Kamloops rock climbing gym set to reopen

After a mandatory COVID-19 closure in March, Cliffside Climbing Gym reopens

Cliffsides’ new paint job looking to attract new visitors for its new normal

Kamloops’ only rock-climbing facility, Cliffside Climbing Gym, reopened its door to members and punch card holders on June 24. The gym has been a central part of the Kamloops rock-climbing community since its inception and has made several policy changes to comply with new health regulations.

The gym closed on March 16 to due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting orders by provincial health officers. Typically, from March to June, the gym would host its friendly boulder series competition where members attempt to complete as many of the climbs as they can while keeping track on a score sheet. By the end, competitors get ranked against their friends and have the chance to win draw prizes, which usually consist of rock-climbing gear, jackets, tents, or member donated art and photography pieces.  

While this spring members may not have the chance to win shiny new gear, they will be treated to renovations that have been keeping Simon and Sabrina Griffin, the gym owners, very busy. 

In a Facebook post the gym gave a teaser of what’s to come once the doors reopen, showing pictures of newly painted walls, fresh safety mats, new anchors, and a full reset of new rock-climbing routes throughout the entire gym.

A separate post listed a number of new COVID-19 policies and procedures that will be in place for the climbing gyms’ new normal and stated.

“Face coverings will be required initially while everyone gets good at social distancing,” read the post.

Other policies include restricting access to members, punch-card holders and drop-ins to a two-hour maximum length of stay with a limit of 25 climbers allowed at a time. A live headcount is available on their website  so members are aware of whether or not they may be able to climb that day. Climbers also must sign a new electronic waiver before arriving and can only use liquid chalk given that its high alcohol content may help decrease the spread of germs. Sanitation stations will be made available throughout the gym and Cliffside asks that you practice proper personal hygiene, self-screen for any symptoms, and only climb with members that are already in your bubble. Gym hours will also be affected and can be found on the Cliffside climbing gym Facebook page.

For more details on the new protocols, or to contact the gym with any questions visit their website.