Went up to Dallas to hang out with some friends and do a little climbing at Mineral Wells State Park. Mother Nature thought that was an awful idea and let us know by providing rain the entire time I was there! Mama Nature may have a say as to whether the weather keeps us off the rocks but as for climbing indoors, she’s generally indifferent!
So Plan B: Visit the new Summit Gym in Plano Texas.
Per the Summit Plano Website:
Summit Plano is the newest addition to the Summit family. This 32,000 square foot facility is located at 525 Talbert Dr. near the George Bush Turnpike and Coit Road. With 5,000 square feet of bouldering, 20,000 square feet of top-rope, lead, and auto-belay climbing, this is the largest gym in the DFW area. The roped climbing is up to 55-feet tall. This gym also has a state-of-the-art fitness facility, as well as an in-house yoga studio.
Cool! All that sounds amazing, but it doesn’t really do this gym justice! I am a real sucker for lots of natural light in a climbing gym, and the design of this gym offers an abundance of the good stuff, even in the rain! The size of this place is ridiculous, the walls are huge, the layout is spectacular, and the way in which the bouldering and sport climbing are separated makes it feel like two separate gyms for the price of one.
About the pricing…this may be the most consumer-friendly gym I have ever seen. With matinee pricing at ONLY $5 before 2 pm, they also offer student discounts, and two for one deals. This place was packed when I was there, but despite the amount of people climbing I never once had to wait for a route, and I never once had to look for an employee.
The route setting was top notch, it had sport routes from 5.6 to 5.14, I’m not sure how this place wouldn’t appeal to climbers of every level! The only thing I really knew about Dallas Climbing prior to visiting Summit Plano was that their youth team is one of the best on the planet. They dominate all over the country, and with a place like this to practice, it is no wonder why! IF you’re in the Dallas area and want to expand your climbing chops, Summit Plano is a must. If you are just passing through and want to experience a true world class climbing gym Summit Plano is a must! If you’re a climber anywhere on the planet and you could pick just one gym to visit, then Summit Plano is a must! Basically Summit Plano is a MUST!
Experiencing new gyms usually comes with some unique intricacies and surprises that stand out or allow one gym to stand out from another. My second favorite part of Summit Plano was a 55-foot route composed entirely of gigantic “360Holds” Volumes! It wasn’t the most difficult route, but it had a comp. feel to it. It was a route that wouldn’t even be possible in most gyms because it would take up too much space, but at Summit Plano there is space to spare, this gargantuan monstrosity of fun didn’t feel forced or out of place, it was just one of the hundreds of routes that was clearly set with care and intention for the climber!
My favorite part of Summit Plano was the staff, and one staff member in particular. His name is Oliver. This guy was incredibly knowledgeable without that self-righteous sense of arrogance that too many rock climbers possess. Despite the gym being unrelentingly busy, Oliver treated each member of his climbing classes and each climber on the floor with a sense of dignity and enthusiasm!
Summit Plano has shown itself to be a truly fantastic place to climb, train, learn, and just have fun. I had a blast and give this spot my highest recommendation!
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