Climb On! NYC Outward Bound Wall
“You can’t climb anywhere else like this in the city,” a fellow climber said one summer evening, belaying his partner up the 60-foot wall reaching over Long Island City. Outside, five stories high, with plenty of features and an overhang at the top, New York City Outward Bound School’s climbing wall remains the tallest among the growing number of climbing options in the city. The view at the top may be filled with elevated trains and buildings instead of trees and peaks, but the rush of seeing the world from above, in a way unachieved by looking out a skyscraper window, remains.
Located on the back of the building which houses NYC Outward Bound Schools’ administrative office, the relatively compact width easily creates a community whether climbers are new to the wall or seasoned regulars, and hosts five ropes with multiple route options. Although the grades are not marked, climbing the wall with all holds on is a 5.6 and set routes start at a 5.7. Most, if not all, require using features to reach the top (experienced climbers—for a fun challenge, try climbing the left arête using only the features).
The climbing wall stands apart in another way as well—the cost not only covers the usual items such as gear rental (shoes, harness, helmet) and instruction such as belaying and basic technique, but also allows students from NYCOBS’ network of schools to climb for free.
These attributes set the wall apart, and make it a fun place to learn or mix up a weeknight climbing routine. Public climbing is on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5:30-9pm through the end of October. Register online or pay on arrival.
Written by Gillian Bowers