The newly expanded First Ascent Block 37 location is located on the 4th floor of the mall and is now over 28,000 square feet with various workout, hangout, and wellness spaces. The facility now features over 15,000 sqft of climbing terrain, two yoga rooms, and plenty of other equipment to help your body and mind reach the next level.
As the first locally owned and operated climbing gym in Chicago, First Ascent is known for its beginner-friendly programs, one-of-a-kind membership programs, supplement yoga classes and workout options, and the friendly and knowledgeable staff that’s always ready to help.
But there’s more to the name. First Ascent in the rock-climbing world represents your first time conquering a new challenge. Therefore, the idea behind First Ascent is for everyone to continue advancing, completing new bouldering problems, and discover new techniques.
There are four First Ascent gyms you can go to in Chicago:
- Block 37
- Humboldt Park
Furthermore, the Avondale location offers roped climbing in addition to bouldering. If you’ve missed the feeling of descending from the top of a completed route, go to Avondale and challenge their 60 ft-tall walls!
A Passion For Climbing
When asked what got him into bouldering and climbing, First Ascent’s co-owner, Dan, told us that it was as simple as a friend’s invitation back in college. “I was out of shape, not very active, and just wasn’t interested in going to the gym to slog away on a treadmill or lift weights by myself,” Dan told us. But when his friend demanded him to tag along to a newly-discovered hobby — bouldering, he decided to give it a shot.
“And I just fell in love with it,” said Dan.
For Dan, bouldering and climbing are different from other forms of workouts because they require your mind to be sharp and active the whole time. And because each “problem” can only be solved by using the designated path with rocks in the same color, the experience is surprisingly similar to a giant interactive puzzle.
Beginner’s Guided Session
When asked what would be a good way for beginners to get into bouldering, Dan couldn’t say enough about their guided session. These sessions could be 1-on-1 up to 6-on-1, led by First Ascent’s professional bouldering guides.
A Guided Climbing Session package includes:
- 1 hour of expert instruction with a First Ascent Guide
- Tips on climbing technique, terminology, etiquette, and safety
- A Day Pass to explore the gym on your own after the hour with your Guide
- All the gear you’ll need (shoes, harness, and chalk)
- All the climbing you can fit into one session
You can book your guided session here.
Another amazing deal available at First Ascent Block 37 location are the Family Memberships. Unlike most group memberships at other gyms, the Family Memberships at First Ascent automatically cover two adults and all kids under 14 in the household.
However, keep in mind that children under 14 must be under supervision at all times. Make sure you keep a close eye on them as they climb and explore!
Spread the Love and Earn Member Points
As we all know, one of the coolest things about bouldering and climbing is the amazing community. The chances of you finding another workout community that is so passionate and supportive are quite slim.
Know a climber? You bet that person would be brainwashing you until you go with them to a rock climbing gym. Just getting started? Here you won’t be called an imposter even if you’re just dangling on the first rock.
As Dan said: “Rock-climbing is not about competing against each other but encouraging others to succeed. We know it’s hard and we expect challenges and even failures. It’s probably because we’ve gone through all the tough struggles (and still are struggling as we challenge ourselves), so we only want others to have the best experience and discover the fun that got us hooked with climbing.”
Built upon this concept of community, First Ascent has a point system that works similar to a referral program. You can find out more about the FA-Bonus program here.
Featured Image Credit: First Ascent Block 37