Step Out: Climb UP {Earth Treks Rock Climbing}

Last Saturday afternoon took us a little bit out of the District and way out of my comfort zone. I have been on a rock-climbing wall once in my life, almost ten years ago and without much to show for it. I got approximately 3 ft off the ground (let’s be generous here…) before my body froze and wondered why I was testing gravity. Yeah, it works; you will fall!

Earth Treks Rock wall 1

I want actions to come from discomfort (not safety) and experiences to be prioritized over everything else.”

Discomfort is: looking up to the top of a 70 ft. vertical wall that someone can climb using their hands and feet. The Experience: tying my own knots, clipping into the carabiner and climbing the 30 ft. (beginner’s) version without having a complete panic attack.


Our adventures took place in the largest indoor rock-climbing wall in the country. Who knew that was in Rockville, MD? Staying true to the city’s name, I ‘spose…

Rock wall paths
Figure 8 knot. Earth Treks
Rock wall climb

Earth Treks offers a great “Intro” package that D snatched up for us both: $75 for an Intro to Climbing/Belaying class, 15-day gym pass & subsequent Intro to Movement class. You get belay-certified and leave that first step with enough confidence to think you just might come back and give that 5.6 wall-route another try.

earth treks sign

The Earth Treks facility offers:

  • Over 38,500 square feet of climbing walls
  • 40 feet tall (although they actually look taller)
  • Extra, extra large bouldering cave
  • Over 200 top-rope climbs with lead routes interspersed 
  • Four separate teaching areas
  • State-of-the-art fitness area 
  • Pro-Shop
  • Locker rooms
  • Yoga Room  & Yoga classes (alright, fine…I’m in!)

A big-sell for DC’ers is that it’s metro accessible! (This is especially convenient if you’re among those of us in the NW quadrant.) It only took us about 30 min. to get to the gym, though be prepared to come face to face with an enormous furniture store first. Go around the back – bam! Rock climbing central.

We’re heading back this week to get in some more practice and make sure my hands, arms, legs, back and mind all remember to stay on the same page!


 Are you a rock-climber? Indoor or outdoor?
Anyone else find this sport just a little bit insane (in the good way, of course)?


Filed under Goals

5 Responses to Step Out: Climb UP {Earth Treks Rock Climbing}

  1. Looks hard! I’m so scared of heights too. Fun date though :)

  2. Next time you’ll be twisting and locking like a pro!

  3. Wow that looks intense! and pretty amazing actually.

  4. Ah….in Michigan we had a great indoor climbing facility. I still have all the gear, have to get back into it. Something the hus and I could do together.

    Glad you’re loving it – tons of fun and always something new.

  5. Love climbing! Used to do it quite often in Wyoming. Vedauvoo is a rock climbing mecca and the campus gym had a great wall for top rope and bouldering. There is some good climbing around my new home too. I MUCH prefer outdoor climbing because 1. I get to be outside and 2. Usually a great view at the top, especially in multi-ascent climbs. You can also do different kind of climbs that you can’t indoor, like surface or crack climbs! I hope you go back and get hooked! Although be prepared for some serious pain in your fingers and forearms!

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