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Climbing gyms in Salt Lake


Original Post
Jennyclimbsrock · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined May 2015 · Points: 0

I'm interested in joining a climbing gym in Salt Lake. I'll be moving to Sugarhouse next week from Colorado. Any suggestions about what gym has the best setting, best vibe, best community, least crowded, etc? I've been to the Sandy and Millcreak Momentum but never the Front. Are there any other gyms?

JackCrockett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 0

The Front's pretty alright and has lots of liberal minded young folks. For roped climbing I think it's a little less crowded than Momentum. Also they have saunas and free in house yoga if that's your thing. All the gyms here try to nickel and dime you to death with arbitrary gym stuff.

I'd expect a small decrease in membership fees in the fall when everyone starts signing up for gyms.

You could probably find someone on here that would throw you one of their free monthly day pass things. I would but my girlfriend uses them.

Also welcome to the better/little more smoggy version of Denver! Many of us Colorado transplants around.

Super Fluke · · Earth · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 186

There's only 2 climbing gym companies in SLC worth your time.

The Front SLC
2 Locations one in SLC and one in Ogden. $80 per month.
Setting can very. The bouldering area is not your standard V system, Its broken down into like 4 different colors.
SLC gym has the tallest walls in SLC.
The Front caters more to adults, I herd they're putting in a bar.

Momentum
3 Locations in UT. Millcreek, Sandy, Lehi. $70 per month.
Setting is quite good, new every week, almost. If they miss a week they double set the following, standard V rating for bouldering.
Millcreek has a large lead and TR area, tall walls and a decent size boldering area, probably the hardest set gym in SLC. Busy, sees 500+ members a day on average.
Sandy is best set rope gym in SLC.
Lehi is a huge boldering gym 20,000 sq ft. never busy.
Momentum caters to everyone; kids climbing area, youth programs, leagues, ect...

Both gyms have free yoga and other classes for members. The vibe between is almost polar opposites, it's something that you would need to check out.
My experience, it's much easier to make friends and find climbing partners at Momentum.

Try both before you decide.

Jennyclimbsrock · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined May 2015 · Points: 0

Thanks you two. Do you have to bring your own lead rope to the Front? I have a 70m rope for outside climbing but not a shorter/cleaner rope for indoors.

Super Fluke · · Earth · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 186
Jennyclimbsrock wrote:Thanks you two. Do you have to bring your own lead rope to the Front? I have a 70m rope for outside climbing but not a shorter/cleaner rope for indoors.
Lead requires your own rope in both gyms. If you need a cheap gym rope, check out the Liberty Mountain outlet in Sandy when you get in town.
C B · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 5

Everyone has a favorite and can give you a con list about the gym they don't go to :) I would say visit both and check out the vibe at the time of day you would be going regularly. I climb at the front. I've found it better than momentum millcreek, and I like momentum sandy, but again all personal preference. I would say momentum has a more corporate feel and structure, while the front is more local and laid back.

Momentum no longer has free yoga except for two classes a week at Millcreek. While the front has 4+ classes a day.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

My comment from this post: mountainproject.com/v/slc-d…

Moved from Denver to SLC. Dating scene is different and takes more time to get into but after some time (~6 months) its been great for me. There are a plethora of outdoors people here and a ton of crushers.

The question here is, what climbing gym do you go to?
Are you "super local", crusher, chill and think you need to lead one one of the two tallest routes in SLC? then the Front

Do you have a GriGri, belay glasses, a hot significant other? Then momentum millcreek

Do you like a smelly, chalky, down to earth gym? Then momentum sandy

Do you like to never climb the same boulder problem twice, have kids, or only boulder? then momentum lehi

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135
Super Fluke wrote:Momentum 3 Locations in UT. Millcreek, Sandy, Lehi. $70 per month. Setting is quite good, new every week, almost.
HAHAHAHA Every week. I wish. Not to diss the setters as they do a good job but it is hardly every week or even very other week. The Millcreek bouldering area has perhaps five sections that are to be reloaded every 12 weeks but it is probably more like every 15 weeks. That comes out to be every three weeks that a section gets reloaded.
Scott S.09 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

This is only of value to about 4.5% of people, but the bouldering at Momentum in Sandy is pretty darn confusing if you are colorblind.

Jennyclimbsrock · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined May 2015 · Points: 0

It sounds like I'll be checking out all 3 gyms to see which one I prefer. Does anyone climb at Rockreation anymore? I think that place was around when I lived in Salt Lake 15 years ago.

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 13,772
Jennyclimbsrock wrote:Does anyone climb at Rockreation anymore? I think that place was around when I lived in Salt Lake 15 years ago.
Last day, end of March 2014...miss that place (member since they opened).

Rockreation SLC last day end of March 2014
Brendan N · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 378
Allen Sanderson wrote: HAHAHAHA Every week. I wish. Not to diss the setters as they do a good job but it is hardly every week or even very other week. The Millcreek bouldering area has perhaps five sections that are to be reloaded every 12 weeks but it is probably more like every 15 weeks. That comes out to be every three weeks that a section gets reloaded.
There are eight sections with one being reset on Monday every week (barring major competitions)
Tim G. · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 79

I climbed at Momentum (Sandy then Millcreek) for about 5 years until switching to The Front a couple months back. Both gyms have their pros and cons.

