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Climbing gyms in Chicago
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By Bridger Mann-Wood
From Lander, WY
Oct 19, 2011
Does anyone know of a good climbing gym close to the millennium park area of Chicago? I will be there for my job and will have some spare time. Thanks!

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By jarthur
From Westminster, CO
Oct 19, 2011
My dogs got ups yo!
indoorclimbing.com/illinois.ht...

I was in Chicago for two months over Winter and visited just about all of them, but honestly my favorite was Hidden Peak Climbing Gym. It's underground, gloomy as hell, and tiny, but I liked the people that I met and the problems were really good. This gym isn't for everyone, but this was actually my favorite. Plus it's close to where you'll be.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Oct 19, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
Hidden Peak is only bouldering. Best all around climbing gym has got to be Vertical Endeavors in Warrenville which is about 45 minutes south west of the city proper

verticalendeavors.com/warrenvi...

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By Marty Combs
From Boulder, CO
Oct 19, 2011
Bouldering
The Lakeshore Athletic Club is certainly closest to Millennium Park. It also features the tallest wall in Chicago.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Oct 19, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
LAC is members only, pretty pricy, and often crowded to wait out a climb(it's only 16 ft. wide). But massive height, that's for sure, near 100 ft.

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By alpinejason
From Eau Claire
Oct 19, 2011
Check out my buddies' gym. Off Belay Rock Club

They're moderately cool guys and would probably cut you a deal. Only bouldering as well, just like HP.

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By alpinejason
From Eau Claire
Oct 19, 2011
Marty Combs wrote:
The Lakeshore Athletic Club is certainly closest to Millennium Park. It also features the tallest wall in Chicago.


I think this went bankrupt...

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By Troyd
From Chicago, IL
Oct 20, 2011
Straight up from here. One big reach then great le...
Take the Northwest line (Harvard) to Crystal Lake. Walk or better yet bring a bike and go south on main street 3 or 4 miles to The North Wall. Small bouldering gym with great routes. Walls are 20/25 feet but the people there are putting up some stiff stuff. Check it out, you wont be disappointed!

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By Craig T
From Chicago, IL
Oct 21, 2011
I dont think 40 mile train ride, then 3 miles of walking qualifies as being "near Millennium Park"

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By jarthur
From Westminster, CO
Oct 21, 2011
My dogs got ups yo!
Troyd wrote:
Take the Northwest line (Harvard) to Crystal Lake. Walk or better yet bring a bike and go south on main street 3 or 4 miles to The North Wall. Small bouldering gym with great routes. Walls are 20/25 feet but the people there are putting up some stiff stuff. Check it out, you wont be disappointed!


I liked this gym as well when I was there. The steep bouldering wall in the back right was pretty sick.

I think most people don't understand, but when you're traveling you are typically alone so bouldering is the only likely option. So when I get asked this question I tend to think bouldering and not routes. Vertical Endeavors was OK when I was there, but whenever I talk to transplants from the Chicago area supposedly this gym was the shit. Personally I didn't care for it, but they do have autobelays and the staff was extremely friendly. They had this black foam all over the floor and it sucked to fall on that stuff from just 3-ft up. I broke my back two yrs ago so I don't like falling much higher than this unless I have some good pads and spotters. If you can get a partner check this gym out, but if you're flying solo and want to boulder the North Wall (which is pretty far away) and Hidden Peaks were my favorites.

To take it further all the gyms in Chicago sucked when compared to Colorado(Movement), California(Planite Granite), Maryland(Earth Treks), and Michigan(Planet Rock). I've visted over 50 gyms when I traveled with my previous job and those states had my favorite gyms. 3 times I drove all the way up to Adventure Rocks in Wisconsin when I was in Chicago for the Winter because I didn't care for the climbing gyms in IL. This had by far the best bouldering, routes, and they even had a treadwall.

Chicago climbers really need to pull together and build a Next Generation gym. Atlanta just got one with the footprint the size of a football field. The problems that I would foresee is that the traffic is so bad in Chicago it would take hours for anyone to get to a gym of this size because I don't see much space for it within the city.

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By Troyd
From Chicago, IL
Oct 22, 2011
Straight up from here. One big reach then great le...
Craig T wrote:
I dont think 40 mile train ride, then 3 miles of walking qualifies as being "near Millennium Park"


HAHAHAHA your so funny! ...There arent any good gyms there. So your going to have to travel regardless. So save on gas, take the train, and get exsposed to a nice town with good bars and resturants all within walking distance from the train. I worked here and climbed here for seven years. I love this gym and if I can advertise it a little and help out a follow climber Im going to...

Its the best environment to climb. Everyone is psyched, they got hang boards,free weights and rock rings. Plus a solid, cushioned floor with a bunch of gymnastic mats. I like VE's walls but I didnt like the foor either, it gets in your shoes... its annoying. So like I said, bring a bike or enhance the work out and jog down main street from the train station. Make sure to get off at the Main st. station (Just Crystal Lake), when it says pingree, it'll be the next stop. The bike trail will lead you to the gym after the first block. The gym will be on your right. Day passes are $12 ($10 for students) and there good all day. Leave and come back, no worries. Mon-Fri 12pm to 10pm Sat 9am to 9pm Sun 12pm to 9pm. Rentals are cheap too, if you need them. Five and ten card punches are avalible if you think that would be a good idea. Oh, and mapquest says its 1.85 miles. CLIMB NORTH WALL (.com)!!

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By Tim Savage
Jan 21, 2014
Hey guys,

I'm new to this forum but just wanted to mention an article I wrote last week for Chicago Fitness Report. It contains a pretty complete list of climbing wall options in the city. I think Vertical Endeavors is the best, but there are some other good ones. The article link is: chicagofitnessreport.com/climb...

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