Rockville Expansion Update

The Earth Treks Rockville expansion has entered the final stages of construction and we are thrilled with the progress thus far. Initially, we estimated the expansion would bring Earth Treks Rockville to a total of 34,000 square feet of climbing but happily, the grand total will be over 38,000 square feet! Not only will this make Earth Treks Rockville the largest climbing wall in the nation, it will also make us one of the biggest in the entire world! 

For those of you that haven’t been to Rockville recently, the roof and walls of the existing fitness room have been removed. We regret any interruptions you may experience with the fitness equipment during this stage of the transition and we will try to minimize any impact it may have on your routine. The new fitness room, which is twice as large, will include more equipment and a dedicated fitness/yoga room. Our aim has been to create a functional training facility to help you reach both your climbing & fitness goals.

Jason Kehl set the first routes last week, a massive shipment of padding has arrived (2 tractor-trailers worth!) and more top rope anchors are being welded every day. We still have some hurdles, but are working to open up sections of the expansion as the construction schedule and the building inspectors from the City of Rockville allow. The first section of the new side could be open for climbing in as little as three weeks!

None of this would be possible without the constant support of our community members. Thank you for your continued patience during this hectic time. We are looking forward to opening sections of the new side next month and even more excited for a grand re-opening celebration on January 21st! (We’ll email more details in a few weeks).

Keep an eye on the Earth Treks blog or Facebook page for updates, photos & videos as the expansion progresses. Of course, you can also watch the progress through the gaping hole in the bouldering cave!

[Click on the big white arrow to start slide show. Click on the full_screen.jpg to view in full screen mode]

Rockville Cave Closure


UPDATE 09/26/11:   In an effort to minimize the impact on our members, we’ve put this off as long as we could but the time has arrived! Construction on the new cave has reached the point that we are able to begin bridging the old side with the new side. The 30′ section highlighted in these photos will be removed this week, beginning Wednesday September 28th. Due to the construction , we will need to CLOSE the existing bouldering cave on Wednesday & Thursday. We will aim to re-open a portion of the cave on Friday, September 30th. Thank you for all of your patience!

UPDATE 08/29/11:  The 30 foot wide section on the left side of the bouldering cave that was scheduled to come down the last week of August has been delayed until later in September. This means you have a few more weeks of access to that section until the wall must come down and construction to bridge the old cave with the new cave begins. So take advantage of it while you still can!

Posted 08/08/11: As construction progresses, the time to open up the first pass through into the new side draws nearer. Towards the end of September, a roughly 30 foot wide section on the left side of the bouldering cave will be removed to allow the construction crew to begin bridging the new cave with the old.

We know 30 feet sounds like a lot, but please keep in mind we’re sacrificing 30 feet to gain 150 feet of brand, spanking new bouldering. You’ve seen the 3D plans and we know you guys are just as stoked for the extra square footage as we are. This is just one more step closer to all those sweet new features! In the next few weeks, we’ll increase the density of problems in the remaining sections of the cave to give you as much bouldering as possible.

cave-closure-2.jpgWe regret the inconvenience this closure may present to our community and members and appreciate your patience during the expansion. We expect the disruptions in the existing cave area to continue through September.

Again, thank you for your patience and understanding.

Petzl GriGri2 Recall June 20 2011

recall-grigri2_2.jpg GriGri2s with serial numbers from 10326 to 11136 have been recalled!

Petzl has discovered that exerting excessive force on the fully extended handle of the GriGri2 can cause internal damage, such that the  handle may become stuck in the open position. When the handle is stuck in this position, the assisted braking function is disabled. Failure to control the braking side of the rope will increase the risk of an uncontrolled descent. A GriGri2 with a damaged handle must be immediately retired from service!

As of June 20, 2011, seven damaged products have been returned to Petzl through our worldwide distribution network. Petzl has no knowledge of any accidents resulting from a damaged GriGri 2 handle.

  • How do you tell the difference between a GriGri and a GriGri2? 
    • The GriGri2 has been available on the market since January 2011. If you purchased your device before 1st January 2011, then it isn’t a GriGri2 and so is not affected by this recall for exchange. If you purchased your device after the 1st of January 2011, then compare it with the images published in Petzl’s announcements for this recall for exchange.
  • How can I tell if a GriGri2 is included in this recall for exchange?
    • GriGri2s with serial numbers from 10326 to 11136 are included in this exchange.
  • Where do you find the serial number of the GriGri2? 
    • The serial number is laser engraved on the body of the product underneath and protected by the folded handle.
  • What should I do with my GriGri2 if it is included in the recall for exchange?
    • Contact your national distributor by email at or by phone at 1-800-932-2978, provide your postal address in order to begin the exchange process.
    • Petzl will pay for all shipping costs to complete this replacement.

