Everyday people who happen to have the climbing bug (an unnatural desire to scale walls, steep terrain and sheer rock faces) probably also feel the same compulsion to share their adrenaline-filled adventures with the most important people in their lives. This can be problematic if that person is not a climber. But don’t give-up. Bring them to Hub Climbing on a romantic rock-climbing date and inspire them on their own journey.
Members listen up – the way to have a great date at a climbing gym is not to do spectacular stunts in your date’s presence, but rather, to pave the way and make it possible for him or her to be awesome, and thereby want to return to do more and get better, climb higher and see more results physically.
ONLINE WAIVERS: A climbing Casanova would start off by making sure he or she completed the waivers and guest registrations online prior to arriving as that would speed up the process through the front desk check-ins. Get the shoes that he or she doesn’t already have, and help them get geared up for the activity. After the daters are all checked in, the member might take the guest on walking tour of all the different areas and different climbing options. They could take a trip through the bouldering or auto belay sections, and thereby see for themselves how it works – at this time the member or veteran climber can gauge their friends’ reactions and interests / fear levels.
The gentlepersonly thing to do next is .. nothing. The more experienced climber should let the rookie decide. Its a simple choice: Bouldering or Auto Belays? Auto belays are good for anyone who may have to overcome a newbie fear of falling, however, that may not be of interest to someone who is sincerely scared of heights. The tour confirms what is most interesting or most repelling, and what they could like or dislike as a result. Once the decision is made to go in a certain direction, the committed climbers should head to the front desk for the safety orientation.
Bouldering is a great way to catch the bug. Start in the learner’s area obviously, even if it’s too easy for some. The sense of accomplishment is contagious and the desire the raise the stakes comes instinctively to almost all people inside rock climbing gyms.
Play Wall Twister. Hub Climbing has a game called wall twister which we we have set up using the different colored holds as the colours of the twister mat. This is really fun and its certainly a way to get closer, physically – the game has a gentle competition. Possibly the only downfall is that it requires a 3rd person spin the wheel that picks the next colour.
Autobelays and straight-up climbing the walls is what impacts new people the most about Hub Climbing. This has to be on the menu at some point in the couple’s circumnavigation of the gym. So start by doing some very easy climbs with them, and get them used to the height, and also the falling. We advise members climb a route next to them so as to provide encouragement along the way.
Members, the last thing you want to do is start showing off your skills on your first date here. Your showboat mentally will ruin the idea your partner is forming to pioneer something here together, and demonstrating your superior abilities too early could result in rock climbing being ‘your thing’ forever. Its much better to work together to build the inexperienced climbers’ confidence, by showing them tips, better techniques and providing encouragement when they succeed.
Explore the gym now as a climber; find the Top Out Wall that leads to the gym slide to add some fun and excitement. And experiment with new climbs, and if they are adventurous a crack at the dragon and a fall into the foam pit is always fun. Just remember never to push too hard or show off too much.
If the date is really having a good time at the facility then, and only then, should members consider adding a little fun competition by trying for individual best times at the Speed Wall Climb. More social than the solo climb up The Dragon, the Speed Wall climbs will give the couple something talk about later, and is great social media fodder for their Facebook and Instagram pages.
Occasionally we have fun group-climbing workshops in which the participants actually want to be photographed. Sometimes athletes are also actors who want to record their adventures here in our attractions. Such was the case last Wednesday the 15th of August 2018 when Raymi the Minx came to Hub Climbing and brought an entourage of highly entertaining people from downtown Toronto. She packed a black Dodge caravan with friends, most of whom were also Toronto bloggers and Instagram influencers.
We court The Press in every form imaginable, and so Brandon Rowland the assistant manager here at the Markham facility offered to guide the group himself and do his very best to ensure everyone had a great time. That was pretty easy with this crew; Raymi’s friends are experts at finding fun.
Five of the six participants checked-in using their phones on the drive-up, but they still had to read and sign-off that they had read the instructions and obligations concerning the autobelay systems we use here at Hub Climbing. Bouldering is hard physical exercise and we take safety very seriously here at the gym. Here’s Joel Levy from Toronto Guardian and Casie Stewart signing their names on the forms at the Reception Desk.
Right after the waivers were signed, Brandon took the group into the gym and did some basic stretching and jumping exercises. The warm-up was followed by a short wall climb and fall to show how, and make all the participants experience for themselves the proper way to fall-off a wall.
