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Get ready to climb: New ‘Rock Spot’ bouldering gym to open near BU

A climber in the new Brookline gym Rock Spot. Photo by Matthew Eadie
February 27, 2024

Rock climbing enthusiasts, both serious and amateur, will have a new location in Brookline to climb when Rock Spot Brookline opens in the coming weeks. The gym at 880b Commonwealth Ave., near Amory Street, is the newest of Rock Spot’s eight locations across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

The gym is a bouldering-only gym, meaning climbing rock walls about 15 feet high with no ropes attached. Large, thick cushions pad the ground below the wall for climbers to fall back on while climbing.

Austin Drury, manager at both the new location and at the Malden gym, said Rock Spot Brookline is in an ideal location.

“This location is right in the center of all these big colleges, and being right on Commonwealth, we have all this foot traffic,” Drury said, adding that they’ve already been in contact with climbing teams and clubs at MIT, Harvard University, Northeastern University and BU.

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“What is specific about Rock Spot is that we always say we’re ‘all ages, all abilities,’” Drury said, something that Rock Spot gym owner Nadav Minkin also echoed.

“We’re really big on making the gym very accessible for anybody,” Minkin said. “Regardless of their fitness level, or their ability.”

A team of experienced climbers set the colorful plastic holds in place, determining different routes for climbers to try. The gym has seven separate sections of climbing routes that will be changed on a weekly, rotating schedule, challenging climbers to attempt new routes each week, as well as three “training boards.”

Each of the 100-120 different climbing routes are color-coded and ranked on a scale of difficulty, from beginner to highly experienced.

“A good amount of climbing gyms have the vibe of a climbing training center,” Drury said. “We try to make the bridge of coming here and becoming a climber as easy as possible.”

Minkin said Brookline was a “big draw” because of the “real shortage of indoor recreational space” in the town. “There’s a lot of schools, a lot of families, a lot of private schools [and] organizations, but not a lot of recreational space,” he said.

Both single-day passes, as well as multi-visit and “founding” memberships, are available online starting at $74 per month, with single-day passes including shoe rentals starting at $29.

Braedon Blumfield, president of the Climbing Club at Boston University, said he is excited for the gym to open because there is a lack of climbing spaces close to BU. The club’s competitive team of about 20 people will hold their practices at Rock Spot Brookline, and the team also hopes to hold weekly events for club members to help build a more cohesive climbing community.

The gym will hold a youth program open house on March 10, giving young climbers the opportunity to try rock climbing.

“Our only goal is providing the best gym we can,” Drury said. “We want anyone and everyone to come climb with us.”

Rock Spot is tentatively planning to hold an opening event on March 1, but its owners said on Facebook Monday that they are still waiting for a certificate of occupancy from the town.

The exterior of Rock Spot climbing gym. Photo by Matthew Eadie