Whether on rocks or walls, climbing is one of the ultimate tests of finger strength and a great exercise in general. Have you ever seen a fat climber? Neither have I, which suggests that it may be a great way to get in shape. But not only that – it is also a lot of fun!
As I’ve mentioned before, Cali is a great place for anything sports related and with the Andes mountains stretching along the western side of the city, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to climbing. I would not recommend anybody to go climbing in the Farallones by themselves. though. Trails are poorly marked and you really need the inside knowledge to figure out where it’s best to go. What I do recommend is visiting one of Cali’s climbing clubs. It’s cheap, provides you with professional training and guidance before setting out to tackle big mountains, and also sets the perfect scene for making new friends.
There is supposedly 6 climbing clubs in Cali. I know of 2 them and like them both.
Guillermo Duran is the owner and they train outdoors at the Velódromo Alcides Nieto Patiño on Carrera 54 Oeste # 3-50. The wall has 12 routes with different difficulties to the top 17 meters above. You don’t need to bring anything for your first visit and when you start investing, they recommend that you get climbing shoes and a chalk bag before anything else. Instructions are good and although 17 meters might not sound like a lot, I promise that you will feel it in your stomach once you reach the top.
It cost $10.000 pesos ($4US) to train for a day or $60.000 ($25US) for a monthly membership. Dirt cheap in my opinion.
They open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon. On Sundays they often go rock climbing, rappelling or bridge jumping in Cauca, Jamundi or Dapa. Besides their website they also have a Facebook page.
Telephone: 313 517 8863
They train indoors and the owner is a little fella named John Delgado. Don’t be fooled by his size, this man can scale a wall faster than you can say ¡Almojabana! His clubhouse is located on Calle 14 # 56-151 in southern Cali and has about 6 different indoor walls. They are not as tall at the outdoors walls but offer plenty of challenges. At least for beginners. Besides wall climbing, they also offer training in rappelling, aerial silk dance/aerobics, martial arts, breakdance, slackline and bridge jumping. I tried the silk dancing, which is HARD, but I have no experience regarding the other services, although I could see some people getting their asses whopped in the far end of the building. On-site they sell gear, but if it’s your first time they are happy to let your borrow their equipment – just make sure to bring shoes with a hard sole.
They open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and for $10.000 pesos you can stay all day. They also offer a monthly membership, but I forgot to ask for the price. It’s probably around $60.000 – $80.000 pesos like FreeSolo.
Telephone: 370 3990 – 312 747 9773 – 313 711 4916 (Whatsapp)
If you have tried any of the other clubs in town, we would be happy to hear from you in the comments below.
Be safe and have fun!