If you are living in SLC proper then Momentum Sandy is not really an option if you work a normal 9-5. It's about a 20 min drive give or take each way and with traffic on I15 can sometimes take closer to 40 mins to get down there after work M-F. Sandy is less crowded and a little more beginner/easier focused. The walls are less steep and the bouldering is smaller. I miss that gym.

Momentum Millcreek is usually super crowded after work especially for top roping and bouldering. Be prepared to wait in line to boulder behind a bunch of 12 year olds and look down before you drop off because I've almost landed on mindless people walking around many times because of the way they laid out the bouldering area. If you lead overhanging 11's and 12s you will have lots of options. If you want to top rop 5.9's you will be searching and waiting a lot.

The Front has more of chill/local vibe as others have said. The parking sucks on weeknights but it seems less crowded than Millcreek inside to me. There is more bouldering. Top ropes are usually easy to find something in your range and again if you lead overhanging 11's and 12s, you can always get on something. The front also has a lot of yoga classes which my wife enjoys. There are a lot less kids and families which can be good or bad depending on your preference/vibe. The saunas are nice to have too.

Momentum Lehi is too far away if you live in SLC, but fun to hit up every month or two. Same goes for the Front in Ogden. It's an awesome little gym, but too far to go on a regular basis for me.

Overall as a early 30's guy with no kids who likes to boulder, but still have the option to climb on ropes, The Front is the best option for me.

Side note: It seems like the economy in SLC could handle a third mega climbing gym. Both Millcreek and the Front are pretty packed every weeknight from Fall to Spring. Gym climbing continues to grow in popularity and the population keeps growing.

Scott Morris · · Bountiful, Utah · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 475

I recently joined at Momentum and have loved it so far....in spite of the insane crowds! It continually blows my mind how busy Millcreek and Sandy are....even until late in the evenings. Unfortunately for my climbing I work full-time so my options for sneaking in during the off peak daytime hours is non-existent.

I agree that there's more than enough demand for a 3rd mega-gym in Salt Lake. I'm personally annoyed that Momentum is expanding in Texas instead of right here in their home turf - Murray would have been a prime spot in my opinion.

Jon Nelson · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 4,675

A few years ago on a Mt. Project forum, someone was talking about opening a new climbers gym in SLC. This gym though would be devoted to training equipment such as campus boards and such, not climbing walls.

Does anyone here know what became of that?

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,122
Jon Nelson wrote:A few years ago on a Mt. Project forum, someone was talking about opening a new climbers gym in SLC. This gym though would be devoted to training equipment such as campus boards and such, not climbing walls. Does anyone here know what became of that?
I'm guessing that you are thinking of Charlie Stoker who was looking into opening a more training focused location. He was looking at doing it more in the Davis County area though, so not right in SLC. After having a difficult time finding a good space to put it in, I think he's kind of given up on that idea at least for now, it could still happen in the future though.
Jon Nelson · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 4,675
Ken Noyce wrote: I'm guessing that you are thinking of Charlie Stoker who was looking into opening a more training focused location. He was looking at doing it more in the Davis County area though, so not right in SLC. After having a difficult time finding a good space to put it in, I think he's kind of given up on that idea at least for now, it could still happen in the future though.
Thanks Ken. My memory was foggy on the location. Regardless, I was curious about how that went, and hopeful that it would take off. I hope he has success with it in the future.
Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,122
Jon Nelson wrote: Thanks Ken. My memory was foggy on the location. Regardless, I was curious about how that went, and hopeful that it would take off. I hope he has success with it in the future.
No problem Jon, I also hope he has success with it in the future.
kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,120

Arrived Salt Lake today mainly for backcountry + cross-country skiing.

Sharon and I tried Front SLC our first time. For Top-Roping.
What we noticed:

  • All the TR routes are very tall.
  • All are significantly overhanging (even 5.7 - 5.9)
  • The wall surface is pretty slick (not like outdoor rock most places we climb).
  • The setters are remarkably inefficient at using the wall space. I said, "Back home they'd have three times as many routes in this space."

Therefore
- It's difficult for people Top-Roping at the 5.7-5.9 level to "work" the harder moves on a route. Because once you miss a move, or need to rest, you're swinging out in space.
- If you're less than tall, it's hard to friction on the wall to reach a far hand-hold. Gives the route-setters strong power to force you to climb each sequence the way they envision it.

After three TR climbs, Sharon said to me:
"Climbing here at The Front makes me feel stupid".

I said, "Let's go to Momentum".

We drove to Momentum Mill Creek.
What we noticed:
  • Some TR routes were rather tall, but other not so tall.
  • Some were overhanging, but some merely vertical, or not so overhanging that we could not easily get back on after stopping to rest.
  • Wall surface between footholds had significantly more friction.
  • Twice as many routes per horizontal wall distance.

After three routes I said to Sharon (who was now succeeding), "So you're feeling like a real climber again." She said, Yes this is good.

But that's only a Top-Roping perspective.

Ken
Brendan N · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 378
kenr wrote:But that's only a Top-Roping perspective. Ken
That's a useful perspective because it's the entry point for most climbers.
Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 13,772
Brendan N. (grayhghost) wrote: That's a useful perspective because it's the entry point for most climbers.
And...most visiting climbers who want to climb and not ponder the difficulty of trying to get "lead certified". And who also may not be packin' a lead rope...
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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