I had the privilege of visiting a brand new gym in Santa Clarita, CA this week called Top Out Climbing. It is owned by Howard Konishi and opened on May 18, 2013 so it has that “New-Car-Smell” still. The gym offers an amazing array of well designed and considered climbing walls, with a great use of space all wrapped in an 11,500 sqft building.
Top Out sits in the northern LA County area in Santa Clarita, California. It’s just a few minutes off the highway for easy access in and out. The area is surrounded by big hills with a mountain backdrop over the horizon. The collegiate population is very high in the area with a handful of colleges such as College of the Canyons, Cal Arts and Cal State Northridge to name a few. The area also has become known for a wide array of health and athletic minded people with a growing population moving into this area.
The gym offers 6,500sqft of climbable wall of which 5K of that is dedicated to bouldering. The facility is well lit and has a very open feeling making it really great for climbing and not feeling cramped. There is a retail shop that carries Mad Rock, Black Diamond, Evolv and Climb-On products. The yoga studio has great sound buffering and privacy creating a fantastic environment for yoga programming. A fun side fact, the gym has five bathrooms which is great for large groups and events, a nice feature considering some gyms only have one or two at most.
At Top Out Climbing you never feel crowded due to the well considered layout and wall designs. The opportunity to have big events and parties is great. Setters can really use the large wall space “canvases” to create exciting routes and challenges that are not stagnate or limited to being straight-forward. In my view this is the way all gyms should be considering that setting is a major part of the product offerings in a climbing gym.
Speaking specifically to the setting at Top Out after having climbed there for half a day, I was truly amazed at the high level of quality the routes offered. No joke, the setters there are very talented and dare I say it might be one of the best set gyms in California that I have visited over the years!
I asked Howard “Why a climbing gym?” and he responded that he wanted to introduce climbing to people who have never done it before and in doing so change lives like climbing changed his life. Howard is really about community and giving back, something him and I both have in common and share similar beliefs in this regard.
The gym gets its name from Howards belief that in life we are constantly trying to reach a pinnacle, reach new heights and his gym offers the challenges and excitement that climbing can offer in those ways.
If you are in the area and want to check out one of the best climbing gyms in southern California do stop by Top Out Climbing. It is well worth the visit and the routestting alone is worth a session for sure. My hat goes off to them… great job, I am impressed!
For more info visit: www.topoutclimbing.com