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Four Benefits of a 24-Hour Climbing Gym

Not long ago, most climbing gyms opened at noon or later and closed at 10 or 11 pm. As the sport grew, the demand for new climbing facilities and more hours drove climbing gyms to open earlier. 6 am openings help diffuse the after-work climbing crowd and offer a more peaceful training experience (no screaming, rambunctious kids). However, the demand for climbing facilities and access is still increasing, leading some climbing gyms to adopt 24-hour operation plans.

 

Currently, this isn’t a standard offering. The concept of a 24-hour rock climbing gym came from climbers needing a training space that accommodated their desire to train hard and busy schedules. (Commerical climbing gyms at the busiest times can be pretty chaotic). The gyms offering 24-hour service are mainly boulder-only facilities. They either keep one staff member remaining on duty, or the gym is small enough to run under an honor code offering a key code entry system. It could provide some worthwhile benefits if you are fortunate enough to access a facility where you can climb 24/7. Let’s break down four of those potential benefits.



4 Advantages of a 24-Hour Climbing Facility


woman climbing in a climbing gym

  1. Member Exclusivity

As mentioned, most gyms offering a 24-hour option only provide it to members. That means there are traditional non-member hours, outside of which only the smaller, select group of climbers can use the facility. Thus, you can pick times to climb when the gym isn’t busy and don’t have to deal with the headache of first-time climbers hogging the boulders or messing around on the fitness equipment you’re trying to use productively.


  1. Flexibility in Your Training Schedule

Gone are the days of missing training sessions because a last-minute work meeting arose or you were on afterschool carpool duty. No more penciling in 45-minute workouts during lunch breaks because you are only free after 10 pm. Not everyone will opt to climb at 2 am just because it’s “free” time for them, but knowing the option is available can make it less stressful when trying to plan when you’ll go to the gym. At a 24-hour facility, you can go anytime. 


  1. Undisrupted Access to Training Equipment

The flexibility in when you climb means that you can strategically avoid peak hours (aka the post-work climbers who come straight from the office and then head out by 9 pm for dinner). Avoiding the gym when it’s busiest will help ensure that you have access to the hang boards, dumbbells, or other in-demand training equipment. That also extends to Kilter, Moon, Grasshopper, or systems boards, which are impactful training tools but are frustrating to share with multiple climbers (especially of different levels).  


  1. No Rushed Workouts or Surprise Closings         

Most climbing gyms have a different weekday schedule than weekends. They also might have varied opening and closing times during the week. No matter how long you’ve frequented the facility, there’s most likely been a time when you get to the gym at 7 pm thinking you have until 10 pm to train, only for the staff to announce they’re closing in an hour. It happens; with all the other deadlines in life, mixing up gym operation hours is easy. With access to a 24-hour gym, that situation would never happen again. Instead of rushing through your warmup and workout to do something before the early closing, you could complete the entire training session you intended. 

 

The summation of the benefits of a 24-hour climbing gym boils down to flexibility and fewer people. You could climb without stressing about when or having to cram a session into the 30 minutes before closing. You’d also have the option to avoid the gym at peak hours when kids programs and recreational climbers flood the climbing areas and commandeer the training equipment. There is no guarantee these operations will spread to all climbing gyms, but if you think its benefits may suit your climbing life, see if there is one near you!


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