Entry by Rachel R
Who says the speed wall needs to be so daunting?
If you’ve ever been to Hub Climbing Mississauga you’ll know we have two intimidating factors: the dragon and the speed wall.
Who says the speed wall needs to be so daunting?
Speed climbing has been around for 12 years and its popularity is only growing since the announcement of sport climbing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Even the people who hold the world records in speed climbing had to hop on it for their first time! Reza Alipoour, who has been deemed the “Persian Cheetah” and “Usain Bolt of Speed Climbing”, didn’t start his speed climbing career with a time of 5.48 seconds, that’s for sure. Many professional rock climbers are just starting out their speed climbing careers, either with plans to compete in the Olympics or just to keep up with the fast growing sub-discipline of the sport.
The best way to start speed climbing is to practice the moves over and over again. Muscle memory is what’s going to get you up the wall! Start with a flat pair of climbing shoes, grab some rentals from us if you normally wear aggressive shoes. Start your first runs on the wall slow until you memorize those moves, then you can start to try for your best times.
The goal is to ditch all the technique you’ve ever learned in climbing and start fresh. The fastest way to get yourself up the speed route is to rely on your muscle memory for your foot placements, looking down will only slow you down. Keeping your hips square to the wall and travelling in as straight of a line as possible is what will have you setting personal records in no time!
If any Hubsters are interested in learning about speed climbing, be on the lookout for information about clinics we host at our Mississauga location for all the tips and tricks!
Looking for more technical information on speed climbing? This article shows you a bit more about the mechanics and flow of the exciting sport of speed climbing.
Yelpers from all over the city met up for a night of fun- filled climbing in Canada’s newest and largest rock climbing facility!
Yelpers were treated to a supervised climbing experience, that includes experienced staff guides, fun team based challenges, a variety of games and more.
The night started up on our amazing mezzanine that overlooks our entire facility and focuses on our famous pit and dragon, giving spectators an amazing view of climbers scaling our 49’ walls.
After taking in the views for a couple of minutes it was time to climb!! Our Yelpers took to the walls, some chose to start with bouldering, while others choose to start with our roped climbing options on either Autobelays or Top Rope. Once everyone got warmed up we introduced some of our fun games and challenges.
Our games & challenges included a variety of events that were great for new climbers. One was the speed wall, a race to the top in the fastest time. Another was the blindfold climb! Yeah, you heard that correct, we blindfold the climber and send them up the wall, guided by only a team on the ground shouting out your next moves! RIGHT ARM UP!!! We had a word puzzle challenge as well, we stashed letters at the top of a climb and each person had to make it to the top, grab a letter and come back down. Once all the letters were down the team then had to unscramble them and figure out the puzzle.
These are just a sample of the many fun offerings Hub climbing has available to birthdays, groups and team/corporate building events! That coupled with the amazing climbing experience makes Hub Climbing the place to be!
An Unforgettable Rock Climbing Group Party
Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 9:00 PM
This event was an after hours, climb in the dark event that included our very own Dragon DJ Darwin playing the hottest tunes all night long. We also had fog machines, dj lights and even an awesome laser lights show!
That was just the start of the fun, while each climber challenged themselves to scale our nearly 50’ walls with nothing other than their headlamps to guide them. Once they completed the climb it was time to show off some of their dance moves back on the ground as the sweet music, laser light show and fog filled the air! If that was not enough all attendees were treated to a complimentary pizza party! WOW!
Tickets for this event sold out quickly! If you did end up scoring a ticket and joining us we hope you had fun and look forward to seeing you at our next event! If you missed out be sure to keep an eye out around our facilities and on social media for the next event in our Hub Climbing Event Series! And don’t forget to get your tickets early so you don’t miss out on the action!
Announcing Great Toronto Area’s first HYDRAULIC climbing training wall
16 x 12 feet! And lets go even W I D E R Check out this campus board 19 feet wide
S TE E P – tilts over a range of 40 degrees, starting point of around 20 degrees, all the way down to 60 degrees, super steep challenges for your training
But wait there’s more!
