With rock climbing gaining popularity as a sport in Singapore, several climbing gyms have been popping up in recent years. Here’s why the newest kid on the block, Gorilla Climbing Gym at Bedok, is my favourite.
Getting to the gym was pretty easy, since it’s conveniently located just two bus stops away from Bedok MRT Station, next to Decathlon. Take note that all shoes must be left outside the gym, so that the interior stays clean and smelling fresh!
I was also pleasantly surprised by the rush of cool air the moment I opened the door – definitely a plus factor. While there are other climbing gyms that do offer air-conditioning, they either lack space or have a crowd watching you, which is a turn off for me.
As the gym only opened last August 2017, I didn’t face any issues with overcrowding. I quickly found a corner and settled down happily to do my stretching.
Once you’re ready, register at the counter to sign an indemnity form (a must for every climbing gym) and get the shoe and harness rental package for free if it’s your first time visiting. Or you can just register and stretch after!
In the middle of the gym, you’ll find a double-sided bouldering wall with four different slopes.
The non-inclined wall is supposedly the easiest to stay on, but the gym throws in a challenge so that the route isn’t too easy. This route in particular requires you to make a little jump (called a dynamic move) to reach the next tile!
To complete a route, you have to hold onto the final tile with both hands for three seconds. It may sound easy, but it’s actually really tiring because you can’t just hold onto any tile on the wall.
For example, if you’re trying the purple route, then you can only use the purple tiles to reach the end. Not so easy now, eh?
You can see that towards the other end, the wall gets really inclined.
I tried to convince myself that I’ll give it a try when I’m a better climber. For now, I’ll stick to the easier routes.
There are also high walls in Gorilla Climbing Gym and if you’re new to rock climbing, I’d recommend starting with those. Maybe it’s just the kid in me, but there’s just something about climbing to high places that makes me happy.
If you’re bringing your kids/siblings/cousins along, there are also routes that are planned specially for kids like this dinosaur one – you can see that the distance between each tile is shorter and easier to grab hold of.
All the routes for both the bouldering walls and high walls are changed bi-weekly, so you’ll be faced with new challenges every week.
If you climb pretty regularly and want to work on your strength and endurance, they even have a training area too.
This isn’t like your regular pull-ups – the wooden rods are way harder to hold on to, and the slight inclination adds to the difficulty level. Not recommended for new climbers!
There is also a little shop that sells climbing equipment like shoes, ropes, and carabiners.
It’s convenient, but I wouldn’t recommend getting climbing shoes here if you’re just starting out – Campers’ Corner has a wider variety of climbing shoes, including the cheaper brands for newbies who don’t want to invest too much.
Every last Friday of the month, you get to climb overnight until 7am the next day! A movie will also be screened, so it’s a cool way to bond with your friends.
You can bring your own sleeping bag/yoga mat/whatever, but to jazz up your sleepover session, you can rent their air mocks at just S$2 and sleep on the upper deck (lights will only be dimmed slightly from 1am onwards for those who want to sleep).
The gym is also having a promotion for its Yoga classes – members who sign up for a session of Yoga class (S$25) get to climb for free (+S$10 for non-members) on the same day.
Considering that you get to climb for unlimited hours before or after the yoga session, I think it’s a pretty good deal!
The only gripe I could find with Gorilla Climbing Gym, is that the toilet is located at the 4th level of the building opposite. You’ll have to put your normal shoes back on to walk over, which can be a little inconvenient when you’re in a rush to go.
Other than that, I’m loving the air-conditioning and lack of crowd (for now). I’m also looking forward to the next Slumber Party! *Cough* cute guys *Cough*. Eye candy, anyone?
Prices: Day passes from S$13 for members; $22 for non-members. Membership is S$10 for a year. Click here for more information.