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Metrorock vs BKB Somerville
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By Eric Engberg
Nov 27, 2013

jim.dangle wrote:
Do any of the many universities around have climbing gyms? JIm



Well duh - Harvard and MIT for starters. Do you have an affiliation?


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By jim.dangle
Nov 27, 2013

Eric Engberg wrote:
Well duh - Harvard and MIT for starters. Do you have an affiliation?


No.

I was really asking for others who might be looking for cheaper alternatives. Looks like the Harvard wall is available only to "members of the Harvard community" but MIT's is FREE and open to all. It's probably tiny though.

Jim


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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Nov 27, 2013

jim.dangle wrote:
No. I was really asking for others who might be looking for cheaper alternatives. Looks like the Harvard wall is available only to "members of the Harvard community" but MIT's is FREE and open to all. It's probably tiny though. Jim


If i remember MIT's is an old racqetball court so. yea small.

yep, bouldering only but it's free.


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By CatProx
From Somerville, Massachusetts
Nov 27, 2013

Yeah the MIT bouldering room is a room that was converted into a place to Boulder. It's pretty tiny, but it does the job. And it's free. I hate how Harvard doesn't want to share anything with the community it should be part of. Not cool, Harvard. (She says as she stares over at Harvard and Lesley from her post atop MIT)


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By Nic the brit
Nov 29, 2013

What about centra rock in watertown. Yeah it costs money but it is good.


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By andyelliott
Nov 29, 2013
Red River Gorge.

I'm gonna be moving to boston in around two months, gonna join a gym for sure. i just wanna know which one is better for training and which one has hotter chicks.


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By CatProx
From Somerville, Massachusetts
Dec 2, 2013

"better for training" I'm not sure what you mean by that. But pretty much every wall at Brooklyn boulders has a negative slope, so that definitely forces you to handle that. However metrorock has a lot more wall-features an a lot of their routs force you to figure out how to use the wall in interesting ways, instead of just using holds, and that gets you thinking a lot more like outdoor climbing.

You will find a lot more Harvard types at Brooklyn Boulders, and a lot more outdoorsy types at MetroRock. It all depends on what you find hot, "brah". Both places are full of grad students, cuz that's the demographic in these parts.


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By shoo
From Boston, Massachusetts
Dec 2, 2013
Rock wars, Red River Gorge

CatProx wrote:
You will find a lot more Harvard types at Brooklyn Boulders, and a lot more outdoorsy types at MetroRock.


Stereotype much?


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By andyelliott
Dec 3, 2013
Red River Gorge.

CatProx wrote:
"better for training" I'm not sure what you mean by that. But pretty much every wall at Brooklyn boulders has a negative slope, so that definitely forces you to handle that. However metrorock has a lot more wall-features an a lot of their routs force you to figure out how to use the wall in interesting ways, instead of just using holds, and that gets you thinking a lot more like outdoor climbing. You will find a lot more Harvard types at Brooklyn Boulders, and a lot more outdoorsy types at MetroRock. It all depends on what you find hot, "brah". Both places are full of grad students, cuz that's the demographic in these parts.

Whats with the "brah?" and by training i mean having training stuff, like campus board and hangboards and not just one shitty one, "brah."


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By Benjamin Mackall
From Bozeman, MT
Dec 3, 2013

I think the "brah" is in reference to your apparent use of the prevalence of "hot chicks" to judge the worthiness of a gym.

If hot chicks is what you want, climbing ain't your sport, "brah!"

No, but seriously. BKB just put in a new training room which I've heard is pretty nice but not necessary climbing-focused, Central has a sweeeet roof ramp that terminates in a good campus board, Metro and Rock Spot both have smaller training areas.

Climber ladies tend to be hot, period :)


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By Christop F
Dec 3, 2013

I have found that MetroRock has the largest climbing specific training area overall. Downstairs they have a varied campus board, hang board, and rings right near the bouldering. Up stairs on the "mez" they have an overhanging woody with different system wall setups and 3 more campus board sets all of them different. Plus a treadwall.

On the other hand BKB and Water Town both have larger general fitness area's.


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By cjdrover
From Somerville, MA
Dec 3, 2013
Taken at MWV Icefest 2014.

Benjamin Mackall wrote:
BKB just put in a new training room which I've heard is pretty nice but not necessary climbing-focused,


Its definitely climbing focused... rice buckets, three (maybe 4?) different hangboards, 3 sets of campus rungs (including the half-hemisphere slopey/pinchy style covering in climbing rubber) and a symmetrical system board.

Benjamin Mackall wrote:
particularly compared to the other Boston gyms where strength wins over beta and technique (BKB, I'm looking at you).


Definitely think this is off the mark. How many problems did you climb? I would wager not many. Huge variety at BKB, from power to crazy beta weirdness. Bouldering is definitely a strong suit there. Although, for the truly bizarre boulder problems, I doubt anyone will ever beat Boof from Metro.

ETA: Anyways, I find the differences between Metro/CRG/BKB to be minor enough that location made my decision for me. I still have punch cards to CRG and Metro for variety.


