Vertical Endeavors Rock Clmbng

★★★★☆
  • 845 Phalen Blvd

    St Paul, MN 55106

    Map & Directions
  • 651-776-1430

3.7143 7
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Where to start...

I found most of the routes to be about 4-6 months old. They were generally highly polished and greasy. The vast majority of holds are Nicros - no surprise there given the gym owner also owns Nicros - nor will there be any other surprises when you learn their entire product line in about 4-6 routes.

The route setting is just god-awful. Moves are thuggish and generally potentially injurious for the grade. Picture a 5.11 with a single cryptic and awkward V3 crux bracketed by 5.9 climbing and 2-3 giant rest jugs - and few footholds. Just awful. What are they training you for?? Absolutely awful. They should send their setters to a major gym out west - or maybe give them more practice at home by having them set more than a couple routes a year.

The average grade of the routes was probably about 10b. I found 2-3 12's in the gym, nothing harder. What to do for the next 6 months? The bouldering upstairs in the "big boy" area could provide some solace - for maybe a few weeks. In this area, about 10 boulder problems were set in a space that should contain over 20.

Most major gyms I've been to have over a dozen 12's and a few 13's to keep people busy, with a 4-6 week route turnover.

I won't even get into the paranoid safety culture there. It's horrible. Bracelets, belay cards, a special one-way turnstile, sophisticated sensors on the auto belays and a way pedantic, bookish yet curiously clueless staff of 20-something veterans - over the top and way bizarre. CLUE: There??s no windmill. There's no horse, either.

Where do they get this 18k sq feet of climbing surface? There seems to be some funky math going on here. This place isn't that big, nor tall - at all - compared to other gyms I've been to advertising much smaller numbers for available climbing surface. If you're in the upper 11's and 12's, you'll actually find about 6 routes in the "Pit" worth doing, the rest of the gym looks to be about 20' high and near vertical.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Where to start...

I found most of the routes to be about 4-6 months old. They were generally highly polished and greasy. The vast majority of holds are Nicros - no surprise there given the gym owner also owns Nicros - nor will there be any other surprises when you learn their entire product line in about 4-6 routes.

The route setting is just god-awful. Moves are thuggish and generally potentially injurious for the grade. Picture a 5.11 with a single cryptic and awkward V3 crux bracketed by 5.9 climbing and 2-3 giant rest jugs - and few footholds. Just awful. What are they training you for?? Absolutely awful. They should send their setters to a major gym out west - or maybe give them more practice at home by having them set more than a couple routes a year.

The average grade of the routes was probably about 10b. I found 2-3 12's in the gym, nothing harder. What to do for the next 6 months? The bouldering upstairs in the "big boy" area could provide some solace - for maybe a few weeks. In this area, about 10 boulder problems were set in a space that should contain over 20.

Most major gyms I've been to have over a dozen 12's and a few 13's to keep people busy, with a 4-6 week route turnover.

I won't even get into the paranoid safety culture there. It's horrible. Bracelets, belay cards, a special one-way turnstile, sophisticated sensors on the auto belays and a way pedantic, bookish yet curiously clueless staff of 20-something veterans - over the top and way bizarre. CLUE: There??s no windmill. There's no horse, either.

Where do they get this 18k sq feet of climbing surface? There seems to be some funky math going on here. This place isn't that big, nor tall - at all - compared to other gyms I've been to advertising much smaller numbers for available climbing surface. If you're in the upper 11's and 12's, you'll actually find about 6 routes in the "Pit" worth doing, the rest of the gym looks to be about 20' high and near vertical.

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We have gone two times with large groups of children who have never climbed before, ranging in age from 4-14 years. The staff has always been helpful and showed us a complete tutorial of where they are best suited to climb, making sure to

3
★★★★★

We have gone two times with large groups of children who have never climbed before, ranging in age from 4-14 years. The staff has always been helpful and showed us a complete tutorial of where they are best suited to climb, making sure to

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Good rock climbing and allows you to belay by yourself. You can take a test there if you want to belay others. Has a little bit of free wall rock climbing, but I would like to see more. Also, when it gets busy there isn't a lot you can do other than wait, and the entrance area is small. A bit pricey.

4
★★★★☆

Good rock climbing and allows you to belay by yourself. You can take a test there if you want to belay others. Has a little bit of free wall rock climbing, but I would like to see more. Also, when it gets busy there isn't a lot you can do other than wait, and the entrance area is small. A bit pricey.

