In May of this year, three Utah friends and longtime climbing partners—Andy Jacobsen, Dom Burchett and Andy Rosenberg—set out to give Park City a new outlet for a sport that hasn’t seen much play in Summit County. After months of renovating and building out an empty storefront in Kimball Junction, the trio officially opened the doors to The Mine, Park City’s only bouldering gym, on Nov. 30.

At The Mine, you’ll discover 4,000 square feet of climbing walls. With 120 colorful routes bolted to the walls, climbers of all skill levels can dangle from overhangs, traverse across technical holds or scale up any number of problems (the customary word for a bouldering route). “We made a conscious effort to make [the gym] user-friendly,” says co-founder Jacobsen. “You can find something at your limits. That’s the beauty of climbing.”

His rationale is just what I needed to hear. Though I own a pair of climbing shoes (The Mine also rents them), they’ve racked up only a handful of actual bouldering experiences. To overcome my trepidation, I signed up for the Movement 101 clinic, a free, twice-a-month class geared towards helping beginner and novice climbers find their way to the top. With a few tips from climbing instructor and Park City local Drew Bedford, I’m now scaling the easiest routes and thankful for the wall-to-wall floor pads that cushion the inevitable fall. “Safety is our focus,” Jacobsen reminds me. “We want people to climb and get stronger—not get hurt.”

Like all indoor climbing gyms, The Mine is built to simulate the challenging rock formations you’d find in the great outdoors. Materials have been shaped into features like caves, arches, boulders, cracks and walls; even the urethane handholds are molded into different textures for the same reason. “Some holds mimic real rock, others are more for comfort,” explains Jacobsen. Regardless of your preference, it’s an ideal spot for learning and honing techniques before heading into the Wasatch or Uintas.

Strength is key in climbing, which is why The Mine includes a small set of cardio machines and free weights for cross-training. Experienced climbers can warm up on the gym’s Treadwall and campus board, both of which help develop endurance and performance. A daily yoga class is also offered in a private room to help with balance and round out the traditional gym vibe.

Nevertheless, climbing (and socializing) is the focus. “It’s about having different grades with different problems,” says Jacobsen. “You’re here to get better so you can go outside and have fun.” But until the spring thaw melts away the winter snowpack, you’ll just have to duck inside The Mine get your fill of fun.

Hours:

Monday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Tuesday, 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
Wednesday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Thursday, 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Adult rates are $16 for a day pass or $65 for a monthly pass. The Mine is located in Kimball Junction, 1680 Ute Blvd, Park City. For more information, call 435-655-6463 or visit minebouldering.com