TroyKenly
Oct 29, 2012
I'm moving to Colorado Springs in a couple of weeks. I was wondering if anyone had any opinions on which gym would be the best to join. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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By Ben Schmitt
Oct 29, 2012
The Sport Climbing Center off of North park Drive has exceptional route setting, friendly people, connections to motivated developers and outdoor climbers, a free coached workout session every week, as well as an atmosphere that sets the stage for you to be a better climber. The parking is also free, there is a new crack system going in, and the climbing is safe without the staff being overbearing or rude (instead they will get to know you well, and help you in any way they can!).

City Rock is the newer of the two.

Welcome to Colorado Springs!

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By Jake Carroll
From Fort Collins
Oct 29, 2012
The Monastery
I agree with Ben, if you are into bouldering, then the SCC is your gym, no question. The community, facility, and setting are all awesome. Not to mention that it is much cheaper than City Rock.

On the other hand, City Rock is probably your gym if you are really into rope climbing. However, it is considerably more expensive, parking can sometimes be a headache, and the setting is meh. I can't speak to the community as much as the SCC, but I have witnessed several disgruntled customers and employees switch gyms for various reasons. All that considered, they do have a really awesome facility. When I am in the Springs more permanently, my wife and I will probably end up joining City Rock because there is no better option for rope training.

Hope this helps.

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By Josh B
Oct 29, 2012
Welcome!

I checked out both gyms about a year back when I was looking at getting a membership. For me it was a pretty easy decision after doing some climbing in both gyms. I went with City Rock. It does cost a little more but what you get for that cost difference is worth every penny in my opinion. I personally have never had a problem with the staff or the parking at CR. I am sure both gyms have good climbing communities to tie into if that is important for you. Check them both out when you come to town to see which is the best fit for you.

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By jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 29, 2012
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater Cliffs in Adirondack Park NY.
Some of it may depend on where you live and what type of climbing you prefer. I live about a mile from City Rock and I prefer roped climbing so I go there.

If I lived farther North or preferred bouldering I'd go to SCC. They just replaced their floor and they're pretty dedicated to maintaining good routes so it's definitely a good gym. It is the more affordable of the two.

Since I climb at City Rock more I'll give my opinion on that. Keep in mind that since I don't climb at SCC that much I don't know that they don't have some of the same problems.

Pros:
-Lots of terrain, both roped and bouldering.
-Walls are well maintained.
-Routes and problems are changed pretty frequently.
-Staff is friendly (I knew most of them before the gym opened so that might be biased)
-They throw some cool events and have lots of classes for those who are so inclined.
-Nice holds and a pretty nice facility.

Cons:
-There are a lot of times when the place is under construction or setting for events (Comps, clinics, etc) interferes with my climbing. If I were a frequent gym climber paying for a membership I would be pissed. I walked in one day and the bouldering area was just shut down and there are lots of times before comps when there are routes on the wall that are off limits.

-The route setting can be gimicky and inconsistent. Because they set for a lot of events you get a lot of routes with these silly moves that are fun but at the same time are pointless for someone who climbs outside. I also find with their bouldering there is a significant difference in how certain grades feel with certain setters. I walked in after not being there for the whole summer and basically onsited all the V4's and V5's but could barely do a single move on most V6's. That could just be my personal abilities and the fact that I'm not much of a boulderer. I don't notice this much with the routes. They seem more consistent and less gimmicky.

-I personally get annoyed by the constant barrage of groups, classes, events, etc. I go there to climb and having to be accomodating to the variety of people screwing around can be frustrating, especially in the middle of a workout. They've got a calendar so this can somewhat be avoided.

They're both decent gyms so it really depends on how far you're willing to travel, how much you're willing to spend, and what kind of climbing you prefer.

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By S.Stelli
From Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 29, 2012
jmeizis - I've noticed several of the things you have pointed out about CityRock as well. I'm not much of a climber but I can regularly take long periods of time off of climbing and basically walk in and sail the V4 and V5 problems. I do agree that the roped climbing feels more consistent - and I think it got even better when they stopped doing the full grade scale for roped climbs. Now you get for example .11-, .11, .11+, .12- for the climbs. I think this helped the roped climbs a LOT.

All of the staff at CityRock have always been awesome, and I enjoy their events from time to time. But to be honest I'm fairly annoyed when I walk in and am not allowed to climb much because of comps or events or construction, at least one of which always seem to be going on. I really do like the turnover rate on the routes and they are obviously pouring the money back into the gym to make it everything it can be. This is evidenced by the large scale of construction that has been going on in there.

For anyone who is a regular at SCC - what is the deal with the open hours? My friend and I stopped in recently on a Saturday and the website said open at 11am. We were there at 10:45 and decided to wait around and BS - for an hour. But no one ever showed up. Was this a rare occurance or was the website schedule wrong?
Also - how is the new floor? Pretty awesome? Hows the air quality now - I remember it being very dusty in there

Thanks!

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By Joe10
Oct 29, 2012
Hi Troy,

This is Joe, one of the owners of CityRock. There are a lot of thoughtful responses to your moving to the Springs. If I were you I would just come try out the gyms and see which one you like. Austin, Alex and Lex over at SCC have worked really hard and their gym is awesome.

