My girlfriend and I are fairly new gym climbers at Upper Limits downtown, and want to take our climbing outdoors. Has anyone taken either the Vertical Heartland or Vertical Voyages gym to crag classes, and would recommend one over the other? I'm researching anchor building in the meantime, but I'd rather have actual personal guidance in this before trying to set off on our own. Any tips on classes, skills to practice, or people/places to contact would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I haven't participated in any of the classes you mentioned. But there are two good outdoor locations relatively close to St. Louis. The first is Jackson falls in southern Illinois between Harrisburg and Vianna. Then there's Pierre Marquette state park in Alton Illinois. Both of their spots bolted sport routes galore.take the lead climbing class at upper limits and you will then have an idea on how to sport climb and ve able to clip in. The two spots are established by the same people and there are permanent anchors at the top of route. They have the best guide book for jackson falls for sale at upper limits. Hope this helps.
J, I have no experience or knowledge of the classes you mentioned. Many climbers make the gym-to-crag transition with the help of a mentor. Do you know anyone with outdoor experience? Ask for his or her help. Mentoring is a great way to pass on climbing knowledge. "From Gym to Crag" by S. Peter Lewis and Dan Cauthorn is a very good book on the subject. I frequent the downtown UL gym and would be glad to meet up with you and get you started in the right direction. Reply here or send PM.