With more than 350 routes ranging from V0 to V15, Stone Summit Climbing and Fitness Center is one of the largest indoor climbing facilities in the country. With no minimum age requirement, you’ll find anyone from little squirts to bearded rugged mountain men scaling V7’s like lizards. Climbers journey to this mecca any time of the year to prime their skills in a monitored environment. Climbing walls stretch anywhere from 25 to 60 feet, while the bouldering room contains 5,000 square feet of climbing surface.
The main gym is popular for lead climbing and the routes are changed often so that you can learn to overcome a crux. Some of the lead walls have angled challenging routes. There is a small corner for auto-belay, available to any climber with a day pass. Upstairs is a section of beginner climbing walls for newbies. The boulder room is for climbers ages 16 and older. The V0 routes are filled with bucket holds, and some routes can easily be climbed on-sight. The “cave” in one bouldering section allows you to practice your inversion skills on a route.
What Makes It Great
This isn't one of those gyms that looks cramped- both vertical space and floor space are plentiful and natural light floods through the ceiling. The walls and mats are well maintained: the holds have a good grip to them. The climbing community that trains here is more than willing to help you- whether you're stuck on a route and need a fresh perspective, or you're looking for tips to make it to the next level.
Those looking for more hands-on attention can purchase a staff-assisted lesson. The facility maintains a 1:6 staff to climber ratio in these lessons, and your small group will get expertise and guidance from an experienced climbing staff member.
The one-hour belay lesson teaches climbers to rock climb without assistance. Climbers must be 12 and older to take a belay lesson. The lesson includes gear rental and a day pass for $15. A technique class is offered to climbers skilled for 5.6 to 5.10 who are looking to improve movement and body position.
Stone Summit also offers supplemental fitness classes to improve climbing strength, balance and flexibility. These are included in day passes and memberships, along with access to traditional gym equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes and weight machines. Strong abdominal muscles are essential to climbing, and both the abs and pilates classes focus on these muscles. Three yoga classes are offered weekly: beginner yoga leads you through basic yoga poses and postures, technique yoga expands on these fundamentals and focuses on improving form and breathing, and power yoga challenges balance, strength and endurance.
Who is Going to Love It
Stone Summit caters to serious climbers and focuses on bouldering, top rope and lead climbing. About 90 percent of the routes aim at V9 or higher, so lead climbers have a broad scope of options. While about 35 routes are V0, which ends up being plenty for untrained hands and arms. The staff boasts that they change the well-thought out routes every few months.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Stone Summit is just north of Atlanta at the intersection of I-85 North and I-285. The climbing facility is open seven days per week, and hours are listed here. Avoid going in the evenings or when their Youth teams are climbing, because wall space is scarce.
Guests have options for day passes that include rental equipment (adults 13 and older: $18; 12 and under: $15), memberships, punch passes, fitness classes and climbing lessons. The easiest way to gain access is to purchase a day pass, where no reservation is required. With this pass, you walk in, get your gear and hit the walls. 14 walls are available to climb without staff assistance.
Approach Cafe is the in-house snack bar, where they serve up protein rich smoothies and milkshakes. Clif Bars and traditional concessions like candy bars and chips are also sold, and there is a hodgepodge of meal offerings from oatmeal to chicken wraps to quesadillas.
Attached to Stone Summit is the brick and mortar location for outdoor retailer Unique Outfitters. While they specialize in rock climbing gear from Black Diamond, Petzl and La Sportiva, they outfit many adventure sports. As a value-added reseller and authorized dealer, the employees are all outdoor enthusiasts who bring experience and product knowledge to help with buying decisions.