Your whole body aches as you grip the rock wall, chest heaving with each heavy breath as you scan its surface for your next foothold. High above the ground, no ropes, no harnesses, you might forget where you are for a moment. You aren’t an elite ninja scaling castle walls or an intrepid mountaineer trekking the Rockies, though. You’re climbing at Adventure Rock.
Experienced climbers might already be familiar with Adventure Rock Climbing and Fitness, which has served the Greater Milwaukee area since their first location opened in Brookfield in 1998. After a surge in popularity following the opening of their Milwaukee location in 2016, they’ve opened their Walker’s Point location in the former MKE Brewing facility to accommodate their rapid growth and diversify the climbing experiences they offer. That’s why this location is dedicated to bouldering.
For the uninitiated, bouldering differs from standard climbing in two ways: the walls are lower, and there are no ropes. “It’s a little more gymnastic than rope climbing,” says Craig Burzynski, one of the owners at Adventure Rock. “It takes the hardest parts of climbs and puts them all together.”
Rest easy, climbing novices. Adventure Rock WKP has boulder patterns for all levels of experience, from first-timers to the international competitors that frequent the gym.
“We have some boulder patterns that are easier than climbing a ladder,” says Burzynski. “I’ve been climbing with my family this entire time.”
As for the COVID-shaped elephant in the room when it comes to opening gyms these days, Adventure Rock has, like most businesses opening right now, gone to great lengths to make patrons and staff feel safe.
“The question was, ‘How do we open in a way that we can give people the opportunity to come and climb while mitigating risks from coronavirus?’ The same question being asked not just in climbing gyms around Milwaukee, but around the country and the world,” says Burzynski. “Thankfully, our industry group banded together to come up with some best practices for re-opening.”
Some of those best practices include mandatory masks, spacing requirements and reduced capacity (updated by the minute on Adventure Rock’s website), coupled with rigorous sanitation. Burzynski says that while it’s been saddening to take measures to reduce crowding with such a social and friendly community around climbing, it’s great to see guests and staff act diligently and responsibly to keep everyone safe and comfortable.
So what do you need to get started? Nothing more than $24, a can-do attitude, and a reservation. That price will get you a day pass at any of Adventure Rock’s three locations and some rental gear. If you take to it, Adventure Rock offers a variety of memberships and classes to help you take your newest fitness obsession to new heights.