Gym Guide – Stone Age Climbing – Albuquerque, NM
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Gym Guide – Stone Age Climbing – Albuquerque, NM

As part of my epic road trip across the country, I had a fun climbing session at Stone Age Climbing in Albuquerque, NM.  This was a great gym that managed to keep me happy even when poor weather ruined my outdoor climbing plans.

Getting Started: After signing waivers and buying a day pass, Stone Age requires all first-time visitors to participate in a short safety orientation.  This consisted of a quick walk through of the gym, an overview of proper harness and auto belay use, as well as instructions on using the bouldering area.

For those of us who wanted to top rope or lead, belay tests were also required.  Unlike some gyms, there was no mandatory difficulty level for the test climb.  The belay tests here were strictly based on belayer proficiency and the climbers clipping technique.  I tend to prefer this policy, as it allows newer climbers to safely practice their lead skills, rather than forcing them to top rope only.

Facility: Clean and Modern! Stone Age moved into a new purpose built facility in 2014, and as such, everything about the gym is still new and shiny!  Stone Age has bouldering, top rope, and lead sections, as well as a separate area of the gym dedicated to auto belays and lower level bouldering, which is utilized for birthday parties and newer climbers.  In addition, the gym offers, birthday party rooms, fitness areas, and a well stocked climber’s shop.

Climbing: The main lead and top rope areas have 45 foot Walltopia walls, offering routes as long as 60 feet on the more overhung sections. I was actually feeling pretty ill the day I climbed at Stone Age, so I only jumped on routes up to 11c, but I found everything to be pretty spot-on grade wise.  I was really impressed with the quality of every route as well!  I felt that the setters did a great job of integrating various techniques and thoughtful movement into every route.  Dynos, heel hooks, toe hooks, knee bars, stemming, mantling, and flagging were all common place and definitely made for some fun climbs!

This same setting philosophy held true in the bouldering section as well.  I was lucky enough to visit Stone Age on the day after a bouldering competition, so I had a great time trying out the comp problems.  There were no grades up because of the comp, but judging off of point values, I would also say that the grading here felt very fair, maybe even a little soft in some cases.  But again, that is a guess, so I could be wildly wrong! Haha.

The bouldering walls were about 16 feet high and were surrounded by a single pad system, which is great for injury prevention. In both bouldering and roped climbing, routes were marked by hold color, which I love, as I have a hard time seeing tape.

All in all, I was a huge fan of the climbing at this gym, and looking back on it, I don’t have a single complaint!

In addition, the staff at Stone Age was just great!  Not only was everybody helpful and friendly around the gym, but when some staff members found out that I was visiting from out of town, they compiled a list for me with suggestions on things to do and places to climb in the area.  It was such a nice gesture for a visiting climber!

All in all, Stone Age Climbing was a great facility and I definitely recommend this gym for anyone visiting Albuquerque or surrounding areas.  This would also make a great training gym for anyone more local to the area.

You can learn more about Stone Age here.

Or check out the video below to see some of my favorite routes at the gym!

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  • Pingback:writewander.com | The Epic Road Trip
    Posted at 19:20h, 06 May

    […] Stone Age ended up being an awesome gym! I found the setting to be extremely creative and fun, exemplified by lots of dynamic movement and full body climbing techniques such as heel hooks, toe hooks, and knee bars.  You can check out my full review here! […]