The View from the top is great – but you’re gonna have to climb to get there!

Well in an attempt to keep exploring and adventuring in my new home – I tried something different tonight! While furniture shopping and running to different stores to get the correct pieces for the backyard patio set, I found a rock climbing gym (you can’t miss it – it’s huge)! And I told myself “I’m going to go one day and check it out…,” And believe it or not – I finished work around 6:00pm tonight and headed over to Planet Granite! has four locations, tonight I hit up their Sunnyvale location!

So I have to amend my initial reaction of “Holy crap that’s a huge rock climbing gym….” to now say “Holy crap that’s a huge Climbing, Bouldering, Slacklining, Crossfit, Yoga, Spin and Fitness Center.” I had no idea this place had so much going on in a huge clean and friendly environment!

I parked, walked in and immediately told the staff at the front desk “I have never been here before and have no idea how this works…” They appreciated my honestly and directed me to fill out their digital waiver on an iPad then let me know what they offer and what to expect! It was “Singles and Swingers” night – but unfortunately I wasn’t “belay certified” so I would make a pretty crappy partner. Luckily for me they could fit me into their 8:00pm class so I had an hour to “boulder” and explore my way around the facility.

The climbing belt and shoes where included in the rental and then I had to watch a short video on climbing (and falling) ediquete – actually pretty informative as no one likes to look like a newbie with rockstar climbers going full spider-man up and down every man made rock in the building.

There were probably 300 people there tonight all following the unspoken laws of climbing etiquette. I thought it was really cool how people don’t really communicate, but if someone makes a good move on the wall or has a killer save the crowd will roar and voice their support – the gasp of someone losing their footing or missing a hand placement is a pretty big attention getter as well!
So when I started to climb I tried counting the different climbing options – but 30 minutes I switched to counting aching muscles! This is a workout what takes no prisoners . So many courses and so many sore muscles in the making… lol
This is one of the (many) bouldering sections which I tried out! The courses are all color coded and labels based on difficulty and incline – this is a rock climbers Paradise and for a new comber the crowd was super chill and hospitable to the clueless climbers (like me)
And just when you think you see it all, there are more walls around the corner and even more through a small cave – but watch overhead for swinging climbers who may come your way (gravity wins every time – according to the intro video).

I enjoyed the hour long belay class and instruction. My instructor was detailed, thorough and had a personality which makes learning more fun. I use to climb back in my Huntington Beach years so it was a lot of review, but I appreciated the refresher especially knowing that there are drop in climbing options and I would potentially climb with strangers with my safety in their hands. While learning the basics does take time – I appreciate knowing they have a detailed training program and have high standards to climb in their facility.

I had a great time – could have used a climbing buddy – but doesn’t change that I found a new place for adventuring and look forward to coming back!

Thank you to the staff at Planet Granite and the strangers who helped me learn the “ropes” of the bouldering walls! If you are in the Bay Area I strongly suggest giving this place a try! I’m going to get a day pass on my next visit so I can brush off my slack lining skills from college and then build my climbing skills – from the ground up!