Three Climbing Gyms in St. Petersburg
Whenever I travel, my first order of business is to find the local rock gym. As a lifelong climbing (скалолазание) addict, I suffer near emotional collapse if there’s not a decent climbing gym (скалодром) in close proximity. Luckily, Petersburg has multiple gyms dispersed throughout the city, and I’ve been spending the past month exploring them all. Throughout my explorations I’ve become more and more immersed in the flourishing climbing scene in Petersburg, and have been able to refresh my climbing vocabulary, which, sadly, I basically completely forgot over the past five years. For all you rock climbing Russian students (I know you’re out there somewhere) who have been dying to learn super specific climbing terminology, this is the blog post for you.
Address: СПб, м. Крестовский остров, стадион «Динамо» (пр. Динамо д.44). Учебно-спортивная база гребли.
Луч (Luch) is located on the beautiful Krestovskii Ostrov (Крестовский остров), an island a bit north of the center that is home of all the Petersburg sport’s action – a huge park for runners, Dinamo stadium, an amusement park. The climbing gym occupies a few rooms within the Dinamo stadium complex, and has one of the best atmospheres of any gym I’ve ever been too. The gym is bouldering (боулдеринг) only, and has two huge open rooms with walls of different angles, and even has a few walls outside that overlook the Malaya Neva river. It’s scenic, the people are friendly, and there are a handful of problems, or трасса, (in Russian, what we refer to as either a boulder problem or a route is translated as “trail” – 1 трасса, 2-4 трассы, 5+ трасс) marked with tape that suit beginner to advanced climbers. For the most part, though, the wall is covered in unmarked holds, or зацепка (1 зацепка, 2-4 зацепки, 5+ зацепок) and it’s up to you to be creative and think up problems (придумать/придумывать трассу, трассы) to climb. But fear not, for this is an excellent way to make Russian climber friends. Луч also hosts a series of competition every year, often followed by a party (or so rumor has it) on a boat.
Address: Санкт-Петербург, ул. Бронницкая, 24
м. Технологический институт
Perhaps the most popular gym in Petersburg because of its central location, Трамонтана has both bouldering and rope climbing (трудность), though their bouldering is much more developed. The gym is on the second floor of a building that also houses the club Kosmonat, and hosts many group training sessions, though you can also climb alone. I love Tramontana because they have a Moonboard (in Russian, мунборд, which is a climbing training board that has a standardized hold set across the world) and because they have lots of different wall angles, from slabs (положительные стены) to vertical (вертикальные стены) to overhung (отрицательные стены). They also have a bar where you can order coffee and drinks and sandwiches. When you’re done training you can relax in the gym’s sauna. 10/10, would highly recommend. If you want to rope climb, be sure to bring a harness (система) or you can rent one at the gym for a small fee.
Address: Набережная Обводного канала 134, корпус 71.
The last gym on the list is one of the most interesting climbing gyms I’ve ever been to. It is half climbing gym and half acrobatic (акробатика)/parkour (паркур) center. The gym is located inside of an industrial complex a bit south and has a ton of space for bouldering and top roping. They have the biggest campus board and system board in all of Russia (самый большой кампус и системборд в России) and they too have a Moonboard, so this is one of the best places to go if you’re at an elite level and want to do some serious training. They also have a competition every summer called White Nights (белые ночи) that I was lucky enough to compete in this year (that’s me in the above picture). The atomosphere at the competition was fun and friendly and there were tons of strong climbers. All in all, I’m a fan.
There you have it, three climbing gyms that will delight climbers of all levels. Check them out and leave us feedback if you enjoy yourself. And rumor has it that two new gyms are being built in the center of the city as we speak, only time will tell…
Emily, studying Russian at Liden & Denz St. Petersburg