Afraid of heights? Evo Rock + Fitness, a climbing gym with a higher purpose, can help you overcome that pesky anxiety. Housed in a former National Guard airplane hangar on the southwest side, the facility offers aerial, acrobatic, and mat yoga classes (free for members) to get climbers in the right state of mind before tackling the facility’s 18,000 square feet of routes. Operations manager Kevin Garvey says yoga develops a sense of focus that ascending the walls can’t. “You can really work on your head space,” he says. “So when you’re 40 feet up on the wall and about to do a thing you’ve never done, instead of thinking about falling and failing, you think, I’m going to hit this. I’m going to be fine. It helps you develop your climbing spirit.”
After getting your “Om” on, you can learn the basic beta (that’s climbing-speak for information) in an introductory course or multilevel women-only class, where terms like belayer and carabiner get explained. When you’re ready to hit the rock, heed the placard that ranks each path’s degree of difficulty on the Yosemite Decimal System. Newbies should cling to (literally) the 5.6–5.8 range, while veterans can maneuver the wall for bouldering (climbing with no ropes) or conquer a 5.13-level lane. Feeling a little puny—and winded? Evo thought of that, too. Members can shake it in free Zumba classes, or bulk up for strenuous climbs in the cross-training area. Now go scale that mountain!
1931 Stout Field West Dr., 247-1931
$67/month for members; $17 for a day pass