Angled training areas
Thanks to @delire
video by @kingfilms @raizel_Ray @rtgstudios
location: Toronto North / Hub Climbing Markham
Hub Climbing Markham has a dragon in the back. The monster’s body is absolutely covered with climbing routes. Where his back meets the wall there’s an open area that always becomes an informal squat space when the gym is busy. This open area is a place where climbers converse as they wait their turn to tackle the beast.
The routes on the back of The Dragon all have a point where you must swing your body and blindly reach to find the next rock. Just about everyone falls. The routes bend obtusely and unless you grasp and hold that topside crimp with near superhuman strength you’re going to fall. And crawl back to the squatters.
Well let’s squat no more. Now there’s a proper lounge in that spot. Sectional sofas have been added there and at other key waiting points throughout the gym. Both gyms. Thanks to Hub Climbing’s embrace of Velago Patio Furniture, the most popular routes in both our Markham and Mississauga gyms will now have much more comfortable queues.
People don’t go to a climbing gym to relax.
Many new climbers, or new-to- gym-climbing types might not know that in the world of indoor rock climbing there are some unwritten rules. We could write them here, but they wouldn’t sound right written down and that might lead to gosh knows what else. Oh, sure there’s already a well thumbed Code of Conduct for all Hub Climbing gym members, but there’s also an unwritten code that is mostly common sense. Don’t touch other people’s ropes. Don’t shout good advice out loud. The unofficial code of conduct is basically to treat everyone the same way you expect to be treated, and that includes waiting patiently, and safely, behind imaginary lines so the person struggling above feels as comfortable as possible.
When the gym is busy, the indoor climbing ritual includes a lot of standing, sitting and socializing. ‘Friends from the gym’ is a common connector as like-minded people meet in this place and lifelong friendships are born here.
Cream coloured resin wicker outdoor sectional sofas from Velago Patio Furniture is an interesting choice for climbing gyms as rock climbing is both indoor and outdoor activity. The furniture adds comfort and style and brings a bit of the outdoors into this dusty indoor workout space. There is no coffee table in our vision.
Plastic resin is a strong, high-quality material that’s used making outdoor furniture. Resin deck pieces are extremely weatherproof as the material does not rust or rot which makes them perfect for swimming pool decks and sweaty high moisture work-out spaces. The plastic is easy to clean and very durable, and it will be very interesting to see how long and how well the furniture holds up in here. Our gyms are conceivably the most high-use environment imaginable for such posh patio gear.
The sectional sofas have specially treated UV resistant outdoor fabric that is water repellent, easy to clean, and machine washable. The cushions themselves are made from high density foam for optimal comfort. The convenient modular design means they can take any shape. The ‘Savosa’ models all have generous deep seating that’s ideal for lounging and they have lots of pillows for added comfort.
Setting up sectional sofas in Markham
On Tuesday the 27th of March 2019 we finally opened six big boxes that had been delivered to the Markham gym. Staff members were delighted to discover how each huge box was mercifully light and easy to carry.
Once the cardboard containers were carried to the correct location they were cut open and their cream coloured contents spilled out onto the gym floor.
As the plastic toes were screwed into place one staff member wondered aloud if there were extra pieces? And if replacements had been sent with the others in each box.
Velago had sent extras. Would these toes be the first things to break, bend or go missing? We’ll see.
Or maybe the side and body of the furniture will be trampled and stoved-in by a thousand climbing shoes, or its lovely white corners scuffed and scraped until the wicker frays and breaks? We’ll see.
At the end of the assembly, the staff sat together and reflected on the upgrade. They knew they would be the first of thousands to enjoy these pieces and they luxuriated in that fact.
These soft, incredibly comfortable sectional sofas are now awaiting your backside at both gyms. The couches are sure to make socializing in this space even more special.
Good work team.
