Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Climb Nashville - fun for all!

Having recently enjoyed some scrambling and bouldering in conjunction with a hike in the Arkansas River Valley, we decided to take a trip to Climb Nashville, an indoor rock climbing park in the Sylvan Heights area of Nashville (west of I-440, between Charlotte and West End).  Once an indoor tennis complex, the building that houses Climb Nashville is now a vast labyrinth of climbing walls, boulders, cliffs and caves, all fitted for the climbing enthusiast. 

There are 150 top rope routes, 50 lead routes, and 100 bouldering problems. The routes are 40 to 45-feet and are rated 5.6 to 5.14 on the Yosemite scale.  The facility furnishes harnesses, climbing shoes, belaying devices and carabineers to the visitors.  They offer a quick belaying class for those unfamiliar with top rope climbing, which is probably the safest form of climbing.   Top rope climbing has the rope running through an anchor at the highest point of the climb, one end connected to the climber, the other to the safety belayer, who keeps tension on the rope in case the climber was to fall.

Though there were probably seventy-plus people (men, women, children) enjoying the facility, with the number of routes available there was no feeling of being crowded and absolutely no waiting. 

We started out on a 5.11 and after the guys all feel off, Jamie, the lone female in our group, scampered right up the wall on her first try, winning the moniker, “Spiderwoman.”  I dropped back down to a 5.6 and got my feel for the terrain, but never exceeded a 5.10 throughout the day.  Jeff, Jeremy and Jamie, all made successful climbs routes through 5.12.  I think we all enjoyed conquering any route that had an under-hang, requiring a dynamic move to propel oneself to the next hand-hold. 

We took a break partway through the day and drove over to West End and grabbed some burgers at Five Guys, then it was back to the rock park.   

My forearms were the first muscle group to fail, losing grip strength and ending my day of climbing after about three challenging hours on the walls.  The others in my group were able to recover enough to continue climbing longer.   

Girls and guys were equally represented on the walls.  After watching the girls conquer the toughest routes, it was evident they are not the weaker sex.  The crowd also included several families with children as young as seven-years-old successfully navigating the jugs and crimps to the top of the wall.  

The environment lends itself to being as challenging and difficult as you care to make it.  It was very affordable and enjoyable, and probably something we will tackle again in the near future.

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