The climbing gym is closed, long live the new climbing gym! Well, not yet.
The first part is correct: the Adventure Out Climbing Gym, also known by its previous name Urban Ascent, has closed its doors last week. This means that Perth is down to two gyms, Rockface and The Hangout. How long will it be before we have a third gym? Perth has always had three gyms (or more), ever since it got up to that number with The Overhang, Get Vertical in Ozzie Park, Pascal Camison's WA Climbing Gym and Rob Wall's Escalade some 13 years ago. None of these are open any more. The Overhang struggled on for the longest, moving location, becoming dusty and "events only" as the better venues of The Hangout and Rockface opened up, changing management, then packed it up. The Hangout and Rockface had the place to themselves for a while, then Urban Ascent/AOCG multiplied the options for four years. Then the lease ran out. And so there are two, again.
Clearly, there is space for another gym. There seems to be no shortage of customers as The Hangout was very busy last night, although not packed to the rafters as the owners had the good sense to turn several bookings down to keep the place safe and sane. There seems to be a whole new crowd these days, climbers who are not at all interested in outdoor climbing and see the plywood cathedrals as a good place to meet, chat, boulder and pick up a date in a well lit, sober and safe environment. Looking at the other options, why not?
A brief look at any map will show where there are no gyms nearby, so that would be the logical place to put a new one: Freo/O'Connor...the leafy suburbs...Ozzy Park...somewhere along Albany Highway (with bravery). Now all it needs is someone with some enhusiasm, creditworthiness and a hard work ethic to make it happen. Fingers crossed here, I am waiting to sample my 8th Perth gym.