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Climbing gym comes to Brookline as new hotspot for college students

A new climbing facility in Brookline hopes to open on Commonwealth Ave. this Friday. Steps away from Boston University’s campus, the gym is conveniently located for many college students in the area. 

An employee works on renovations at Rock Spot Brookline before its opening this Friday. The Boston University Climbing Club partnered with Rock Spot and will hold practices, as well as events, at this new location. SYDNEY ROTH/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

“Having all the colleges in the area and being right on Commonwealth, it couldn’t be any better,” said Austin Drury, manager at the new location and the Malden gym.

The BU Climbing Club has partnered with Rock Spot Brookline and is working to organize events with them. 

Currently, the BU Climbing Club holds practices in Fenway and Watertown. Once the Brookline location opens, the Climbing Club plans to move their practices to the new Brookline location. 

“One of the big issues that BU Climbing faces is transportation … because it’s expensive, and the school doesn’t give us a lot of avenues to have regular transport to climbing gyms,” said Sylvie Cressman, the club’s captain. “Being able to walk to the Brookline location … will be huge for us.” 

Carolina Warneryd, a leader for the MIT Outing Club plans to have people climbing at the new gym weekly and hopes to schedule training sessions with a Rock Spot coach. 

“The new gym is really convenient for any members that live on or near campus, which especially includes undergrads,” Warneryd wrote in an email. “The distance makes it probably the most accessible gym from MIT.”

While some schools plan to use the gym, Jackson Wetherill, a captain of the Tufts Climbing Club, wrote in an email that the climbing club at Tufts University does not plan to use the facility. 

“Due to our existing relationship with Central Rock Gym, along with our relationship with their coaching staff, we are going to continue climbing there,” Wetherill wrote. “The proximity of Central Rock Gym is also much closer to campus, which is pretty important to us.” 

Cressman said the Brookline gym will be more equipped for training than the Central Gym Rock in Fenway, which was “not that conducive to training.” 

“The new facility will also have a MoonBoard, Kitler Board and a spray wall, which are all great training tools that we are excited to have access to,” Cressman said. 

The Brookline gym installed fully adjustable, full-sized 12-foot by 12-foot training walls with moon climbing and Kitler Boards, which allow climbers to track their routes and share them with others. Climbers can also personalize a climbing route with a spray wall, Drury said.

Warneryd, who visited the facility in January, wrote she “loved the layout of the walls and the other unique features like the Kilter Board.” 

“[The training boards are] what a lot of clubs are super interested in, because the other climbing gyms in the area just don’t really have training boards,” Drury said. 

The gym will also cater to younger and less experienced climbers with youth classes in a separate area with auto belays for protection, Drury said. A Youth Program Open House will take place on Sunday, March 10. 

“Even though it’s a bouldering gym, we have [youth services and classes] in here, so that it … adds value and is a little more fun for the kids,” Drury said. 

Colleges in the area might be offered a discount for their climbing clubs. 

Rock Spot prices are typically $99 a month, but BU Climbing Club members will pay $59, Cassidy Chen, vice-president of BU Climbing, wrote in an email. After six months of holding a membership, the price will go down to $50 per month for members, Chen wrote.  

“Since cost and distance are usually a large barrier to MIT undergrads who want to climb, the partnership with Rock Spot Brookline will help us overcome some of these challenges and hopefully get a strong climbing group together,” Warneryd wrote. 

Drury said Rock Spot Brookline is also speaking with Northeastern University, MIT and Harvard University about membership deals. 

During the first week of their opening, Brookline Rock Spot plans to offer free use of the facility to those who have never been to Rock Spot before. 

“We’re going to make it really easy for anyone to come check us out,” Drury said. “We [cater to] all ages, all abilities, so … anyone could come in.” 

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One Comment

  1. It would be nice to actually include the address of the new location in the article!