Portlanders are restless creatures. We like to explore the trails that wind through our city. We rejoice in weekend backpacking trips. We savor the local crags that serve as our jungle gym. Sometimes, though, we just can’t get outside. Maybe work is keeping us late. Perhaps the Portland traffic is thwarting our escape outdoors. Or, more likely, we’re just tired of the rain (hey, we have our limit).
Whatever the reason, we rest easy knowing there’s a nearby rock gym to solve all our rainy day woes. Whether we’re an expert seeking a challenging climb or a newb in need of an indoor adventure, there’s something for all of us. For once, we’re not mad about being stuck inside, and we have these rock gyms to thank for that.
SOURCE CLIMBING CENTER
If you care to brave the Portland traffic, take a drive across state lines to Source Climbing Center in Vancouver, Wash. Climb their rock walls, tackle their bouldering problems or take one of their HIIT classes, designed specifically to help climbers avoid plateaus and build lean muscle. Want more of a challenge? Train with other Source climbers to prepare for local, regional, divisional, or even national competitions. You’ll be a pro in no time.
THE CIRCUIT BOULDERING GYM
Now everyone knows Portlanders are serious about their homegrown food, but did you know this concept extends to our gyms, too? That’s right. The Circuit Bouldering gyms (with locations in Northeast Portland, Southwest Portland and Tigard) were built by and for the people using them. That means the same people chalking up their calloused hands were once cutting out the walls they climb. With 70 to 90 new climbs each week among the three gyms, plus access to yoga and fitness classes, there’s little risk of getting bored here.
This all-in-one rock gym is the perfect place for the serious or casual climber who also wants to get in a good workout. Planet Granite in Northwest Portland has a full gym, complete with hanging boards, squat racks, air-resistance bikes, and a full weight rack. The gym caters to both bouldering and rock climbing and boasts special features like hydraulically adjustable wall cracks and training walls that can shift angles for a steeper climb. With numerous fitness and yoga classes to boot, you may never need to join another gym again.
This gym will give you a taste of the outdoors even when you’re stuck inside. (And let’s be honest — this is the reality nine months out of the year.) This Beaverton gym may not offer much in the way of greenery, but it’s rock-colored walls make you feel like you’ve just stepped outside — minus the drizzle. The best part about this gym is it makes everyone feel at home. The routes aren’t graded but are instead marked by different colors to denote the level of difficulty. This is meant to make everyone—regardless of ability—feel like they can tackle a bouldering problem. Rock on.
PORTLAND ROCK GYM
This Northeast rock gym has you covered — auto belays, a weight room, cardio equipment, a yoga and fitness studio. Oh, and a great cafe. Work up an appetite with a yoga class, a few bouldering problems, a new climbing route or a quick session in the weight room. Afterward, head to Prasad East, conveniently located within the gym. The menu features fluffy pumpkin waffles, made-to-order oats, and an assortment of grain-and-veggie bowls. Just make sure to wash the chalk off your hands before digging in.