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Letting them climb the walls

by Carly I work for an organization that occasionally requires me to hit the town with a bunch of pre-teens and teens on a Friday night.  We regularly schedule trips to places mom and dad may not be willing to visit – especially with their child and twenty-five of his closest friends in tow.

Recently we were scheduled to play indoor Paintball, only to find out the day before that the place had closed its doors.  In an effort to avoid a huge outcry of disappointment, we rallied the troops and talked the youth into trying out a new climbing gym.

The folks at Altitude Gym in Gatineau not only accommodated us at the last-minute, but they opened their doors a day prior to their official grand opening so our teens wouldn’t be left in the cold . . . literally.

When we arrived at their brand new gym at 35 boul. St-Raymond in Gatineau, they quickly ushered us into the Clip n’ Climb area.  Despite many, many years of planning outings for camps, youth groups and the like, I’d never seen anything like it.  You won’t have either, unless you’ve been to New Zealand - because right now, that’s the only other place where the Clip n’ Climb concept exists.

Altitude Gym is located in a former church and contains traditional rock climbing areas for all levels of experience, as well as a bouldering area.  As stated on their website, it’s a veritable rocktopia of climbing.

However the pièce de résistance, in my humble opinion, is found past the 17,000 square feet of climbing surfaces, in the  Clip n’ Climb area.  The sanctuary of the church has been transformed into a mecca of climbing fun for kids (and grown-ups!) aged five and up.  You’ll find over 30 amazing surfaces, each as unique as the one before.  In a briefing session in the former lobby of the church, staff will carefully explain the harness, the rules and get everyone set up.

Once inside, kids simply select the wall they want to try, clip their harness to the individual belaying system set up at each climb and wait for a staff to give the all clear.  Then it’s up and up and away!  Once they’re at the top, they can climb back down, or just let go for a graceful decent to the floor.  If they hit the ground a little too hard, not to worry as it’s extremely well padded with over a foot of cushy, springy softness – much like the floor at Cosmic Adventures, only thicker.

Parents can climb too or just watch, and groups can rent the mezzanine for parties or other events.  An hour in the Clip n’ Climb area will run you about $14 per person.  Factor in a little extra if your adventurous kids want to try the “Leap of Faith” or the “Vertical Drop”.  Our youth were exhausted after an hour of climbing and found the timing to be just right.  The enthusiastic and helpful staff only permit as many climbers as there are walls, so no one is ever left waiting.  Reservations are strongly recommended to ensure no one is disappointed on arrival and parents will be required to sign a waiver before anyone can play.

I’ve no affiliation with Altitude Gym at all, but immediately knew my four year old would love it.  Since he’s got a year to go before he’s old enough, I’m not showing him the photos until then!

Find them at www.altitudegym.ca. Call them at (819) 205-0959.

Carly has red hair and occasionally the temper to match.  She loves potatoes, rainy nights, photography, her husband and her 4 year old son, Jacob.  Probably in reverse order.   She also blogs.

My Kids Funky Closet Sunday October 17th 10am- 3pm The Glebe Community Center 175 Third Ave @ Lyon St in The Glebe