Climbing is a sport of concentration, tenacity, strategy, mental toughness, intensity… oh, yeah, and a lot of fun. Eagle County has crags and walls that inspire rock climbers. But a lot of these honed rock climbers got their start on indoor climbing walls.
So, if you and your kids need a break from Colorado’s intense sun and want try something new, check out all the indoor walls peppered throughout the Vail Valley. But be ware: you might find yet another sport that you will love.
The Vail Athletic Club located in the Vail Mountain Lodge in the heart of Vail has a bona fide climbing club. It takes place on wall that doesn’t look like it’s crazy hard. But look again, there are vertical climbs, overhangs to roofs to challenge any level climber.
What’s a roof? Just what it sounds like – holds that are on a horizontal ceiling. There’s also a bouldering cave, a big overhang that is like sitting in a cave.
Larry Moore brings 29 years of climbing experience to his is role as Head Climbing Coach at the Vail Athletic Club. His brother introduced him to climbing and Larry believes the familial aspect of climbing is invaluable.
“My brother got me into rock climbing that’s why I treat it as a family endeavor, to go out with the whole family,” Larry explains. “There’s something for everybody out there: easy and hard and fun and challenging. Go out and enjoy it as a family.”
Larry started the VAC’s climbing program nine years ago. Today it’s a thriving program, teaching children the challenges and thrill of climbing – both of which translate into real-world skills.
“It’s a great skill-building set used outside of climbing as well. Children walk away with more confidence, they can take on challenges and take these growth (XXX) into all aspects of life, school and later on, relationships,” Larry says. “The life building skills and camaraderie is pretty amazing.”
“The level of instruction from Larry’s crew is incredible,” says Lisa Woods, a mother whose son has been part of the climbing club for almost two years.
“They don’t play around, it’s a serious sport but the kids have fun. I am impressed by the growth I’ve seen in my son. It makes them strong! He has ripped shoulders, abs. My son is 9 year old, it’s weird he has pectoral muscles,” she adds with a laugh.
You don’t have to be a member of the team to enjoy the benefits of the VAC wall. From three to five every Sunday, the VAC offers family drop-in climb time. There’s an instructor available to keep everyone safe, and it’s a great way to get an introduction to climbing.
Climbing inside is a perfect venue to get educated on climbing. “It’s a great learning environment,” Larry says. “It’s smaller, controlled and quieter. It’s an easier environment to learn and some safety elements. It’s not necessary, but it’s an excellent learning environment, so it’s recommended.”
For Information on the climbing program go to their website
They also have a money saving coupon for entrance to the club.