Until recently, climbers looking for an indoor workout in the Vail Valley essentially had one option: the modest 32-foot-tall rock wall at the Vail Athletic Club in Vail Village, the valley’s only dedicated climbing gym. That all changed radically in November, 2018, with the long-anticipated opening of Eagle Climbing + Fitness, a 10,500-square-foot indoor climbing mecca next door to the town’s post office that’s the I-70 corridor’s indoor equivalent of Yosemite.
“We’re the only full-size climbing gym between Grand Junction and Golden,” says Larry Moore, managing owner of the new, hangar-size space. In addition to a 7,500-square-foot indoor rock gym with a 42-foot-tall wall, the facility houses a yoga studio (which is staffed by instructors from Eagle Ranch’s Yoga Off Broadway), a fitness room, bouldering walls for non-roped climbing, and a physical therapy and massage studio—plus enough space for members to hang out while their friends hang (literally) from the vaulted ceilings nearby.
A USA Climbing coach and professional climbing guide who headed the Vail Athletic Club’s indoor rock climbing program for the past 18 years, Moore spared no expense while creating a vertical paradise that caters to everyone from competitive sport climbers to pint-size Chouinards, sourcing plastic holds from Entre-Prises, the same company that provides the faux rock holds used on the International Federation of Sport Climbing’s Bouldering World Cup tour, which stops in Vail Village each summer during the GoPro Mountain Games. Given the 2020 Olympics debut of speed climbing—a discipline where climbers race against the clock while scrambling up a standardized route—there’s also a section of the gym dedicated to that niche next to vertigo-inducing, concrete-coated cracks made to replicate climbing conditions found in places like Moab, where locals typically migrate for part of the spring while the valley’s limited assortment of natural crags remain mired in ice and snow.
In addition to the rock gym and the fitness and yoga studio, there’s a small satellite of outdoor retailer Alpine Quest. Moore also plans to screen rock climbing flicks from the Reel Rock Film Tour and host indoor climbing competitions—last Saturday (April 20), the gym hosted the 2019 Sport & Speed Local, a USA Climbing-sanctioned event that drew climbers from across the region.
“We love this town,” he says. “From access to world-class skiing and incredible mountain biking to the development of our awesome river park, with the addition of Eagle Climbing + Fitness, this incredible community will have something to offer everyone.”
On deck this weekend: a top rope belay workshop on Saturday (April 27), where beginners learn the basics of climbing, and everything they need to know to make the gym their second home ($40).
Eagle Climbing+ Fitness
700 Chambers Ave, Eagle
Day passes, $16 kids, $19 adults; monthly memberships from $69 kids, $89 adults