Sharing our love of rock climbing with Mississauga, Oakville, Etobicoke and Brampton
Gym Members Could Bring Two Friends for Free Climbing Each Day
On Saturday and Sunday February 23, 24th 2019, Hub Climbing Mississauga broke all attendance records with their Grand Opening Climber’s Party. Outside the complex at 3636 Hawkestone Rd Unit 1 both parking lots, front and back, were filled with cars. It was only slightly less busy inside the gym. People came in from all across Ontario. Friends met to get free stuff, attend workshops, watch featured entertainment and climb tall walls together.
The gym was filled to the brim both days as Hub Climbing Mississauga let members bring up to two friends each for a free climbing, and anyone else who walked in off the street could get a full day of climbing for $23+tax (Rentals not included). Members were emailed and Instagrammed the graphic invitation displayed above which encouraged them to bring their pals and come explore our new property . We worked real to get hard to get the message out, and to prepare for the landmark day. Our event planners lined up eighteen hours of fun-filled activities designed to challenge and inspire all participants.
Grand Opening Events at a Climbing Gym
At Hub Climbing Mississauga, just like in Markham, we’re on a mission to grow the climbing community in Ontario and across Canada by hosting unique events and by becoming a central ‘hub’ for athletes and climbing activities of all descriptions. But the facility was designed to accommodate other exercise disciplines that don’t involve scaling tall walls. Fundamentally, we hope our new facility will act like a beacon to attract new people to the sport of climbing. Once people catch the thrill of a clever ascent they’ll never want to quit. That’s why we work so hard to create a non-intimidating atmosphere for people who have never climbed before but want to try their hand at this popular sport. All weekend long we laid out photo challenges and workshops and live performances by skilled entertainers. Both days started with friendly competitions in top rope climbing, lead climbing and bouldering. Then in the afternoons there were workshops including an Introduction to Speed Climbing workshop that occurred at 1pm which was the day’s most popular clinic.
Rachel taught a well-attended Tips for Beginners – Introduction to Climbing workshop at 2:30 pm which covered the different names of things and various climbing techniques.
Kids Love hanging Out at Hub Climbing
Some members brought their whole families to the gym that weekend. When parents and kids come to the climbing gym, staff members are ready to help them get started. The first lesson we teach young climbers is that what goes up must come down, and the best way to avoid injury is to practice falling and landing properly on the mats. Next thing is to set expectations, and be ready to congratulate their successes. There are whole walls with climbs set out for folks with shorter reaches, but that doesn’t mean they are any less challenging. We were delighted to see our youngest guests try and succeed here, climbing for the first time, tasting a thrill that will tempt them for a lifetime.
The Master of Ceremonies asked participants to submit videotaped records of their ascents in Speed Climbing, Bouldering, Top Rope & Lead Climbing. These all ages, all -skill level competitions were strictly for fun but of course we did award prizes.
Prizes & Winners at Grand Opening Party
When the dust settled our Judges had over 300 competitors in eight separate challenges to evaluate, and in total we gave out twenty awesome prizes to reward the winners. The winners were,
Saturday -Bouldering Ryan Meghdies, Speed Climbing, Cornelius Froese, 5.68sec. Top Rope Climbing- Shaolin Rose Gawat. Lead Climbing – Shaolin Rose Gawat
Sunday- Bouldering: Justin Leung. Speed Climbing: Brandon Barraclough 5.31sec. Top Rope Climbing: (Tied for first) Marc Sirizzotti, Jordan Querino, Crystal Chan, Taylor Galloway. Lead Climbing – Lien Mike Chen
Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who participated.
Sponsors Came to Party with Climbers
Right inside the front door, Mountain Equipment Coop, which goes by the name MEC now was there giving out Cliff bars and key chains. Deeper inside the complex, other retailers brought niche climbing gear for show & sale at the exhibition. Some of our members purchased apparel which they donned on the spot. T-shirt vendors were busy all day selling soft climbing shirts adorned with fresh designs by Michelle Ang.
Michelle Ang or Michyllica is a rock climber & artist located in Toronto, Canada. Her designs have recently won international recognition having been selected as logos for major climbing competitions. The clever image of a human heart wrought from rope was the top-selling T-shirt design at Saturday’s show and sale.
