Climbing: an alternative workout
“This is an alternative sport,” said Head Manager of The Niagara Climbing Center George Kardoulias, “You can come in here and get a good work out in. It’s a different type of challenge.”
Kardoulias, who has worked at the gym since 1996, really enjoys being at the climbing center and working with the volunteers who help teach the community how to climb.
Former owner John Brundage started the climbing center in late 1995. Brundage was a principal at the time he chose to start a climbing gym. Climbing was one of his hobbies. He decided to create his vision in a barn that he owned. After his initial success of launching this idea, he decided to launch climbing, commercially. To do so, he leased the building at 1333 Strad Ave., North Tonawanda, in 1998 from owners Rhonda and Billy McGuire. Rhonda now owns the rights to the gym.
The North Tonawanda facility offers indoor climbing opportunities for any age, but the individual must be at least 13 years old to belay. For those who wish to enjoy the experience as often as they can, becoming a member only costs $55 to be able to climb as often as one would like throughout the entire month. Walk-ins are encouraged.
The climbing center also offers rates for groups, birthday parties and a portable climbing wall that is available for renting, and includes staff and gear. To view specific pricing, visit their website at www.niagaraclimbingcenter.com.
According to the Niagara Climbing Center, the facility has 6,000 square feet of climbing terrain; more than 30 top rope stations, each 20-feet-high; a variety of walls and routes; features that help to develop skills needed on real rock like roofs, bulges, and top-outs; space for long routes and traverses to build endurance and focus on specific techniques; and more.
“This is more interactive than just going to the gym,” said Kardoulias. “Most people come in and treat it as a workout sport. People can climb at their leisure, it can take some people one hour, or someone else three hours.”
The climbing center can accommodate climbers whose experience ranges from beginners, to intermediate, to advanced.
The climbing center’s hours of operation are from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays; and from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.
For more information regarding pricing or to book a session, call 695-1248.