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By Benjamin Mackall
From Bozeman, MT
Dec 3, 2013

First of all, my bad. Didn't mean to misrepresent. I'm going on total hearsay about the training area at BKB, so take my word with a grain of salt.

As for BKB bouldering, I've climbed most every problem below V7 and a few above that on pretty much every set since the public opening (up until about a month ago), and my opinion stands. It is that though, an opinion. I don't feel consistently engaged by the bouldering, and have very often felt like muscle got me through many problems, especially in the sub-V5 range, before using actual beta did. I should mention that I'm a technical climber, not a muscle-y one. I'd say maybe one in four routes has truly interesting movement/ cryptic beta, and not just hard pulls. I will grant that this aspect has gotten a LOT better since the first set. I think the setting itself is quality, very professional, with good consistency to difficulty, but I have consistently always felt like it could be... just.... more interesting.

^^^^ Admittedly, this is just my experience. Everyone should climb what they like, where they feel comfortable, on the types of problems that appeal to them. There have been problems I have LOVED at BKB, and I also greatly enjoy their roped setting, flaws of the wall design notwithstanding.... making generalizations about any gym is dangerous business to begin with, so I guess it's my bad for going there.


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By CatProx
From Somerville, Massachusetts
Dec 4, 2013

The "brah" was because you asked about "hot chicks."


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By Ming
Dec 4, 2013
At Railay East Beach in Thailand

So after really wanting to love BKB I am now convinced the lack of features for the rope climbing with all the curved surfaces - while good for the aesthetic, just doesn't hold up against Metro or Watertown. Metro's rope climbing is still consistently more fun (by a pretty big margin) than BKB, though I think Watertown and Metro are evenly matched with Watertown having more consistent grading and better "flow" while Metro is more burly and athletic. 3 5.13s (and yeah, they're pretty hard from the first few holds that I tried) in Narnia at Metro pretty much reinforces that.

So recently Watertown's new routes have definitely been graded more "fairly" than the routes that were put up over the summer - it's closer to the actual grades than grade inflation that was prevalent from the routes set in the summer.

I do love BKB's bouldering and I find it to be pretty fun and really well thought out - but it's not better than Metro or Watertown. Lowering the highball V2s was a start, but I never think about the height problem on either Metro or Watertown. There is no way my ankle can survive a 9+ ft fall onto the un-broken in (still) mats of BKB on the highball problems.

So I think for most people the "home" gym is pretty much a toss up. None of them are clearly better than the other with the exception that I would rather go to Metro or Watertown for rope climbing. But for bouldering they are all fun with BKB offering the most area but I do love the ramp boulder at Watertown. That's my updated view.


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By S. Neoh
Dec 4, 2013

That's funny, Ming, I have found CRG Watertown roped-climbing routes to generally be more burly and less technical than Metro routes, for .12a and below.
I can't speak about routes at BKB but, for contrast, I found the boulder problems (up to V4 or V5) at CRG to be less burly and more easily graded than the Metro boulder problems.


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Dec 5, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

But what about the hotties, Soon?


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By CatProx
From Somerville, Massachusetts
Dec 5, 2013

I'll have a full ten page spread next week. ;-)


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By andyelliott
Dec 5, 2013
Red River Gorge.

Is there something wrong with hot chicks? next time ill say "attractive females" or "pleasant-looking women" or something.


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By jim.dangle
Dec 5, 2013

andyelliott wrote:
Is there something wrong with hot chicks? next time ill say "attractive females" or "pleasant-looking women" or something.


Is there something wrong with "brahs"?


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By S. Neoh
Dec 6, 2013

I was told BKB is more "Euro centric" when it comes to the clientele.
I do not have first hand experience, however.
I find all women I climb with attractive, whether at Metro, CRG, Farley, Rumney, etc. How's that for a weak sauce answer? But there is quite a bit of truth to that.


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By CatProx
From Somerville, Massachusetts
Dec 6, 2013

Neoh,

I totally agree with you. I really noticed there were a lot of european grad/post grad students there. I mean MetroRock draws them too, I think it's just that rock climbing is popular in parts of Europe too. Definitely, but there was a noticeable like.."hot spot" feel at BKB.

A bunch of people I know think metrorock is "dirty" and BKB is "nicer" I really don't see that, beyond the fact that BKB is just a newer facility, but mostly BKB is just more image-concious and upscale gym-like... it feels more like a normal work out gym with rock climbing, more people are dressed in their expensive sleek workout clothes where the top and bottom were bought as a set. At Metrorock there's a lot more t-shirts and leggings. The place is a bit less image-conscious, and so it makes sense it would attract a less image-conscious crowd. Or less main-stream, anyway.


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By JCM
From Golden, CO
Dec 6, 2013

jim.dangle wrote:
Is there something wrong with "brahs"?


Yes.


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By S. Neoh
Dec 6, 2013

Oh, oh, it sounds like I need to go shopping for a "workout set" of clothes before heading over to BKB. IN all likelihood, my $12 Boy's Size 14 workout pants is not going to cut it there, not at all.


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By CatProx
From Somerville, Massachusetts
Dec 6, 2013

Nah man, just be yourself. It's fine. I'm just saying what I observed. People were also dressed like they are at metrorock, just a different proportion.


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