Always wanted to try out rock climbing but not quite ready to scale Mount Everest? Bouldering may be the perfect first step for you. Verm City rock climbing gym in Quarry Bay offers 18,000 square feet of indoor climbing activities at HK$250 for a full day, so if you’re looking for a fun and challenging activity to while away the humid summer days, read on.
The main attractions at Verm City are the bouldering walls, with climbing routes of various degrees of difficulty for you to try. Because bouldering is done without a rope or harness, and the top of some routes can be six metres from the mat, the first thing every beginner needs to learn is how to land safely.
Luckily, friendly instructors are on hand to teach you this along with other climbing basics such as how to distribute your weight, and which muscle groups to use for a particular type of movement. Through the Verm City website, it would be worth it for first-timers to book a spot in the group 101 class.
As you progress, you will learn to master moves like the foot swap (where you have to switch your feet on a single hold to move across the wall) and build up the strength to attempt the harder climbing routes, which will have you clambering up rock formations at crazy angles. Instructors will always be close by, if you need some tips to help you conquer these trickier climbs.
If you get tired of the bouldering routes, don’t worry because they are changed every month. In the meantime, Verm City also has other climbing-based diversions for your enjoyment. Boasting Hong Kong’s first augmented wall which combines a projector and sensors with a matrix of artificial rocks, you can play games such as virtual tag with a mischievous bat that flies around the wall.
The projected bat will fly to different spots on the wall, and you have to climb over to it to hit it with your hand or foot to gain a point. It’s fun to play and compare scores with your friends.
Verm City also has a MoonBoard, which is a standardised formation of rocks that is the same all over the world. Bouldering aficionados challenge each other by creating their own routes which they can save and share with an app. Angled at 40 degrees, this wall is not recommended for beginners, but it’s always cool to see the advanced climbers train on it.
Finally, if you’re in the mood for a more whimsical workout, there are also the “clip ’n’ climb” options. These are fun climbing games that are suitable for all ages as you will be attached to a safety harness that prevents you from falling to the ground.
There are a lot of unique games to try, including a Space Invaders-themed route, and a vertical drop slide where you can experience the (horrifying) feeling of free falling for a few brief seconds.
A rock climbing day pass at Verm City does not come cheap, so it’s not exactly an ideal everyday activity for students. But it’s great fun to go with a group of friends every once in a while. Plus you can score major bragging rights if you “flash” a climb (reach the top on your first go).
4/F, Kodak House 1, 321 Java Road, Quarry Bay
Rock climbing day pass HK$250
Clip ’n’ climb day pass (weekday) HK$180; clip ’n’ climb day pass (weekend) HK$250
Climbing shoe rental HK$40
Rock climbing: 9am-11pm
Clip ’n’ climb: 9.30am-6.30pm
Rock climbing 9am-9pm
Clip ’n’ climb 9.30am-6.30pm
Contact: 2560 8128