About the Gym
Boulders Climbing Gym is Madison's premiere climbing facility. Founded in 1996 by local climbers who had the intent to bring the sport they loved to the masses, and to create a training facility for themselves and their friends. After over a decade in existence, Boulders continues to facilitate a vibrant climbing community as well as introduce the sport to hundreds of new individuals every year.
With over 8,000 square feet of climbing space, Boulders is sure to give you the adventure you are looking for. The climbing walls, designed by Solid Rock Wall Systems and Rockwerx, are packed with top-notch routes and boulder problems set by our experienced and creative routesetting staff. Beginners can learn how to climb in as little as 10 minutes, while the seasoned climber will find many projects and routes to test their abilities and help train for the outdoor season. We offer everything from birthday parties, to adult classes, children's camps, team building and more!
Rock climbing is about as simple as it sounds - the goal is to ascend a rock face, boulder, formation, or in our case, climbing wall, to the top of a pre-defined route or path. There are several different types of climbing that individuals can participate in.
Rock climbing is both a physically and mentally demanding sport. It tests ones strength, endurance, agility, balance, and above all, mental control. Specialized techniques and equipment help climbers to excel even in the most difficult of situations. Boulders Climbing Gym provides the new climber with the necessary skills and tools to become a successful climber on any level.
There are three main types of climbing - all of which we offer at Boulders. They are briefly described below:
Top-Roping is the most basic of rope climbing techniques - easily taught to those new to the sport. Top-Roping consists of ropes suspended from the top of a climb to provide protection to the climber as they ascend a route. Top-Roping requires basic knowledge of knot tying and belay techniques. At Boulders, we offer standard top-roping, as well as a simplified system called a "Clip-In" for our first-timers to use. Belayers must be 14 years of age. At Boulders Climbing Gym we require climbers participating in standard top-roping to test out with a staff member.
Lead Climbing is a more advanced and dangerous type of rope climbing. Unlike top-roping, lead climbers will start with all of their rope on the ground, clipping it to protection preset into the rock. The climber then moves further up and clips their rope in again. The movement above their fixed protection creates much larger fall potentials than top-roping. Sport climbing is a type of lead climbing that we offer at Boulders. Similar to top-roping, Boulders Climbing Gym requires climbers wishing to lead climb to test out with a staff member.
Bouldering is the simplest and most dangerous type of climbing. Climbers ascend small, powerful routes without the protection of a rope. While simple and requiring little gear, bouldering is the most dangerous form of climbing as it does not offer the protection of a rope. Climbers are "free-climbing" the whole time. Boulders Climbing Gym has an extensive array of bouldering routes, called problems, designed to challenge your technique and problem solving abilities. In order to boulder at Boulders Climbing Gym, you must be 16 years of age, or be a member of the Boulders Climbing Team.
Climbing, as many already know, is a dangerous sport. However, the Boulders staff is very well trained and committed to providing the least risk to our customers. Our gym is well maintained and our rope systems are a sure-fire way to have a great time!
Routes are predefined paths up a rock wall, face, or boulder. Outside, these routes are somewhat difficult to find where they begin and end. Inside we have the advantage of colored tape and labeling to define a route. Routes vary in difficulty to provide a multitude of training options for our members.
Boulders Climbing Gym strives to provide routes that both challenge our customers and work the mind as much as the body. Our routesetting staff work hard to keep the gym fresh with new problems and routes.
Boulders Climbing Gym is located on Madison's east side at 3964 N. Commercial Ave, not far from East Towne Mall and only a few miles from Campus. North Commercial Ave is a frontage road of Stoughton Road (HWY 51). Frequent bus routes, a major city bike path, and student carpooling all make for convenient ways to get to the gym. See the map below for our location.
At Boulders, we are committed to helping reduce our impact on the environment, and encourage you to bus, bike, or carpool to the gym.