Dara: After literal years of not working out, I have finally found an activity that can convince me to pay LA’s stupidly high specialty gym membership prices: bouldering!
TJ: I’ve been a member of LA Fitness for years but Dara hates opens gyms and has had a hard time trying to find a fitness class that 1) isn’t too expensive and 2) meets at an hour that fits into an assistant’s schedule. So this was a pretty good find at a reasonable price for an monthly, unlimited visit membership.
Yea… I’m not really sure what “reasonable” means anymore in LA, but it was key for me to find a place that opens early, closes late, and has classes that start at least after 7pm. Location is also key, and this gym’s amazingly right between work and home. Weekdays I can always go before work if I want (it opens at 7am) or let off some steam after work (they’re open until 11pm!!!)
And funnily enough, how I actually first heard about Hollywood Boulders is through an assistant group on Facebook. I didn’t think much about it when I saw it mentioned but then just a few days later, we were at a party and met a member of one of the partner gyms in town.
It was a super random coincidence, but since I don’t need anything to be suggested to me more than twice, we went to the gym on a whim literally the next day.
Oh and fun fact: we were supposed to go to the gym in time for a class at 12pm but Dara insisted it was at 12:40pm. She was wrong. We missed the class.
Between this and the Mexico flight fiasco and then buying movie tickets for the wrong night, this has for some reason become a constant issue with me recently. But luckily it has not effected my work (thank god – my boss would kill me!) and tbh we didn’t need the class for any other reason than gaining discounted entrance to the gym. Anyone who can comprehend color-coding and “0 = easy, 12= hard” can figure out a bouldering gym themselves.
We should mention though that bouldering and traditional climbing are different. Bouldering is less about reaching heights and more about tackling short and more complicated “problems” as they’re called. And because you’re not going as high up (only to about 16 ft) there are no ropes. The entire floor under the walls are just about a foot of padded mat for you to fall onto.
But anyway, that first day we missed the class but still managed to spend 4 hours climbing. I immediately loved it and bought a membership on the spot.
I tried to talk her out of buying it immediately to force her to think about the purchase but she was insistent and there was a discount if you bought it same day.
So I did and I do not regret it! I’m there a couple times a week (with a fellow assistant buddy!) and always bring TJ and other friends with my monthly guest passes.
We’re not experts yet, but we’re excited to eventually boulder out in the real world. We’d have to buy crash pads since the ground outside doesn’t magically become mats but it’d be so much fun to head to somewhere like Joshua Tree again and just climb!
The cool thing about living near deserts is that there are plenty of places to climb, guide books about the best places to climb at each national park, and even dedicated climbing guides who you can hire to take you to climbs appropriate for your skill level.
Speaking of skill level, it’s crazy what the world’s best climbers can do. Alex Honnold is famous for climbing thousands of feet with no ropes. One mistake and he could die any second. His lack of fear is so bizarre that scientists studied his brain.
We don’t expect anyone we know to ever get that good, but we still highly recommend that everyone try out indoor bouldering at least once. It’s a lot of fun, has really easy routes for beginners, and works out muscles you probably forgot you had.
COST REPORT: $$
Hollywood Boulders Day Pass: $25/each
Climbing Shoes Rental: $4/each
Chalk Rental: $1
MONTHLY MEMBERSHIP: $79/month + $100 initiation fee