With warmer weather coming our way, there will soon be opportunities for rock climbing trips to places like the Red and New River Gorges. The only problem is that the club has a lot of people that are interested but have little or no climbing experience. All of us need some practice and there aren’t many options in South Bend. And although outdoor climbing is a perfectly safe and acceptable first climbing experience, it tends to intimidate people. So when I found out that Climb Kalamazoo gym allows groups to do all-night sleepovers and have total reign of the gym, I immediately booked us. They seemed pretty confused when I told them that we weren’t a troop of Boy Scouts but rather a group of grown adults, but they were willing to let us come.
The sleepover turned out to be lots of fun. Fourteen people showed up and we climbed until all of our arms were sore. We took a break to gorge ourselves on the cheapest pizza ever, courtesy of Papa Pete’s. Then it was more climbing, interspersed with lounging on the floor until around 1:30 AM.
On the way home, a group of four of us (+ one dog) stopped at the Pumpkinvine Bike Trail in Middlebury for a 22-mile ride. The weather was clear and trail conditions were great until the last 1.5 miles when the smooth pavement turned to mud. By the time we finished our bikes and butts were thoroughly caked.
Organizing an all night climb lock-in is easy. The gym charges $30 per person. Make sure you have at least 10 people interested, collect their money, then call Climb Kalamazoo and book a night.