Morrisville, N.C. — Rock walls offer a great way to get in shape and have fun, but they can be intimidating. If you have never climbed before, it can be a little scary and even discouraging when you take those first few steps up the wall and run out of steam. The key to making it to the top is using your strength and logic. That's what the folks at Triangle Rock Club taught us when we visited last week.
Triangle Rock Club in Morrisville was founded in 2007 by two former Marines, Andrew Katz and Luis Jauregui. Both avid climbers, they wanted to teach others the skill in an enclosed environment.
Joel Graybeal, a banker turned TRC managing partner, was in their first climbing class in 2007. With tons of climbing experience, Graybeal was the perfect person to show the Out and About team around the facility and teach us how to climb.
The coolest thing about TRC is that they have walls for every skill level. When you first walk in, there is a large room with shorter walls and free-standing boulders. One of the most important things about climbing is belaying - that is when someone or something creates friction on the climbing rope to prevent you from falling. TRC has automatic belaying systems in some areas.
When you take on the larger walls like the new 55-foot-one in the Morrisville facility, you will need to have a climbing partner belay for you. If you don't have one, you can use their belay program to hire someone from the staff to serve as your belay.
While the walls might not move, their routes do change. Every three to four months all of the routes up are switched out, so the climbing experience keeps changing. Every route is a different color and contains a number denoting its difficulty level under the Yosemite Decimal System. The first number is the class of movement (all of their routes are 5th class because they require upward movement and a rope for safety). The number after the decimal point is the difficulty. Routes at TRC range from 5.5 to 5.13 (the most difficult).
We decided to go big or go home. We took on the 55-foot-wall to start using the orange route which is about a 5.6 in difficulty.
As you can tell from the video, one of us is a natural at this! We each conquered another wall after the 55-foot one. The one Kathy climbed was the same level of difficulty, just had a different route up.
I think the biggest thing for any climber is learning that you have to just keep climbing and not stop. When you stop, you just burn energy. Graybeal also reminded us to try and keep our arms as straight as possible – if you hang on the wall with your arms bent, it's like doing pull ups, which is not easy or fun!
TRC recently opened a facility in north Raleigh on Duraleigh Road off of Glenwood Avenue. They have also purchased a space in Fayetteville.
If you are interested in trying Triangle Rock Club, they offer introductory classes and memberships. You can even get a day-pass to climb. Also, keep an eye out for deals through Groupon and other sites. They have a deal going on now that gets you an introductory class and a two week membership with equipment rentals included for $39.