Sender Gear at Mississauga Climbing Gym
The Sender vendors proffered a wide array of high quality Tenaya climbing shoes available for free trials. This team was smart to park themselves in a prominent corner of the gym and once there they let Hub Climbing members try out their climbing gear for free. This is a great way to get people talking about your goods, especially if you’re absolutely certain you have the best performing footwear in the marketplace.
Sender Gear is an official retailer of Tenaya climbing shoes which is a well recognized brand on five continents, and their booties have helped top ranked athletes boulder up some of the planet’s hardest routes in record times.
Tembo Chalk gave away twenty pounds of rock climbing chalk, one scoop at a time.
Tembo Climbing Chalk was prominently featured at the party, occupying prime real estate between the front door and gym floor. You couldn’t ignore them, or their offer of free rock climbing chalk. Anyone with a pouch got six ounces of the white stuff to do with as they pleased.
What exactly is climbing chalk made from? We asked, and Matt Fudge told us that while most climbing chalk you’ll find is made from Magnesium Carbonate, his recipe is distinctly different. But he wouldn’t say much more than that. It’s all very hush hush.
Normal climbing chalk is similar to the blackboard chalk you might remember from grade school, and is the same compound that gymnasts, weightlifters, and other athletes put on their hands in order to improve friction and grip. How could Tembo have anything different? And how is it any better? Only the climbers who tried the free samples would know.
Sydney Park, a Local Boulder Champion Was Spotted on the Walls
Sydney Park made short work of the tallest wall in the gym. She is the 2019 Boulder Champion (Nationals) Youth Group B. This author is not entirely sure if that’s the correct competition title for Sydney, but regardless it was fun to watch this young competitor scale the walls. The girl is a natural climber and a natural speed climber.
Glory Dearling Performed Aerial Silks at 4pm
At 4pm in the afternoon, party goers were treated to a spectacular aerial silks show created and presented by aerial performer Glory Dearling of The Circus Fix. Curious onlookers corralled into in the carpeted auditorium below the premium lead climbing section of the Mississauga gym. The stairs here are soft seats that face the Dragon. Indeed this is the Dragon’s Lair, a pit dug into the floor special to produce the tallest competition climbing walls in the GTA.
It was in this central area of the gym that Hub Climbing staff rigged two parallel lines of fabric from the tip of the dragon’s snout down to the ground, a vertical distance of about forty feet. This was probably more space than Glory is accustomed to having, as few other Mississauga venues would offer such heights.
Aerial silks are a relatively new thing; they were only just invented in 1996 by circus mentor André Simard. The athletic art form was produced as a result of Andre being commissioned by Cirque du Soleil to research and develop visually attractive acrobatics as early as 1987. His job was to discover imaginative ways to inspire audiences to buy tickets, and to wow them once they got to the shows. His description of this midair dance as, “The beautiful yet dangerous art of aerial silk” perfectly encapsulates the spectacle.
Aerial silks also known as aerial contortion, aerial ribbons is a type of performance in which one or more artists perform aerial acrobatics while hanging from a piece of fabric. Some performers use dried or spray rosin on their hands and feet to increase the friction and grip on the fabric. Glory did not apply anything to her hands or feet.
The fabric was hung as two pieces, but its not uncommon to see performers use only a single piece, or one folded to make a loop, (that’s called a hammock silk).
Just like Andre Simard, aerial silks performers like Glory Dearling are athletic artists. Glory climbed the suspended fabrics without the use of any safety lines. She relied on her training and skill to execute the most complicated midair maneuvers this author has ever seen. The performing artist swirled the fabric below her frolicking body as she rose up and down the line, contorting herself in all directions. Glory amazed the audience by using the fabric to dance through the air, striking poses, telling a story in the sky.
Hazel McCallion, the matriarch of Mississauga rock climbed days before her 98th birthday!
