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salter
Gumbie


Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:05 am    Post subject: beta on VB rock gym Reply with quote

Am new to the area from Western NC where sadly I was too financially involved with my water addiction to take up climbing. Was thinking of joining the VB gym.
Any info on crowds, lines, birthday parties, and such, particularly on weekends or specific days.
What's the partner situation like. Are there generally folks hangin out looking for belayers?
Am pupmped to find a gym here. I was actually considering driving to Richmond every weekend.
How's the pro shop at the gym. Is there a decent shoe selection or would you recommend getting them elsewhere?

Thanks and cheers,
Ben
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sick_tom
Site Admin


Joined: 04 Dec 2003
Posts: 24
Location: Bishop, CA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben,
My response will obviously be completely biased...but I'll try not to lie too much. Your first question is always a tough one. Saturdays are always the most crowded until summer. They are chock full of parties, kids, no open ropes, etc.. Saturday evenings after say 7pm tend to be a little quieter. Sundays also have a lot of parties but not generally as bad as Saturday. If you become a member Sunday nights from 5-9pm are set aside for members only; therefore less kids, no parties, etc.. Weekdays...during the day its fairly quiet with a "regular" crowd. The nights vary depending on weather, holidays, if someone decent is performing in Norfolk, etc. Tuesday is pretty packed (College Day) and Friday is Youth Climbing Club in the early evening. The problem is no matter what time and day I tell it will be quiet, it will most likely be packed. Get to know some of the staff (easily done if you follow the rules and don't act like an idiot), then you can give 'em a call and ask what the party schedule is like that day. Sometimes the really crowded days are fun. You get to met more people (read: partners) that way. In reality if you just start going to the gym regularly, you will get to know the schedule and which time/day fits your style.
Next question...Partners. Occasionally there are people hanging out waiting for other people to belay/climb with; but I wouldn't rely on it. The best thing is to be open and forward. Ask groups of two if they mind a third. Maybe they're on a date and will say no. Oh well. Try another group. People here tend to be pretty cool about climbing with new/other people. Try bouldering. Bouldering is more social anyway. You'll meet a lot of people this way and most of them get on the ropes too.
Third comment...drive to Richmond? Nah stay here.
Fourth question...Pro Shop. (Biased again) Our proshop is fully stocked, especially with shoes. We have Evolv, Mad Rock, Sportiva, Five Ten, Acopa and more. There is a small try on wall and we have all price ranges. (Extremely biased) Check out the Evolv line...no stretch and dope as hell. Seriously, get the shoe that fits your foot best.
Hope that answers your questions. Hint: the way you approach a rock gym (any rock gym) will effect your overall experience. If you come in complaining, arguing with the staff over the rules, etc. you probably won't have a good time. If you come in psyched to climb, friendly and open minded, you'll have a damn good time and meet a lot of friends.
Peace,
T
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mattygaff
Gumbie


Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude,

Here's some more helpful info that I had to learn the hard way when I first joined the VBRG:

1. Beware The Dominican and his spewing-beta-like-a-sprinkler habits. How to ID this creature, you ask? Easy - he's the dude with the +17 ape index who is never seen without a half-empty bag of Fritos in his brake hand. Go-Go Gadget Appendages, and a high pain tolerance, make him The Man. He can be found loitering smack dab in the middle of the gym, talking way too loud about his new 3-week training program that will have him onsighting 5.14's with ease. He is always impeccably dressed in brand new clothes supplied by his sponsors, which include Snickers, Trim Spa, and Viagra. He has a holster custom built to his harness for The Stick. If you have a female significant other, do not leave her unattended anywhere near his vicinity.

2. Watch out for Nuggett. This guy is a sleeper. He initially impresses as eager and helpful. Soon you will feel comfortable enough to climb with him, but then it's too late. He will belay you as you lead the big roof, but you might as well solo it since he will be too busy checking out his biceps ("Anyone want tix to the gun show??!!!") and the bouldering babes. If he offers a bowl of Corn Pops, but he is only carrying milk, cereal, and a spoon, you should respectfully decline. Do NOT play cards with this man. He's also easy to find - no shirt, short black shorts, bum ankle. Climbs better than most ... even in flip flops. Does more pullups on his middle fingers than I can with my hands.

Everything else about VBRG is great. Just remain aware of the 2 individuals previously described, and you will be good to go.

Just my $0.02 worth.
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meltin
Gumbie


Joined: 08 Jan 2004
Posts: 6
Location: Virginia Beach

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mattygaff!! How the hell are you Dude?! Med school kickin' your _ss? We sure miss you around here! Speaking of 'significant others', where has yours been?! She was supposed to keep coming in to climb-we miss her too! Tell her to call me cause I've got some gals that would love to add her to their clutch icon_lol.gif They're awesome fun and friendly too.

Great commentary on the "twins"...Just wait, you know payback is a ..... Actually, we haven't seen much of nugget lately icon_confused.gif . Rumor has it he's doing lots of traveling with work. There have been sightings of him at the New several weekends this winter...Haven't yet confirmed that, but wouldn't surprise me icon_smile.gif

The Dom has also scaled back the number of hours for visitation...Hopefully he'll be available to sign autographs when he completes his books, "Onsighting 5.14's In Just 3 Weeks" icon_rolleyes.gif and "Advantages to Having An Ape Index For Climbing". Not sure we can afford his fee, but we'll work something out!! icon_lol.gif

Anyhow, glad to hear from you stranger. Take care and come back for a visit soon?! Tell L hi for me and tell her to call me!

Mel
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