Rock climbing gym offers cool alternative to the desert

desert rocks

BY DANIEL MESA

FEATURES EDITOR

The desert landscape provides a perfect layout for rock climbers to enjoy most of the year, however, the summer heat makes the sport of rock climbing difficult. To combat this issue, local owner, Steve Schechtman decided to open an indoor rock climbing gym.

Rock climbing has been a big part of Schechtman’s life as he has done glacier and indoor climbing, as well as mountaineering for 15 years. When Schechtman and his family moved to Palm Springs, “[he] saw a need for a fun and cool indoor hobby for kids, especially in the summer time.”

Desert Rocks Indoor Climbing Gym, opened July 2015, has around 7000 square feet of space which is all air-conditioned. There are two 28 foot walls for harnessed climbing, one on the main floor and one in a separate room for beginners and private events alike. In the main room is a long wall for bouldering (non-harness climbing) that expands 16 feet above the large 16 inch foam pad underneath.

Schechtman calls bouldering “exhilarating” because you are climbing with no rope or harness. This form of climbing calls for a great deal of upper-body strength. Customers can build their strength using the gym’s upstairs fitness center, which spans around 1000 square feet for fitness classes such as aerial silks, and yoga and an abdominal conditioning for rock climbing.

Rock climbing gyms in the United States have been growing popular in the past few years. U.S. commercial indoor climbing industry grew by 10 percent over 2015, with 40 new gyms bringing the total number of commercial climbing facilities in the USA up to 388, according to the Climbing Business journal.

Desert Rocks Indoor Climbing Gym, located at 19160 McLane St., North Palm Springs, is open Mon – Sat, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sun 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

You can purchase memberships and find additional information you may  need about Desert Rocks Climbing Gym on their website, http://www.climbdesertrocks.com/

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