The excitement inside Hub Climbing Mississauga had been building for months and it finally piqued on the Saturday February 9th 2019 during our Grand Opening exhibition when four regional politicians entered the 3636 Hawkestone Rd facility. Over the course of the day, each representative had a profound climbing experience.The view from the upstairs lounge during the ribbon cutting at Hub Climbing, Mississauga.
The fun started right after the opening formalities when Mississauga Centre MPP Natalia Kusendova, and both past and present Mississauga mayors, Bonnie Crombie and Hazel McCallion and Ward 6 councilor Ron Starr lined up beside our bosses here at the gym to cut a ceremonial opening ribbon.Yoav, Rob, Hazel McCallion, Steven Brown, Bonnie Crombie, and Councilor Ron Starr held up municipal certificates and plaques of recognition.
Another round of photos downstairs captured the giving and receiving of certificates declaring a big welcoming from Mayor Crombie, Councillor Starr and MPP Kusendova.
The caterers laid out quite a spread that afternoon. There was fruit and veggies and fingers sandwiches beside a bountiful cheese board. This was a healthy feast before the fun began.There was something on the menu for every climber, including coffee and sugar cakes!
The whole day was pretty special. But when Hazel McCallion slipped-on a climbing harness over her clothes and clipped into the top rope, we knew that some of these photos would live on forever as part of her legacy. And the shots we put on our Instagram broke the internet!
Former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion has a big following on Instagram (on every social network), and we knew this image was destined to be iconic the moment it was snapped. This picture is a testament to her incredible physique; being health and fit in your late nineties is the greatest test of an athlete’s body. Hazel turns 98 next week!Here’s the next picture in the series of Hazel McCallion rock climbing in our Mississauga gym
It’s a little-known fact that Hurricane Hazel McCallion played professional women’s hockey while attending school in Montreal. The story is that a teenage McCallion began playing hockey in the late 1920s in the town of Port Daniel, Quebec. She played there with her two sisters and was a forward on their team. McCallion later played hockey semi professionally (she was paid $5 a game) in a women’s hockey league that was sponsored by a soft drink company in the City of Montreal. And it’s clear she’s being keeping super healthy ever since.It wasn’t just a staged photo op; Hazel McCallion really did go climbing that afternoon.
Other dignitaries who scaled the walls that day include Ward 6 Councillor Ron Starr, and Mississauga Centre MPP Natalia Kusendova, and current Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie who really demonstrated a good natural athletic climbing style. It didn’t take her long to scale the heights in one of our harder climbing sections.Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie goes climbing with Ron Starr, councilor Ward 6
Mayor Bonnie Crombie is a natural rock climber. She made it all the way to the top of a forty five foot wall on her first go. This is just another reason why she’s so darn popular. As our city’s chief magistrate, Bonnie Crombie (incumbent) garnering nearly 80 per cent of the vote in the last municipal election (Oct. 22nd 2018) winning her second term as mayor by a landslide.
There were more than 200 roped climbs to choose from that day, as there is here everyday, and so all the guests and visiting official had lots of opportunities to test themselves and get the perfect selfie shots for their own social media channels. We live in an age of shared moments and rock climbing gyms are amazing backgrounds for selfies.
Hazel McCallion just proved what we already know; climbers of every age and skill level, from novice to expert, can get comfortable at Hub Climbing Mississauga. This is the best place in the city to learn the sport and test your skills.Hub Climbing desk staff hamming it up for a friend’s camera at Saturday’s party.
Hub Climbing Mississauga is a 30,500-sq.-ft facility, the largest climbing gym in the country, and its very existence proves our organization’s commitment to the sport. “Everyone at Hub Climbing is proud of our new facility and what it can do to grow our sport and support climbing in the community,” said Hub Climbing co-owner Steven Brown. “This facility is designed for every level of expertise. It’s a welcoming place for people interested in climbing and bouldering to give it a try, for beginners to learn the sport, and for experts to challenge their skills.”
Mississauga Indoor Climbing FAQOn a day pass may I supervise my own children?
Yes! Make sure each child who is bouldering is directly supervised by an adult who has recently taken our bouldering orientation.
