Love to climb, Outside-In Climbing Gym’s got you covered

West Virginia has world-class climbing at the New River Gorge.

“If you know what you’re doing, we’re a good place to keep your skills up when the weather is bad, and if you don’t know what you’re doing we’re a good place to learn those skills,” said owner Kevin Traube. “We do teach classes and inside everything is set up, if you go outside you gotta find your good rock or tree to tie on to.”

Do you get an adrenaline rush every time you try something daring? Then get a taste of the Southern West Virginia great outdoors at Outside-In climbing gym.

Traube says even if you never plan to go outside and hang 110 feet in the air by a single rope, you still want the experience so you can feel like you didn’t waste the opportunity to live in such an area. This is the way to have that thrill you couldn’t easily engineer outside.

“You’d have to have someone who would guide you and set up for you and it would be quite the commitment to make it happen,” Traube said. “Here, it’s very easy to come, you can do it for a half hour… you can go and have a hamburger.”

According to Kevin, the walls have amazing engineered lumber, each one weighing tons. Because he knew someone who could pull this off — it was a chance to build a unique, one-of-a-kind thing.

“If you’ve gone anywhere else and been in other kinds of climbing gyms — they don’t have this sort of feel, they don’t have the textured walls that we do,” he said. “So when we say ‘Outside-In Climbing Gym’ the rock in the Gorge is a sandstone rock and so this sort of replicates that as close as an inside experience as you could have.”

Kevin says the walls here are 35 feet high and for some, it’s three or four visits before they get more than 15 feet off the ground.

“But after a few visits, they’ll get up and ring a bell and it’s such a sense of accomplishment,” he said. “So quite often for folks, it’s a ‘I didn’t know that I could do this.'”

Climbers are their own community and it’s a lifestyle.

“If you want to climb at a high level you really have dedicated yourself to it because it’s so physically taxing — there’s such a skill set,” said Traube. “Success or failure is often a matter of less than an inch. It’s a mental thing as well. When people come in who know how to climb and know how to belay for themselves, we just get out of the way and let them enjoy themselves.”

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