Climbers in Johannesburg have a new world-class indoor climbing facility to train in! I visited the CityROCK Indoor Climbing Gym with friends during its Grand Opening weekend on 17 October 2015. The gym is located on 173 Republic Road, Fountainbleau, Randburg and it has ample parking. This facility is much larger than the CityROCK Climbing Gym in Cape Town.
When you enter you’ve got to register and complete the waiver form on one of the iPads at the entrance. You can also complete the waiver online before visiting the gym.
You can then purchase a day pass, enroll for an introductory course or rent gear for the session at the reception.
Membership options are also available.
Before you are allowed to climb you need to pass the Top Rope belay test. You need to make sure that you can fit on your harness safely, tie a figure 8 knot correctly and belay another climber. I passed the climber portion (securing myself with the figure 8 knot on my harness) but unfortunately failed the belayer test as I’d never used a Grigri belay device before. I tried to simulate belaying with the older ATC belay device method that I am used to. I’ll have to attempt the test again the next time I visit the gym. A friend showed me how to operate the Grigri belay device afterwards and it’s pretty easy. I should have asked someone before the test. Here’s another Grigri device instruction video that I found online.
It’s good to know that they take these extra steps to consider climber safety before anyone is allowed to climb in the facility.
The facility is huge with 124 top rope climbing anchors (catering for beginner and advanced climbers).
They’ve also got 9 routes with auto-belay anchors. It’s the first time I’ve seen these gadgets that allow you to climb solo without the need for any human to belay you.
The top rope routes are 16 meters high.
There’s also an impressive 500 square meter bouldering area. I was allowed to use this area after watching a short bouldering safety video.
There’s a fully-stocked Gear Shop, coffee shop and Yoga, Strength and Fitness Studio.
This is the new location of the MCSA (Mountain Club South Africa – Johannesburg Section) office. Club meets will now be held here and there are special rates for MCSA members.
The gym also caters for Kiddies Parties and Corporate Team Building exercises.
Daily operating hours: Monday – Thursday 9 am-9 pm, Friday – Sunday 9 am-6 pm.
For further information check out the CityROCK Johannesburg website.