We like CityRock too but we know we are not finished yet- hence all the construction that is mentioned.

Most of the stuff written seems accurate except for the free parking- we have it too although it fills up from time to time. Setting is very opinion based so I will let you figure that one out.

Hope to meet you when you arrive.

FLAG
By jeff frame
From Vail,Co
Oct 30, 2012
real climbers climb rock and ice here in colorado not plastic!

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By Chris Mack
Nov 5, 2012
Beer
There isn't much else to say that hasn't been said... but here is my two cents.

City Rock:
Pros - big ass gym, still evolving, tall walls, new and fresh.
Cons - crowded as balls often,(not that it is the gym's fault, it is just very, very popular), smaller parking area.

SCC:
Pros - rarely crowded, well established, still evolving, larger parking area.
Cons - smaller with shorter walls.

Both gyms are good, and I have had memberships at both. The SCC is shorter in height, but that doesn't mean if you are into roped climbing that you just HAVE to go to City Rock. Both gyms have distinctively different vibes, (both good, just different) so IMO you will just need to go to both to determine what you prefer in your gym rat experience.

Welcome to town.

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By TroyKenly
Nov 5, 2012
Thank you everyone for your insights. Neither gym sounds bad so I will have to check them both when I get there in two weeks. I really appreciate everyone's honest opinion. Thank you again.

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By brat
Nov 9, 2012
Celebrating on Intersection Rock, JTree.
Join whichever one is closer and/or more convenient for you. Gym memberships are useless unless you go! I've tried to make decisions based on "better" gyms but honestly it usually comes down to convenience.

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By Buster Jesik
Nov 10, 2012
me climbing
Regarding my earlier post about Sport Climbing Center vs City Rock

I didn't mean any disrespect towards the staff or patrons of City Rock, and didn't do a good job of expressing why I prefer SCC - both gyms are good and provide a different experience. As a guide and a coach I have personally felt more supported by SCC, but thats not a reflection on the quality of either gym - I certainly find myself climbing at both places and consider many of the staff at both gyms friends.

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By Steven Joseph
Nov 11, 2012
i just moved from ca to colorado springs and i looked at both scc and city rock and city rock is by far the coolest and best gym i have ever climbed at .. people are sick climbing is sick, its nice clean, your not falling on rocks, its nicley padded, and 5 dollars cheaper a month than scc. email me if you want more info man. but scc to mean is crappy especially if your doing sport stuff

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nov 11, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.
steven joseph wrote:
...your [sic] not falling on rocks...


No, you're not. SCC replaced their pea gravel with pads recently. Didn't you get the memo? Also, we're putting the new cover sheets on all of the TPS reports.

I can get you another copy of that memo.

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By Jon Lachelt
From Fort Collins, CO
Nov 12, 2012
steven joseph wrote:
i just moved from ca to colorado springs and i looked at both scc and city rock ... but scc to mean is crappy especially if your doing sport stuff


Uh... you say you "just moved" to CS? I live up in Fort Collins, and even I know that SCC has replaced their rock with pads. I know people who climb there and like the setting and the vibe. I've been to a comp there and found the setting to be darn good. There's no reason to bad mouth the place. I do agree though that if you want to do routes then you can't get over the fact that the walls are short and uninspiring in that sense.

If I lived in CS I personally would choose City Rock also (taller routes - actually the tallest in the state; plus significantly more wall space and they are adding more as we speak/write), but the OP should definitely check out both gyms for himself and see what suits his fancy.

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By JasonT
Nov 12, 2012
MS13 Training Arete
Buster Jesik wrote:
I prefer Sport Climbing Center - better setting and fewer posers!


plus 1 billion!

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By Ben Schmitt
Nov 12, 2012
I think the most important thing to keep in mind when searching for a gym is finding a sense of community. I am, without a doubt, a route climber. I am obsessed with routes. I am so obsessed with them that I am often made fun of by my friends for lack of motivation to go boulder outside. However the funny thing is, I have my best success on routes when I do power endurance bouldering circuits inside, and this has always been the case with my training.

Take for example CATS up in Boulder. The walls are not particularly inspiring, or large, but whenever I went there I ALWAYS improved. The energy there was amazing, where strangers quickly became friends, and new, well thought through problems and routes were always available to train on.

The reason I continue to climb at Sport Climbing Center is that same CATS energy that inspires me to try my hardest, and learn everything I can while I'm there. Being a route climber in a primarily bouldering gym, I find that I always have more than enough to train on. The people are good climbers,who want to help you get better, or learn all they can from your abilities ;), the setting is extremely well moderated and maintained, and even a route climber like me always leaves pumped. The point is, you don't always need tall walls to get in good route shape.

The walls at City Rock are inspiring; and they are always working hard to add new, varied terrain to the gym and trying to make it the best it can be. And while I agree with Chris that there is a different (not to be read as "bad" at all, just different) energy there, it is important to find what type of gym community YOU want to be a part of.

Or, if money allows, do like many springs locals do and climb at them both :)

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