Buzz has been building about First Ascent, which announced last February that a bouldering gym and fitness/yoga classes would be coming to the second floor of the Borders building at Broadway and Racine. This week we got to go inside and check it out, as the company finishes construction and hopes to open its doors to clients before year-end.
If you'd like a chance to take a look for yourself, there will be free "hard hat tours" of the facility given next week: Tuesday (12/15) and Thursday (12/17) at 7pm, and Saturday (12/19) at 11am. Register here if you're interested in seeing it all come together.
|We climbed those stairs to the top floor of Borders many times.|
The changing area and lockers will be on the first floor next to the staircase.
One of the most surprising things was how spacious the second floor is. Borders used a great deal of the available floor space for book storage and offices. Customers only had access to about half of the floor space, most of which will be open to First Ascent clientèle.
|Construction is going on every day, with the goal of a late-December opening|
|Next week 16" thick foam flooring will be added|
What does a newbie need to know? Show up wearing loose casual clothing. First Ascent will rent you proper footwear if you don't have it. There's a introductory class (Learn to Boulder) for $45 to give you the basics, and then you're ready to go. (There will also be classes offered for other skill level climbers.) Kids as young as five years old are welcome, but need to have adult supervision. Waivers must be signed by everyone using the gym, no matter what age.
|An exercise classroom, finished just the day before our visit|
|The holes in the walls will provide holds for climbers,|
and also LED lighting
If you're curious to know more about First Ascent:
- They are having a Grand Opening this weekend at their other gym, which opened in September in Avondale (3516 N. Spaulding). Everyone is welcome to show up and talk to the staff and find out more.
- You can check them out on the web and on Facebook.
- And don't forget about the three free hard hat tours in the next few days!