Crux Climbing Center in Austin Texas might be the gym most suited to represent its host city. It’s no surprise that Crux has recommendation and survey boxes scattered liberally throughout this royal climbing manor of Austin (they are actually giant slopers re-purposed as suggestion boxes…brilliant!). It’s easy to tell that Crux takes their climber’s recommendations seriously, because it was somehow recommended that dogs be allowed to visit and Crux listened! I mean is there another gym in the world that allows dogs to hang out and watch their friends climb? When I found out they allowed dogs I was so jealous, can you even imagine how much more fun climbing could be if dogs were just chilling out all around you? (For those who aren’t impressed with this, don’t be turned off, Crux has very rigid rules for proper dog etiquette, and if the rules aren’t adhered to the dog and owner are asked to leave.) Okay in addition to the dogs, there is a piano for members to jam on, and it’s a blast to make a crux move with live music there to get your blood pumping! There’s a Ping-Pong table for those times when you’d rather not, and a wide selection of gear and clothes in the pro shop for the times when you’d rather!
The color scheme at Crux is a type of royal purple mixed with a majestic natural wood finish, which kind of gives the feel of climbing in a castle. This is a fitting theme, because I am telling you the employees at Crux go out of their way to make their climbers feel like Queens and Kings!
While the gym is primarily a bouldering gym there is a nice quaint sport section set for all levels of climbing. The sport canyon even has a rad overhanging roof, which allows the setters to explore their creativity, and allows the climbers to test their skills!
The most prominent feature at Crux is the future wall. This thing is a boulderer’s dream. The entire wall can be altered to change shape, size, and style. Let me state that in plainer terms…the wall can change! What? How spectacular is that? It’s like every time they change the wall you’re climbing at a whole new gym! It’s one thing to change the routes, and volumes, but at Crux they can change the wall…THE WALL!!! And this wall is amazing. It’s a comp ready wall with extraordinary heights for bouldering. Did I mention the wall can change? Because it can!
In addition to the Future Wall and the ropes canyon, there is a traditional bouldering section with really great features, and a fantastic bouldering cave. This cave is positively spectacular, as it tests endurance, strength, and technique; all while maintaining the essential characteristic of rock climbing…FUN!
Crux Climbing Center is renowned for the routes created by their team of setters. I was lucky enough to climb at Crux the weekend of a competition, and so was able to check out the comp routes first hand. Let me just say that the competition routes at Crux have a reputation for being phenomenal, and all my expectations were eclipsed!
In the end my favorite thing about Crux is the feel, there is just something about this place that stands out from the very moment you walk in. Maybe it’s the friendly staff, maybe it’s the Austin aura, or the delicious red velvet brownies, calling your name from the counter. Perhaps it’s the royal purple, or the scintillating routes the setters inventively deploy. Whatever it is that gives Crux Climbing Center that je ne sais quoi it most assuredly enables the climbers to bask in their royal highness.
The noble sov’reign that is Crux Climbing Center certainly liveth up to its legendary status amongst climbers. Having a chance to crusheth in the same bailiwick wh’re the greats from Alex to Ashima has’t crushed before wast a cherished moment, which I won’t lief forget!