So you want to try rock climbing out huh? If you are in Tucson, no doubt you have heard of or been to Rocks and Ropes. Perhaps you have a friend in the “climbing scene” that has taken you down to “the gym” to climb a few routes and then grab a beer at Barrio after? If not, then it will probably happen for you soon so don’t worry. If you aren’t new to climbing but new to Tucson, then Rocks and Ropes is the perfect place to find a new belay partner or to grab some local info/beta etc. As far as fees and hours and other important info on the gym, just go to www.rocksandropes.com and you should find all the specifics you’d need. Now lets talk about the gym.
Once you walk in the door, fill out your waiver and pay any neccessary fees you may need to get a quick (or slighlty less quick) tutorial on the belay technique to be used at Rocks and Ropes… but then you can get to the real business of climbing. As far as the top roped portion of the gym is concerned, it is very easy to see the rating system and the marked routes (smaller numbers are less difficult). I won’t go into talking about the international climb rating system, just keep it simple. Hopefully you’ve brought a friend/belay partner; if not, then make a new friend or head on upstairs to the boldering cave and try some shorter more intense climbing “problems” that will get the heart rate up. There is also a lead climbing cave for some more experienced climbers and the routes are changed out fairly consistently. Like most gyms you’ll find that the ratings in general are slightly harder than an outside rated climb, this is all part of training to be a better climber on the mountain (at the “crag”).
The staff at Rocks and Ropes is extremely friendly and are great at providing information on how to progress through your climbing lifestyle and there are always classes and events going on for new and experienced climbers. There are plenty of people that only climb indoors for fitness, and never truly venture out into the world of “real” rock climbing, but if you choose to take it outside then you will find all the resources and people you’d need to reach your goal at Rocks and Ropes. Make sure you show up with a sense of adventure and be ready to be social. There are always classes and events going on for new and experienced climbers.
Let me know if this info was helpful, and I hope to see you at the gym!