Though I'm not an experienced rock climber, I have a thirst for challenging myself, for trying new adventures – as long as they're basically safe. One of the top ten largest climbing facilities in the country, High Point Climbing and Fitness has numerous climbs from beginner to advanced, short climbs to tall.
In addition to traditional two-person belays, High Point provides 23 auto belay systems: climb on your own, at your own pace. It also offers bouldering walls for ages 14+, with thicker floor pads for free climbing. The tallest walls have a 40-foot rise, with as much as 23-vertical-foot offset. Incredibly, several walls are outside, rising several stories above the street and providing a great view of the Tennessee River from the top.
For families, the gym has recently opened a creative Kid Zone: race your friend, put out the fires, and climb a spider web and other imaginative structures.
Advanced climbers will appreciate the more challenging walls as well as training and strengthening opportunities specifically for climbers. The fitness component of the facility offers cross-training for climbers or non-climbers.
I've climbed before. I know to rely heavily on my legs for strength rather than my arms. In the time I spent there, I advanced a bit and made my way to an outside wall and to one of the tallest walls. Alas, my hands were too fatigued to complete the wall but I got high enough for thrills and a few chills.
And I got hooked enough to want more.