Philadelphia Rock Gym - The Overlook

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Reach New Heights at the Philadelphia Rock Gym in East Falls

Higher and higher: one hand up, then one foot. The vertical terrain just keeps going, but so do you as you scale the wall, passing those around you.

While it might not be an actual cliffside or slippery mountain face, that doesn’t mean that the obstacles at Philadelphia Rock Gym aren’t challenging enough to get you in the zone! Here in East Falls, our residents are a physically fit bunch, always ready for a new activity to try or a new goal to achieve. So if you need something that works a different set of muscles than if you were riding your bike or going for a jog, The Overlook staff highly recommends giving the courses at the rock gym a go.

The story

With several locations to choose from, the Philadelphia Rock Gym’s most avid climbers are able to test their limits on a regular basis. Owned by David Rowland, who has been avid about the sport since he was only 15 years old, the gyms serve to challenge attendees in both the physical and the mental arenas, to give a sense of satisfaction that you won’t find in every sport. Founded in 1994, the locations all offer special training and classes, camps for kids, and even help put together excursions across the country for its more seasoned customers. For our residents, it’s a great way to get out of the daily grind and stretch those muscles, as well as get to know some of the other locals.

Special activities

There’s nothing wrong with simply wanting to stop in and go for a solitary climb. In fact, with the gyms’ commitment to community and inclusion, you’re hardly ever climbing alone anyway! Part of the gym’s overall philosophy is centered on building community, and the special activities that the staff organizes only serves to emphasize that objective.

Camps and sessions

If a lazy summer vacation isn’t your idea of a good time, why not explore something with a little more excitement? At Philadelphia Rock Gym, kids can sign up for summer camps all season long and keep their skills sharp by becoming an Annual Pass member! All locations have special summer sessions as well, which means that if you or your younger climber want to take on the challenge of scaling those walls, but can’t accommodate a commitment to a particular camp program, you’re welcome to pop in and join the fun anyway.


Throughout the year, the staff organizes guided weekend adventures for adults ages 21 and older. In fact, the latest band of climbers just got back from an exciting trek in New River Gorge in West Virginia! During these trips, seasoned guides show you and your fellow explorers some of the natural wonders in popular hiking and climbing territories, and provide the gear you need to test the terrain. If your ideal getaway includes a test of strength and the thrill of reaching new heights, keep an eye out for Philadelphia Rock Gym’s next expedition.

2019 Summer Climbing Competition Series

For the first time since the gyms opened, climbers can test their mettle against each other in a five-part Summer Climbing Competition Series. This July, on various days starting the 12th and concluding the 27th, try your hand at a few events that focus on key aspects of climbing, like dynos, speed climbing, and campusing skills! The series ends with an indoor comp dubbed the Sun Burn, where you’ll be able to dabble in a number of disciplines as you go for the glory.

For more on the kinds of thrills and heart-pumping activities you can find near The Overlook, stay tuned to our staff’s neighborhood picks!

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