Please feel free to contact your local Earth Treks or ask at the front desk if you are unsure of your GriGri2s serial number or need assistance contacting Petzl.

For more information: grigri2_public_recall_alert


Rockville Expansion Announcement

You’re about to get a LOT more elbow room!

The 15,000 sqaure foot Earth Treks Rockville expansion is well under way! The new addition will greatly expand bouldering and roped climbing with tons of new terrain for climbers at all ability levels. Total climbing surface will exceed 34,000 square feet post expansion, making it among the top five largest climbing gyms in the nation. The updated facility will also include expanded locker rooms, a larger fitness area, and a fitness studio for activities such as yoga. Newly designed teaching areas are being added such that group events and parties can be run separate from the main climbing floor. Take a look at the aerial view of the expansion plans HERE! 

For the design and construction of the expanded facility, we have partnered with Eldorado Walls, a leader in the climbing wall design field. Eldo has been able to work with the look and feel of our existing walls, and successfully add their experience to our vision for the facility. This will result in the construction of one of the largest indoor climbing facilities in the United States, and most importantly, the optimal climbing wall design for our community. plans_-_aerial_view_of_expansion-web.jpg

None of this would be possible without the continued support of our members, who have patiently awaited the expansion since the Rockville gym opened its doors in 2006. The designs and plans for the expansion will reflect the feedback and needs of the climbing community.

Construction began in June and will be completed before the winter season is in full swing. Over the coming weeks we’ll be releasing more tantalizing details on the climbing wall features you can look forward to. So keep an eye on our Facebook page and Blog for weekly photos, videos and interviews to keep you up-to-date as the expansion progresses!

2011 Outdoor Season

It’s time to get outside and climb!

If you’re like us, you’re probably chomping at the bit to get outdoors and climb.  Well, the snow has melted away and the rock is warming up.  The rock season is officially here!  Whatever your climbing dreams are for 2011, Earth Treks can help you make them happen.  Visit our Outdoor School webpage for dates, details, and registration, or call us at (800) CLIMB-UP today.

Are you an indoor climber and looking to get on the real thing?

The sun warms your back, the challenges and adventures are never ending, and the view from the top is second to none. Earth Treks offers several great options for indoor climbers to gain the skills needed to climb outdoors.outdoor_1.jpg

Introduction to Rock Climbing $95 (Members save $10)

This introductory class focuses on fundamental skills and techniques. Participants will receive expert instruction on the proper use of harnesses, tying knots, belaying technique, rappelling and basic climbing skills. [ dates and course details ]

Intermediate Rock Climbing $95 (Members save $10)

Intermediate Rock Climbing is an excellent transition for indoor climbers and anyone who is serious about becoming a better climber. Belay skills are a pre-requisite. [ dates and course details ]

Top Rope Systems $95 (Members save $10)

Top Rope Systems seminars provide students with the technical knowledge needed to build and evaluate their own top rope set-ups. [ dates and course details ]

Gym 2 Crag Package Save $15 (Membes save $25)The Gym 2 Crag Package will prepare you to head to any crag with the knowledge and confidence to set up your own top rope system and climb with technique and finesse.  Courses are offered at Carderock, MD, and Great Falls, VA. [ package details ]

Package includes: Intermediate Rock Climbing and Top Rope Systems. All for only $175 (Members $165)!

Gym 2 Crag Roadtripsoutdoor_2.jpg

Earth Treks’ Gym 2 Crag Roadtrips are perfect for developing outdoor climbers and indoor climbers who are ready to get on the real thing. Join Earth Treks for two exciting, educational days of top-rope climbing at Coopers Rock, WV. This course is perfectly matched to the indoor climber (or a climber with limited outdoor experience) who is looking for the skills to climb outdoors. [ dates and course details ]

Top Rope Systems 2

Top Rope Systems 2 will teach you how to rig anchors to facilitate top belays and give you plenty of practice top belaying. Skills such as lowering and assisting climbers who can’t make the moves or are too tired to finish the climb will be covered. [ dates and course details ]

Register ONLINE today or call (800) CLIMB-UP!

See you at the Crag.