The Front is a local's salvation in the winter months. When the weather outside is frightful (or only good for skiing, snowboarding, or ice-climbing), it’s great to have yoga, pilates, indoor climbing, and a workout room just minutes from the heart of downtown. Opened early and closed late, The Front has made itself easily accessible. They even have a dog run out back! The Pro Shop features the best selection of climbing shoes in the city, and they do a great job featuring local or small-batch products, like crash pads, clothing, and climbing accessories.
What Makes It Great
At The Front you’ll find 10,000 square feet of wall, The space is predominantly bouldering, although top rope routes are also available. The Front isn’t very crowded during the summer, but winter evenings can see quite a bit of traffic. Mornings seem to be pretty quiet in general, so if your job doesn’t get in the way this is an excellent time to take advantage of The Front’s facilities.
Along with a great space to climb and meet other are climbers, The Front offers classes and clinics for those who would like to speed along the learning curve. The staff and instructors are first-rate climbers themselves—Nathan Williamson is a crazy-strong free soloist. And if you're in town for a while or live here, they offer affordable day, month, and yearly memberships as well as 10-visit punch cards. (Tip: members receive a discount on gear at the Pro Shop, a monthly buddy pass with EFT subscription, and unlimited yoga classes.) You can bring your own gear or rent shoes and a chalk bag for your visit. The Front also hosts several climbing comps a year, and anyone is welcome to enter the citizens' comps.
The rating scale at The Front is very consistent, and routes are updated frequently. You’ll also find clean showers and locker rooms; and a smile (not the bro-brah attitude that you’ll find at a lot of climbing gyms). This is a real climber's gym. Despite daily vacuuming, on crowded days, chalk dust clouds the air and coats the mats in front of the bouldering wall.
If environmental issues concern you, you may also be interested to know that The Front Climbing Club is quite possibly the greenest climbing gym on Earth. The 7.6kw solar system, installed in November 2010, produces over 10 megawatts of power per year. That means that each sunny day adds up 70kw/h of energy returned to the electrical grid. In addition to solar power generation, The Front participates in the Rocky Mountain Power Blue Sky program by offsetting 100% of their electrical power consumption with wind generation electricity. This program helps develop wind power generation by purchasing from newly developed facilities that deliver to Salt Lake City’s regional grid.
Who is Going to Love It
The Front offers fun and challenging climbing for every skill level. Folks who rarely have time to get out of the city will love The Front’s convenient location.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The Front is located at 1450 S 450 W in Salt Lake City. From downtown, it’s probably easiest to head south on State St, take a right onto 1300 S, then head south on 400 W. The Front Climbing Club will be on your right. The Front is open from 7am to 11pm on weekdays, 10m to 10pm Saturday and Sunday.
Follow them on Facebook for updates and news. And if you're staying down around 1300 S for a bit, try Lucky 13 for a monster burger and a good whiskey or a creative Sunday brunch. Their patio is amazing when the weather's good.