And there were extra points for style.
Next the crew learned how to clip into the autobelay system, and how it works and, once ascended, how-to fall from a much greater height.
Hub Climbing is a terrific place to bring a group of people for an action-filled afternoon adventure. Rock climbing and bouldering provides a challenging and rewarding experience for groups who can bond as teams or compete as individuals.
Below is Martin from Studenomics com performing a braggadocios Facebook boast before beating the ten second challenge on the Speed Climb wall.
Below you can see Martin at the top of the Speed Wall in his first attempt. On his very first try he rocketed up the wall to punch the clock at eleven point four seconds. He beat this time on his second-try, scoring 9.9 seconds and earning our respect and many comments on his Facebook page.
After this exciting chapter, the bloggers tried bouldering on a particularly long traverse at the north side of the gym. While migrating to this area their supervisor and guide Brandon Rowland reiterated the most important parts of the Bouldering Orientation that they had just had an hour earlier; he reminded them again to always look up when passing under arches where other climbers could be bouldering, and slipping and falling.
Bouldering is the official term for climbing without safety ropes over an obstacle, or a traverse of boulders, with foam mats set about to cushion the landing when the climbers inevitably slip and fall. Bouldering is liberating, and its good exercise that provides members and guests with a true sense of accomplishment when they make it the far side of a long traverse without falling. Hub Climbing here in Markham has more and better bouldering traverses than almost any other gym in Ontario, and should someone ever wish to write a National level article, we’d be ranked pretty high-up on a Top Ten list of the best bouldering gyms in all of Canada. Just saying.
The final challenge was an individual assault on The Dragon. For anyone not familiar with Hub Climbing in Markham, the gym is at present (summer of 2018) laid out around a 23ft tall green and grey dragon with scary eyes. All the bloggers tried this go-for-glory solo challenge, but only Martin Dasko the author of Studenomics managed to get to the top.
The photo below is from his descent, which was rather cautious compared to the speed with which he initially scaled the sculpture. This is the moment he let go and fell into the foam pit. And he fell perfectly just like he’d been taught. Well done Martin.
All of Raymi’s friends were authentic, and while not all were athletes, none were posers. They all seemed to genuinely enjoy their experience here at Hub Climbing and their memories are preserved in the media they published on their blogs and in their Instagram channels.
If you are a lifestyle blogger or famous rock climber on Instagram please do reach out; we always welcome media-makers. Contact us for special experiences and Group Discounts.
Indoor Rock Climbing Event for Miss Canada
On Wednesday the 25th of July, the 2018 Search for Miss World Canada brought all fifty -five delegates to Hub Climbing for their annual Fitness Day mini-competition. This yearly physical-fitness event tests the athletic abilities of all their delegates and determines the Top Ten most athletic candidates whose scores are then published. The winner, the person deemed most-athletic, gets a free pass into the Top 20 Finalists and that’s a big deal as those top twenty delegates whose names are called are really the only ones who get to compete in the Grande Finale on Saturday night. It is from those top twenty young women that the winner is eventually crowned. So for the ladies here today this was a golden opportunity to get ahead.
The day-long Fitness Day event was organized to comply with the parameters set out by the UK-based Miss World organization; the Miss World Canada beauty pageant has to test the athleticism of all entrants, and add those values to their scores on Saturday night. The UK-body mandates that there be at least three different exercise-based challenges and that these test different parts of the body. The examples they list are sprinting, push-ups and chin-ups which is what they’ve done in the past at other fitness gyms around the GTA.
But not at Hub Climbing. First we showed them the ropes, and then we put the delegates through a five-part physical examination they will never forget. We tested muscles they didn’t even know they had!
We tested their raw climbing skills in a speed climb, where they each delegate had to quickly scale a wall and stop a clock. Each competitor got three tries and the best time was just under eleven seconds.
And we tested their team work in bouldering relay race. Split into groups of four but still competing as individuals, one by one the ladies had to maneuver their way across our longest traverse, and then wait and then come back again. The best team’s time was just over ten minutes.
After four challenging tests, the fifth was the ultimate challenge. One by one they each attempted a solo-climb up the Dragon which tests every muscle in their bodies and stamina and mental strength too.
Clearly this is not your usual beauty pageant.
