Massive Rock Climbing Gym Coming to Long Island City This Spring

By Jeanmarie Evelly on February 4, 2013 7:05am 

LONG ISLAND CITY — A new gym coming to Court Square this spring aims to take fitness to new heights.

A massive rock climbing facility is slated to open in Long Island City in April, featuring 30,000 square feet of climbing space that can fit 500 climbers at once, according to owner Mike Wolfert.

"It will be one of the largest gyms in the country, definitely," he said. "We're really excited."

Wolfert owns The Cliffs at Valhalla, a rock-climbing center he opened in Westchester County more than seven years ago. The Long Island City location will be his second.

"It's a fantastic space, which is hard to find in the city — high ceilings and no columns," he said.

Wolfert asked to keep the exact address under wraps for now, as heavy construction is underway at the site, but revealed the location is in the heart of Long Island City's Court Square, near the well-known Citigroup office tower.

When completed, the gym will have state-of-the-art curved walls inset with LED lighting, and climbers will be able to reach as high as 60 feet. The space will have equipment for crack climbing, where a climber ascends through a break or fissure instead of the face of the wall.

Other sections will be reserved for bouldering — where climbers ascend shorter walls, but don't use a rope, landing instead on padded mats underneath them. A "top out" bouldering wall will also be available, where climbers end the route by trying to lift themselves on top of the structure as an added challenge.

Wolfert said the facility will also include a fitness area with cardio equipment and free weights, full fitness bathrooms with showers and a retail store stocked with climbing gear.

The Cliffs at Long Island City is scheduled to open by the end of April, Wolfert said. You can follow the gym on Facebook for updates on the site's progress.

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