Where: Cliffhanger Climbing Gyms, 670 Industrial Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Description: This indoor climbing facility offers many different climbing and bouldering opportunities, ranging from beginner to advanced. If you don’t have people in your group who know how to belay, there are staff who can assist with this.
Cost: Prices vary based on whether you’re just dropping in or have purchased a pass or membership, as well as whether you need to rent equipment and require staff members to belay. If you have at least 3 people in your group and need a staff member to belay for a couple of hours, the cost is $22 per person (including all the required rental equipment), so it’s actually a very good deal. There are also various climbing courses available, which are priced individually. For those who already know how to climb and can belay (you’ll be required to pass a belay check before proceeding), a day pass is $18 during peak hours and $16 during off-peak hours. Prices are lower with memberships and multi-session purchases. Climbing shoe rental is $5, harness is $3, belay device is $2, and chalk bag is $1.
Time: As long as you’d like (we usually go for 2-3 hours).
Difficulty: Climbs range from relatively easy (plenty of large, accessible handholds and footrests) to very challenging. Climbing will be difficult for those who lack upper body strength and agility, but because you’re on a belay, you can let go of the wall and rest at any point and you won’t fall if you lose your grip on the wall. You just hang from the harness until you either choose to continue your climb or have your belayer lower you to the ground.
Required Equipment: Climbing shoes, harness, comfortable clothing (many people carry a bag of chalk to keep their hands dry as well)
- Climbing is a great workout for building strength and agility.
- Climbing is way more fun than working out at a gym because the unique problems presented by each climb are highly engaging.
- The staff at Cliffhanger are friendly, helpful, enthusiastic, and encouraging.
- There is a great atmosphere in the place. Other climbers tend to be friendly and easy going (I’ve never encountered anyone who was bitchy, grouchy, irritable, or snobby at Cliffhanger).
- The facility is clean and well-maintained.
- Although the prices at Cliffhanger are quite reasonable for the services and environment provided, climbing is not a cheap hobby.
- During certain times, the gym can get very busy, and you may have to wait for the climbs you want.
- Some of the climbs are quite close together, so if you go during busy times, you may bump elbows with someone on an adjacent rope.
- Thursday nights seem to be very busy there, whereas Sunday mornings tend to be quite slow, so that’s a good time to go.
- If you want to treat yourself afterwards, there’s an amazing chocolatier called BETA5 nearby on 413 Industrial Ave. The place does award-winning chocolates, customized cream puffs, fresh -baked croissants, and specialty desserts that are totally amazing.
- For more information about Cliffhanger, visit the Cliffhanger website.
For more fun stuff, see the main Activities page.
Note: Prices and conditions may have changed since the time of this writing.