Indoor Rock Climbing at City Climb Gym

Photo of city climb gym

For the longest time, the indoor rock climbing gym near the Farmington Canal in New Haven has been a fixture in my daily runs. Passing it during my daily runs, I often imagine how much fun rock climbing would be, and as my senior year of college unfolded, I decided it was finally time to check this off my bucket list. While the anticipation was high, the challenge was even higher, so here’s the tale of my first indoor rock climbing adventure at City Climb Gym.

Walk to city climb gym from the canal
Walking to City Climb Gym from the Farmington Canal

City Climb Gym, a mere 20-minute walk from Timothy Dwight College, seemed like the perfect place to take on this challenge. I had heard stories of the physical demands of rock climbing and the upper body strength needed, but nothing could prepare me for the reality that awaited me within those walls. Right off the bat, once my friends and I checked in and signed the necessary forms, the staff at City Climb Gym were welcoming and helpful, ready to assist beginners like us. The diversity of climbers, from members of Yale’s Indoor Climbing Team to novices like ourselves, created an inclusive environment for everyone to participate in the sport.

I opted for bouldering, a form of rock climbing that involves shorter routes without ropes or harnesses. The walls, adorned with colorful grips and dusted with a heavy coating of chalk, immediately posed a formidable challenge for my friends and I. Needless to say, my first ascent was a humbling experience. As I clung to the holds, I not only struggled with my lack of grip strength and upper body strength but I also found myself navigating through a mental maze of decisions. I quickly realized that climbing wasn’t just about physical strength; it required problem-solving skills and strategic thinking and each move required a combination of strength and technique. My friends, equally new to the experience, were facing their own challenges on nearby routes and it was the camaraderie in our collective struggle that made the experience much more enjoyable.

Valerie attempting to rock climbClara attempting to rock climb
Valerie and Clara attempting to rock climb

The next day, my upper body reminded me of the exertion it had endured. Rock climbing engaged muscles I rarely used, and the soreness was a testament to the intensity of the workout. Despite the physical toll, the sense of accomplishment was undeniable. Not only that, but I was also immensely proud to be able to cross it off my bucket list, and for having stepped out of my comfort zone.

All in all, indoor rock climbing turned out to be a challenge unlike any other. While I might not be heading back to City Climb Gym anytime soon, the memories created with friends are irreplaceable. For anyone looking to try something new or engage in an activity that combines strength, strategy, and camaraderie, I highly recommend giving indoor rock climbing a chance. Now as I pass by City Climb Gym, I smile as I remember my afternoon falling from the climbing wall with my friends.

Ella attempting to rock climbMe attempting to rock climb
Some more rock climbing photos - I was so sore after this ᴖ̈