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Rat Rock Central Park NYC | © benssss/Flickr
Rat Rock Central Park NYC | © benssss/Flickr
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The Best Climbing Walls In New York

Picture of Ismael Rodriguez
Updated: 15 November 2016
Climbing is the exercise trend that’s taking over New York one step at a time. With so many venues to develop as a climber, New York is the perfect place to try this activity, whether you’re a novice or a pro. Here are some places worth reaching toward when looking for a place to climb.
Climbing wall | © Yusmar Yahaya/Flickr
Climbing wall | © Yusmar Yahaya/Flickr
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Palladium Athletic Facility

Some things are just pretty cool as is the Palladium Athletic Facility, which features a rock climbing area, including a wall and bouldering cave. The wall is 30 feet tall, which is about two of their floors put together. The wall is made of glass, pre-cast fiber, and it is tinted to make the experience seem as though one is climbing a real outdoor rock, which can be good for one’s imagination, pretending to be in some type of adventurous movie.

Palladium Athletic Facility, 140 East 14th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 992 8500

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Manhattan Plaza Health Club

The climbers’ part, considered a climbing gym, of the Manhattan Plaza Health Club has less of a competitive vibe and more of a fun we-can-do-it-together atmosphere. Despite its small size, 5,000 square feet, the path formation is often changed, making the actual climb continuously challenging. It’s a great place to take someone as a gift — the rates are surprisingly reasonable — or to take some classes, making it your own potential hobby or workout.

Manhattan Plaza Health Club, 482 West 43rd St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 563 7001

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Crunch’s climbing wall is part of what makes this gym stand out. Some words used to describe it are ‘awesome’ and ‘cool,’ and given that the wall is located in a clean and new environment with a nice vibe to it and less of a crowd, it’s even better. The route up the wall is unchangeable and narrow, but it is three stories tall, or 36 feet up in the air. Between the stacked rectangular and square rocks (resembling their real counterparts) and the rocks’ permanent fishers, this space has a natural feel and offers something to stand and hold on to, which is said to make a difference.

Crunch, 1109 Second Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 758 3434

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Steep Rock Bouldering

Steep Rock Bouldering (SRB), though small in space, is where people go to climb and not to lift weights, which can be seen as a disadvantage to some of the climbers who want to lift after climbing. Since climbing is considered to be an expensive sport to participate in, good deals are appreciated as well as the experience with members of the staff, the friendliness of fellow climbers, and the monthly change in formation, which initiates new strategies to the top of the boulder.

Steep Rock Bouldering, LLC, 1506 Lexington Ave, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 410 7070

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Brooklyn Boulders

Brooklyn Boulders is said to be the complete package, which includes a weight room, a member’s lounge, helpful instructors, classes for beginners, and most importantly, a great community. The design of the place gives it a unique sense of reality, with music playing in the background and different rooms for different climbing adventures — formations are tagged with a different color to guide climbers up based on their skill level. As a climber’s skill level progresses, greater technique is required, which is mentally stimulating for some.

Brooklyn Boulders, 575 Degraw Street, Brooklyn, NY, USA, +1 347 834 9066

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The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers

When asked about the rock climbing wall at Chelsea Piers, don’t be surprised to hear the word awesome. The wall adds to a beautiful experience, which includes a swimming pool, running track, boxing ring, sun deck, indoor volleyball court, a café, and the list goes on and on. Considered to be a more peaceful place to climb because of the limitless space available, learning at a quicker pace, when compared to other more hectic places, is made possible. People appreciate the cleanliness of the facility and are most impressed with the size of the wall — 11,000 square feet — which is considered one of the most challenging walls to climb in the nation.

The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers, 60 Chelsea Piers, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 336 6000

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Central Park

Central Park is an ideal place for climbers to visit, especially now that there is a revival for climbing in New York City. What makes this sport unique is that one does not have to travel outside of the city for a challenge that is both mentally and physically demanding. All that is needed are calks, a pair of shoes, a falling pad, and one’s problem-solving skills, as climbers can artificially make their climb much harder by purposely skipping a fisher. Some of the more familiar boulders in Central Park are the Worthless Boulder, considered to be more challenging than other boulders like the Cat Rock and the Rat Rock, which are more suitable for beginners.

Central Park, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 310 6600

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The Rock Club

Be careful as The Rock Club is known to leave people hooked and addicted to their climbing walls, and the community feel may contribute to this factor as well. Those who have experienced this club say it is great, and the reason being lies in its changing routes and large facility size — allowing climbers to always find a spot to climb — along with the super friendly staff that roams around looking for someone to help, an all-around good vibe and, most importantly, a reasonable price. This place has one main climbing wall, which is 40 feet tall and 80 climbing stations with 800 individual routes to climb — no wonder why people love The Rock Club.

The Rock Club, 130 Rhodes Street, New Rochelle, NY, USA, +1 914 633 7625

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The Cliffs at Long Island City

What may be the biggest rock climbing facility, The Cliffs at Long Island City stands out when compared to their competitors due to their cleanliness, which customers appreciate, as well as the gym on the second floor. Their participants are loyal; when the city tried to shut them down because of an unsigned document, climbers continued to show their support. The staff is friendly and very accommodating — taking care of their customers’ needs and creating a good experience. As for the wall, it is 30,000 square feet and capable of holding 500 people at the same time.

The Cliffs At Long Island City, 11-11 44th Drive, Long Island City, NY, USA, +1 718 729 7625

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Powerplay Kids

Powerplay Kids is a place where children can be empowered through fun and action. There is an art to wall climbing, so what better place to take a child than to a facility that starts training them from a young age. They will get to learn the twists and turns needed to be a skillful climber, and maybe even make it a career of some sort.

Powerplay Kids, 432 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, USA, +1 718 369 9880