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Concordia Outdoors' Hot Take on Montreal Climbing Gyms

If your New Year's resolution is to climb more or you're curious about the hype, here's our team's hot take on Montreal climbing gyms.


Allez-Up

📍Point St Charles (bouldering, top & lead) | Verdun (bouldering) | Mile End (bouldering & kilter)


If this blog inspires you, join us for our weekly climbing sessions at Allez-Up Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 AM. Sign up here each week before the session to get our discount...hope to see you there!


"AllezUp PSC [Point St. Charles] ranks highest for me in MTL for top rope or lead climbing*. Dope climbs on tall walls and a great community." - David

*Top rope: climbers are supported by a rope that runs up and down the climbing wall, anchored at the top. The belayer takes away the slack (loose rope) as the climber ascends.

Lead climbing: belayers feed (give) rope to the climber, who then clips the rope to the wall as they ascend


"The new Mile-End location can be busy so if you like to avoid crowds, go during the day. The ceilings are really high, making it super spacious. Routes* are fun. It gives comfy-cozy vibes. Very beginner-friendly, willing to teach you how to go up and down the wall. They have a kilter board where all the intense climbers go, so more room for beginners to climb. - Amanda

*Routes: refers to the path you climb. Indoors, it's indicated by the colour of the "rocks" or "holds"


"AllezUp Verdun has the nicest staff! Routes are always fun and creative never a lull in finding a project you're passionate about. I appreciate that they incorporate beginner dynos*, allowing me to practice techniques usually reserved for advanced climbers" - Lynda

*Dynos: short for dynamic movement. They usually require climbers to jump from one hold to the next, letting go of the wall and using momentum to get to the next hold

"As a beginner climber, the [Verdun location] is nice at 10 AM because it's calm and you can climb and not feel like anyone is watching you so it feels very comfortable." - Cami

Café Bloc

📍1209-1211 Boul St-Laurent Montreal, Qc H2X 2S6


"Café Bloc is my go-to because of how central it is, the fact that there’s not only the bouldering* gym, but also food, beers, and board games in case you want to hang around pre/post workout! It’s always a fun time and even if you go alone, you’ll find people to talk to :)" - Vitalia

*Bouldering: a form of free climbing on shorter walls where the climber is supported by mats on the ground. Great for beginners because no equipment is required other than climbing shoes & chalk


"Great bouldering community cheering you on as you climb! So many additional perks: close to St.Laurent metro, sauna, board games, kilter board, outdoor patio, study space, and café with great food/bevs. If you can't tell... it's my favourite gym."- Lynda
"Super cute space and you can spend the whole afternoon there with all they have to offer, it can get a bit crowded at peak hours cause it's so popular!" -Sharon

Nomad Bloc

Photo from Nomad Bloc website

📍4141 Avenue Pierre-De Coubertin, Montreal, Qc, H1V 3N7 - Coin Pie-IX & Sherbrooke

*only open in summer

"Nomad bloc in the summer hits differently. Climbing outside, even if not on real rock, is very refreshing!" - David
"Outdoor summer sunset climbing vibes. 10/10." - Lynda

Bloc Shop

Photo from Richard B. Bloc Shop review on Yelp

📍 Chabanel | Hochlaga


"Friendly community with lots of bouldering walls to explore! More dynamic routes, a great variety of holds & wall angles. They always have cool events like flash tattoos and shoe demos. They also have a cute cafe and the best store for merch/gear." - Lynda
"If you can get your lazy butt to Chabanel it's an amazing gym. Always clean, plenty of variety for the routes and a large space. Great for all levels"- Sharon


Zéro Gravité

Photo from Zéro Gravité Facebook page

📍 4519 Av. Papineau, Montreal, Qc H2H 1V4

"Beautiful!! It's an old renovated theatre. The owners are accommodating and understanding. Might be disappointed if you only boulder since the bouldering space is small... this gym is mainly for rope climbing. What sets this gym apart is the yoga incorporated in passes and memberships. The yoga space upstairs is beautiful and calm with tall windows and hardwood floors. The yoga teachers are great, with the right balance of flow, strength and relaxation! The perfect way to start or end your climbing session. Highly recommend." - Lynda
"Quite an amazing space, and the yoga there is very good! It was the first gym I did serious top rope in and it proved to be very rewarding!"- Sharon

Shakti Climbing


📍175 St Viateur St. E, Montreal Qc H2T 1B4


"Has character but for a niche community. I would not recommend it for beginners/families with children because of the small space on and off the wall, so it's harder to read the routes (climbing path) and you need to be more careful before hopping on and off the wall." - Lynda
"Enjoyable but would not say it's for everyone. It's for more well-seasoned climbers. The first time I went, no one showed us around the gym nor explained the rules/grading* which made it difficult to know where everything is and how things work. The walls are confusing at first because they are covered in holds with tape on each one so if you like smearing*, there's less space and the walls are older so more slippery...basically it takes some time to get used to. But a huge pro is that the prices are the most affordable in Montreal. The crowd is pretty cool too, with lots of experienced climbers, routes are cool and fresh. They have a true-to-the-wilderness vibe which is a nice change of pace from "clean" gyms and they have shorter walls upstairs with more traverse* routes that are fun, new and fresh! - Min

Grading= climbers give a grade to the climbing route or boulder problem to describe the level of difficulty. Each gym has its own system to depict the level of difficulty, with assigned numbers and colours. It's always smart to check the grading system at any new gym as they may differ

Smearing=technique used in climbing where the climber presses the sole of their climbing shoe on the wall, using friction to move them up the wall

Traverse= climbs that focus on moving horizontally across the wall rather than vertically

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