Make sure there is at least 1 adult directly supervising no more than 2 children climbing.
If you are bringing children, please make sure their waivers are filled out by their parents or a court-appointed legal guardian (we will ask for documentation) What should I wear?
Wear something comfortable that is loose and/or can stretch, such as yoga or running attire. Jeans, for example, are not recommended as they are made of a stiffer material and may restrict your movements on the climbing wall. All climbers are required to wear rock climbing shoes. If you don’t own a pair or simply forgot yours at home, we do provide rentals for the day (socks are recommended). Climbing shoes are great for climbing but can be uncomfortable when worn for long periods. We recommend you bring flip flops, sandals or Crocs for your time between climbs. In case you don’t have a pair, ask our staff and we’ll lend you a free pair for the day.
And remember to avoid wearing anything that has attachments or parts that dangle off or can get stuck in the rocks or autobelays, etc. Eg hooped earings are a big no-no!What is a Day Pass?
A Day Pass is good for the entire day. For example, you can come at noon, climb for 90 minutes, head out for lunch, come back and climb more! Your rentals are good all day as well. Are your memberships all inclusive or do I have to pay more for access to the Fitness Studio and Yoga?
Hub memberships include unlimited access to all climbing facilities, as well as climbing training areas (incl. hangboards, moonboards and system boards) and (soon!) Yoga. How long should I plan a visit to last?
This will depend on what type of climbing you would like to do. If you would like to just boulder and use auto belays, we recommend under 2 hours at the facility. The sport takes it out of you more than you think and climbing past 90 minutes isn’t recommended as mistakes tend to happen past that due to fatigue. How much climbing would we expect to get in during our visit?
This is somewhat of a hard question to answer because it is a little subjective, but depending on what your base fitness level is and what type of climbing you are doing (bouldering or autobelay or top rope) we find that our guests get more than enough climbing in during a regular 1.5 hour climbing session. If you have never climbed before it can be quite startling how tiring it can be, so make sure to plan in rests and hydration breaks. It always helps to spend some time watching other climbers to pick up tips and make your rest period that much more exciting. Must I make a booking or can I just drop in?
Unless you’re looking for a lesson or for direct staff supervision, you can drop in without a booking. Just keep in mind that orientations take a few minutes! Am I too old to climb?
Short answer, nope! We have members and guests of all ages. How old does my child need to be to climb?
We recommend a child be age 4-5+ for AutoBelays and top rope. A child must weigh at least 30lbs to use our auto belays. For bouldering, children should be 6+ due to this activity being a little bit higher risk. Do I have to be in great shape already to start climbing?
You do not need to be in excellent shape to get started with climbing, but should always consult with your physician before beginning a new exercise program. Do I need to take an orientation before I can boulder or autobelay?
Yes! The orientations are important to help you learn how to better prevent injuries. Expect a bit of a wait for your orientation: If it’s really busy here with new visitors, there may be a wait but we get to everyone within 15 minutes or so. Do you sell climbing gear?
We sell some basic climbing gear, particularly the essentials like chalk, tape, chalk bags and shoes. Tell me about your bouldering safety flooring
All our bouldering flooring is designed by Asana, a leading climbing gym flooring provider in U.S.A. and provides 16 inches of various types of foam underneath a cordura shell. The flooring is designed to be of a firmness that makes it possible to walk on the mats with less strain on your ankles but with increasing absorption for higher velocity falls. We recommend that you never rely on any flooring system to ensure your safety but that you focus on learning proper fall technique, downclimbing whenever you can, learning about your limits and never going beyond your own limits.
Are you a Firefighter? Police? EMS? If so, come to Hub Climbing with all your first responder friends for some free climbing* on Friday, January 18 🚒🚑🚓 911 Day starts at 12pm in Markham and 3pm in Mississauga 🚓🚑🚒
*Free day pass and shoe rentals for all first responders who bring valid ID.
165 McIntosh Drive Markham ON L3R 0N6
3636 Hawkestone Road Mississauga ON L5C 2V2