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We went over Spring Break this year with a group of cousins aged 4-10. I called ahead and asked if it would work for me to bring this age group and if I needed extra adults, etc. and I was assured 'no'. But, in reality you almost need one adult per child as they need help with the clips and there are walls all around a large circle in the center so you can't see many of the walls to know if one of the kids needs your help. They can't go upstairs without a chaperone and we got almost NO instruction at all. There were 4-5 20-something guys behind the desk but no one out on the floor offering assistance, guidance, encouragement. Nothing. I am AMAZED that they offer birthday parties because it DOES NOT seem like an inviting atmosphere for it at all. I would not recommend this place for kids in any way shape or form. I have been to many, many venues in the Twin Cities over the years with kids and this one doesn't cut it. I was hoping to be impressed as my kids love to rick climb at Lifetime Fitness but it wasn't kid-friendly in the least. Go elsewhere. Go to REI and just climb at the store with your kids. It is also very expensive. They say it is $13/kid but then they don't tell you that you also have to rent the gear which is another $4-$8/child. Too much for what it is.

0
★☆☆☆☆

We went over Spring Break this year with a group of cousins aged 4-10. I called ahead and asked if it would work for me to bring this age group and if I needed extra adults, etc. and I was assured 'no'. But, in reality you almost need one adult per child as they need help with the clips and there are walls all around a large circle in the center so you can't see many of the walls to know if one of the kids needs your help. They can't go upstairs without a chaperone and we got almost NO instruction at all. There were 4-5 20-something guys behind the desk but no one out on the floor offering assistance, guidance, encouragement. Nothing. I am AMAZED that they offer birthday parties because it DOES NOT seem like an inviting atmosphere for it at all. I would not recommend this place for kids in any way shape or form. I have been to many, many venues in the Twin Cities over the years with kids and this one doesn't cut it. I was hoping to be impressed as my kids love to rick climb at Lifetime Fitness but it wasn't kid-friendly in the least. Go elsewhere. Go to REI and just climb at the store with your kids. It is also very expensive. They say it is $13/kid but then they don't tell you that you also have to rent the gear which is another $4-$8/child. Too much for what it is.

Pros: None, really

Cons: Not great for kids at all

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What an awesome gym! First of all, it's huge, so you'll find plenty of variety across a lot of grades. There are some particularly cool walls, such as the three-story lead wall and the "natural" corner. Routes are changed very frequently so you'll always find something new to climb. On top of that you've got two bouldering areas (where children are not allowed) and awesome staff. One tip- be sure to find a half-off coupon in one of the local papers (the Onion I think usually has one), otherwise you will pay upwards of $15.

2
★★★★★

What an awesome gym! First of all, it's huge, so you'll find plenty of variety across a lot of grades. There are some particularly cool walls, such as the three-story lead wall and the "natural" corner. Routes are changed very frequently so you'll always find something new to climb. On top of that you've got two bouldering areas (where children are not allowed) and awesome staff. One tip- be sure to find a half-off coupon in one of the local papers (the Onion I think usually has one), otherwise you will pay upwards of $15.

Pros: Size, variety, staff

Cons: Price

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Vertical Endeavors is an awesome rock gym - as a climber of over 10 years, the gym is a great place to stay strong and meet potential climbing partners. For complete beginners, come climb and we'll make you feel right at home among the old geezers, and teenage mutant spidermonkeys. While VE is an amazing gym (huge, decent route turnover, lots of interesting angles and 2 caves), it's the Minnesota climbing community that really makes this gym. Lotsa great people and everybody is your friend even if you've never met them so come and CLIMB A (plastic) ROCK!!!!!

2
★★★★★

Vertical Endeavors is an awesome rock gym - as a climber of over 10 years, the gym is a great place to stay strong and meet potential climbing partners. For complete beginners, come climb and we'll make you feel right at home among the old geezers, and teenage mutant spidermonkeys. While VE is an amazing gym (huge, decent route turnover, lots of interesting angles and 2 caves), it's the Minnesota climbing community that really makes this gym. Lotsa great people and everybody is your friend even if you've never met them so come and CLIMB A (plastic) ROCK!!!!!

Pros: good hours, safe, 2 bouldering caves, nice climbers, HUGE, gear shop, machines, parking, connected to Nicros factory

Cons: toprope routes are slow to turnover, a bit pricey, birthday parties, crowded at certain times

.

Even though it was my first visit, I wasn't made to feel like an "outsider" like many member based locations make you feel. I do think that the memberships are a bit pricey. There isn't much of a price break with memberships. I also think that they should have a separate area for kid's parties because it does take up a lot of space and can be very distracting for the adult climbers. Overall though, this place is a great experience!

2
★★★★☆

Even though it was my first visit, I wasn't made to feel like an "outsider" like many member based locations make you feel. I do think that the memberships are a bit pricey. There isn't much of a price break with memberships. I also think that they should have a separate area for kid's parties because it does take up a lot of space and can be very distracting for the adult climbers. Overall though, this place is a great experience!

Editorial from

Rock jocks come for over 18,000 square feet of climbing surface, bouldering caves, weight equipment and a pro shop.

 

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