To the excitement of the enthusiastic climbing community on the Gold Coast, two indoor climbing gyms are opening in July and August, fulfilling their owners’ dreams and responding to the increasing popularity of the sport, with its inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Both gyms cater for the bouldering aspect of indoor climbing. They offer long opening hours, air conditioning, walls up to 4.5 metres high, soft crash mats, yoga classes, various problems to solve from Entry level to Mountain Goat grade and no ropes. Don’t be alarmed, on entry climbers are taught safe descent.
Each gym has friendly owners fuelled by their love of climbing, a hot coffee machine, and unique features, drawing climbers from all over the Gold Coast and beyond.
Alpine Indoor Climbing in Robina opened in July to a packed opening night and weekend. The owners Kirsty and Jamie Booth have fitted out their slabs and overhangs with high friction Blocz holds, with routes set by Australian Team Coach and Head Route Setter, Will Hamersla.
“People are coming down from Brisbane to try the Blocz holds,” says Jamie. The ambience is bright and friendly with upbeat chilled-out music rounding out the experience.
“The reception and support from the community has been awesome,” says Kirsty. “Everyone is excited to be in the gym.”
Keen climbers can practice on Alpine’s MoonBoard, with a 40 degree angle, LED lights, and up to 48,000 programmable routes.
“You can easily find, illuminate, create and share problems with fellow MoonBoard users, no matter their location,” says Jamie.
Bouldering is a very social sport as athletes discuss problems together and learn from each other’s techniques, even up to the highest levels of competitive climbing, such as International Federation Sport Climbing.
“The Queensland climbing scene is known for their welcoming nature and sense of inclusion,” says Kieran Froese, Sport Climbing Queensland Vice President.
“Queensland’s really well represented in climbing, both nationally and internationally,” says Froese.
“It’ll be great to see more climbers from the Gold Coast competing.
“We hope to host competitions at the new gyms in the near future to showcase what great facilities we have here in Queensland.”
The owners of Core Climbing at Carrara, Oliver Gilmartin and family, have designed their gym to cater for everyone from 6-year-olds upwards, inspired by their family’s enjoyment and passion for climbing. We Are Gold Coast saw Indoor Climbing Production’s Head Route Setter, Rebekah Parer, installing the first set of problems.
“We want people to come and play in our gym,” says Gilmartin, who intends the Core to entertain people for hours.
“We have a 950m² facility with 750m² of that dedicated to climbing and a further 100m² of air-conditioned yoga studio space. Have a climb, a coffee, a chat, and a shower.”
Easily accessible from the motorway, Core opens on 24th August, featuring a Walltopia wood-look build, a Kilter Board with an adjustable incline, and a three-metre top out. Topping out means to climb up and over the top of a wall.
“Kilter grips are the latest in training technology,” says Gilmartin. “If we’re making future icons we need to give them the tools to get to the top. We thought our Kilter grips were a Gold Coast first, but it turns out the Gold Coast gets to boast an Australian first.”
Core still has a few foundation memberships up for grabs, while Alpine sold out their foundation memberships before opening, due to high demand for bouldering facilities. Both gyms offer a range of memberships and casual entry passes.
What should first time climbers bring along to an indoor climbing gym?
“Comfortable clothes, a great attitude to try something new, and to be prepared for their next addiction!” says Jamie.
“Just a sense of adventure,” says Gilmartin. “We have everything you need to make sure you want to come back to the Core.”
address: 86 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina
price: casual pass: $20.50 and shoe hire: $5.00
address: 122 Eastlake Street, Carrara
price: from $25 a week