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Halfmoon rock climbing gym to reopen to the public next week

Emily Burkhard
Created: September 04, 2020 11:24 PM

HALFMOON - Pandemic restrictions driving you up a wall? Well, beginning next week, you can work out some of your frustrations doing just that.

The Edge in Halfmoon is welcoming members of the public back after the holiday weekend. But, they have made some major changes to ensure climber and employee safety.

Climbers will need to fill out a new waiver, even if they’ve been there before. They'll also need to make an appointment. Walk-ins are no longer allowed because capacity is limited to 33 percent.

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Fewer than 50 people are allowed in the gym at once. That means ideally gym officials would like fewer people watching climbers during their sessions.

"It used to be where one person would come in or one kid would climbing and Grandma and five other people would sit and watch them,” operations manager Adam Catalano said. “Well, now with capacity restrictions that's not really the best thing.”

Catalano suggested having spectators belay for the climber to help reduce those numbers. 

Climbers will have their temperatures checked when they arrive. They will also be asked to sanitize or wash their hands.

“The masks are required at all times even during climbing, which has not been an issue for us,” he said. “It's not a sport where you're breathing really hard so you can be fine with a mask it's not a huge deal.”

Catalano said they’ve also developed a system to clean rental gear after each use.

“We have a quarantine system for the harnesses so they'll be out for the day, but go back in the back room for three days and not come back out until later in the week," he said. "We have a UV wand that we'll go over the shoes with to make sure that they're clean."

The gym reopened for members only last month after officials learned the state would allow rock gyms to reopen sooner than traditional fitness centers.

Executive Director Andy Lightcap said that's because rock climbing is a sport where social distancing happens naturally.

"We waited about a week to just make sure we had everything in order and everything was clean and ready to go,” Lightcap said. “Once we got the OK from the county board of health we were ready to go and a week later we opened up."

He said after a six month hiatus, climbers are finding their footing once again.

"They're really excited to be back at it everyone feels a little weak when they come back in the first few times, but they're excited to get climbing again and they're excited for the community aspect of it,” he said.

To learn more about The Edge and appointment availability, visit their website.


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