Ok, we all live in Colorado, so we all know there’s this omnipresent ‘health vibe’ that permeates the air, right? You’re just as likely to find a smoothie bar as a brewery, and outdoor adventures stores are almost as common place as Starbucks—well, almost. But what if running’s not really your ‘thing’? Don’t worry: If you want to get in on the health-kick of Colorado, there’s an event coming up this weekend to help get you started—and there’s not a treadmill in sight.

It’s a little-known fact that Global Climbing Day is coming up this Saturday, August 24. And in order to celebrate, the North Face teamed up with a host of rock-climbing gyms across the world, which will allow people to come climb for free or discounted rates. We’ve got 15 of those gyms in Colorado, and one right in Fort Collins. Ascent Studios will be offering free day passes to first time users and $10 day passes to everyone else during the event, including all the shoes, chalk, and belay harnesses that you could need. The studio includes anything you could want to try, including bouldering routes as long as 35 ft. (if you’re hard core), 50 ft. tall climbing walls, a speed climbing lane, systems walls, free weights, cardio machines, and yoga and fitness classes. So, if you’re looking for something new to do on Saturday, go hit up Ascent. And keep in mind that every single person there will have really buff arms. Every. Single. One.

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But if you end up missing the celebration on August 24, you’ve still got plenty of options to give climbing a try. NoCo has lots of great climbing gyms around, all with unique features that are sure to distract you from the fact that you’re exercising.




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The Greeley Rec Center has a rock-climbing facility they’ve affectionately dubbed ‘The Rock’ (and if that doesn’t inspire you to get arms like his, then I don’t know what will). The rec center offers classes and other climbing programs all week long, and is also open for bouldering, climbing, top-rope and lead rope climbing. You can drop in to the gym for just $6, and if you want to do more than boulder, renting a harness only costs $2.50.

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The Wooden Mountain Bouldering Gym is basically just what it says on the tin: A lovely facility with somewhere between 70 and 85 different bouldering routes for you to try. That’s like having 85 different Rubik’s cubes to solve, except you’re the cube. In addition to a great free climb area, Wooden Mountain also offers a variety of fitness classes (all climbing and strength related), a personal trainer, and a great place for kids to try bouldering and climbing, too. Dropping in on a class costs $12 per class, and an adult day pass costs $15.

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Whetstone bills themselves as “Northern Colorado’s largest indoor climbing facility,” and they’ve definitely got the amenities to prove it. Besides their large designated area for climbing and bouldering alike, Whetstone also provides a fitness room with cardio machines and weights, an on-site physical therapist, a childcare room, yoga and fitness classes, and a café where you can grab a bite to eat and a glass of beer. You know, for all that hard climbing you just did. A standard day pass for an adult is $18 and you can rent climbing shoes for $5.

So, there you go, fellow non-runners. We can STILL have a good time and get shoulders that The Rock would be proud of, so go ahead and rock on this Saturday.

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