Rocks and Ropes may be in its 21st year of operation, but there’s no monotony when stepping foot into this spacious rock-climbing gymnasium, located at 330 S. Toole Ave.
That’s because throughout the year, owner Jason Mullens and his staff keep the facility from growing stale by regularly changing the climbing routes, degree of difficulty, and patterns, making every experience a unique one.
“Setters put up 15 to 20 new walls per week,” said Mullens. “We’ve got members that have been coming since we opened, so we’ve got to keep the same walls interesting.”
However, as with years past, Rocks and Ropes will continue one of its traditional events this year with its summer climbing camps, which first began in 1992 and have continued ever since.
Three different camps are offered for kids ages five to 15. The first camp, known as Rock 1, teaches children ages five to seven years old knot tying, rope technique, cooperation and responsibility.
Rock 2 teaches kids eight to 10 years old the basics in climbing. Special attention is paid to each child to ensure the child is able to develop and improve as a climber while having a good time.
The final phase of camp, Rock 3, caters to children age 11-15, who are taught more advanced climbing techniques to prepare for two days of outdoor climbing.
And while Rocks and Ropes offers such events to children, Mullens says the customer-base is made up of a much wider array of people.
“There’s no particular demographic that really comes in here most,” said Mullens. “Kids, adults, seniors, singles, couples, they all visit.”
Many come for recreational purposes, while others come to train for outdoor climbing at places like Mt. Lemmon.
“There’s definitely the amusement factor, but it’s also now becoming about a full-body workout,” said Mullens. “It’s a great workout, and there are ways for climbers to progress as they continue learning, from low-angle to vertical walls to overhung walls.”
Rocks and Ropes also serves as the host to on-site competitions, and hosted one as recently as last week where the Rocks and Ropes team of 50-60 competitors took on climbers from around the state.
Additional programming includes Lock-ins, where private overnight access is granted to the facility with fun climbing games and a large screen projector for showing movies.
For more information on Rocks and Ropes, visit www.rocksandropes.com.
Mullens recently opened a second climbing facility in Tucson, known as The BLOC, a 20,000- square-foot, air-conditioned bouldering and fitness facility located at 8975 E. Tanque Verde Road.