Brandon, Nat and Chris really went above and beyond what was expected of them that Wednesday. Our team climbed to the challenge and designed, organized and staffed a five-part ordeal that involved top-rope climbing, bouldering and a solo climb against ‘The Dragon’.
The high scorers were:Kansas – 172 Natasha – 168 Erin -163 Meighen -161 Taylor -158 Rebecca -156 Brynn -149 Kristen -149 Laetitia – 146 Tiffany -143 Fastest climb on the speed wall challenge was 10.58 seconds. The fastest team on the traverse race was 10min 31sec Highest on the Dragon climb was 50pts
Johnny’s Schwarma in Scarborough was brought in for lunch, and the nutritious sustenance was needed and appreciated by all delegates recharging their muscles. Let’s remember that as exceptional as today was for them, this is just one more ordeal in what is for them a year-long quest for our nation’s biggest silver tiara.
Hub Climbing was chosen from the many other climbing gyms in the Toronto area, and we are so proud to have been selected for this special day.
Hanna Begovic won Miss World Canada 2018 and you can see her in this staff photo – bottom right.
Frequently asked questions about climbing in Hub Climbing Markham
On 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)
Where should I park?
If arriving Monday to Friday before 6pm you may park in the front lot or back lot at 165 McIntosh.
If you are arriving on Saturday or Sunday, or after 6pm on weekdays, you can also park at any spot on 155 McIntosh.
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 Yoga. Fitness studio membership is an additional $12/month.
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.
I want to climb the dragon!
We will require you take a free, dragon falls test so you can climb our 23 foot tall pet dragon. The falling technique from the dragon into the foam pit is different than in regular bouldering.
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.
Are there restrictions to foam pit usage under your dragon?
As much fun as the foam pit is, we do have to carefully control and restrict access to the Dragon. No one is allowed to use the Dragon without first undergoing a Hub Climbing foam pit fall orientation (free of charge. We don’t allow any horseplay in the foam pit as your safety is our top priority. Please consult the rules of the foam pit as posted in front of the foam pit before use.
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.
January 14 – Adults Experiential Session with Chris Neve
Wed January 14th
6:30pm-9:30pm ($60+ HST)
Have you ever watched someone climb and been in awe as to how they could move with such grace?
Sometimes when watching good climbers, we feel like we are watching someone do tai-chi on the walls and their otherworldly abilities seem to be an unattainable mashup of supernatural abilty and zen flow. Well, learning to move like water to rock is not magic.
If you have ever wondered how amazing climbers got to be so amazing, snap up the last few open spots of Chris’s lesson. Yes, you can learn how to become one with the wall and up your climbing game but there’s so much more than just climbing you’ll get out of your time with him.
If you are planning on climbing more than once or twice, or just simply curious and a lifelong learner, invest the time to learn from the best climbing teacher in the country. Who knows… you may learn something you take with you for life.
There’s only a few spots left so grab them while you can. If you have a special someone who is a lifelong learner, reserve a spot for them now. Prices are very reasonable for the length and quality of these lessons.
No matter what your climbing abilities, be sure to lock up one of the remaining spots with Chris. Yes, even if you can only climb V0’s right now, bring your beginner’s mind and soak it all in. It’s a long life and these opportunities come around very infrequently
Wed January 14th 6:30pm-9:30pm ($60+ HST)
To reserve your spot you must prepay in advance by telephone (905 604 4588) or at the gym.
p.s. class size limited to ten participants
January 15 – Rock Climbing Clinic Run by Chris Neve!
Thurs January 15th
6:30pm to 9:30pm ($35 + HST)
Don’t let your children miss out on this unique experiential education.
It’s not every day that you can have a celebrated, national level climbing coach invest time with your kids. Climbing encompasses richness and lessons beyond the physical realm and we would love to share that richness with your child. In climbing, we learn about ourselves, our freedom, our response-abilities, our goals, self-awareness, resilience and so much more.
We are beyond proud to offer your children time to be inspired and to work a teacher of the highest caliber.
There are only a few spots left so don’t let your children miss out. Prices are very reasonable for the length and quality of these experiences. Only ten spots available
Thurs January 15th 6:30pm to 9:30pm ($35 + HST). To reserve your spot you must prepay in advance by telephone (905 604 4588) or at the gym.
Beginner and advanced learners are mucho welcome.