The gravity vault

The gravity vault DEFAULT

The Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Gym Opens in San Rafael August 21!

On Saturday, August 21, 2021 Marin's new indoor rock-climbing gym, the Gravity Vault Marin, opens to the public in the newly built San Rafael Sports Center! Located at 440 Smith Ranch Road (near McInnis Park), the Gravity Vault Marin will offer approximately 18,000 square feet of climbing with top rope, lead climbing, and bouldering opportunities as well as yoga, cardio, weight training, and more. From adult instruction to extensive youth offerings (ages 5+) including afterschool programming, teams, and birthday parties, there will be something for everyone.

Gravity Vault Marin's weekend long Grand Opening Celebration will offer two days of climbing fun, including free Try-A-Climbs for new climbers, speed climbing competitions, $5 day passes, membership discounts, prizes and more. Guests are invited to meet the instructors and explore adult and youth programs. Festivities will take place Saturday, August 21, from 9 am to 8 pm and Sunday, August 22, from 9 am to 6 pm.

COVID-19 health and safety protocols are currently in place and are constantly being evaluated as the situation evolves. In accordance with current health orders from the Marin County Health Department, masks will be required while in the gym. The gym features a large open space with a 40-foot roof and a MERV 13 filtered HVAC system.

Bouldering at the Gravity Vault Marin

My daughter and I had the opportunity to check out Gravity Vault Marin before they opened, and it's an incredible space! We tried out the bouldering wall and got to watch other climbers in action on the variety of climbing courses throughout the building. They also offer yoga classes and you can rent or purchase gear — like shoes and chalk bags — if needed.

For kids, they offer classes for ages 5–13 (5 is the minimum age for participation, as well as birthday parties for up to 20 participants that include 90 minutes of climbing followed by a half hour in the party room. Learn more about their programs here.

Gravity Vault party room

About the Gravity Vault Marin

The Gravity Vault Marin is the creation of two Mill Valley residents, businessmen and avid climbers Scott Sklar and Brian Platter. Longtime friends, they not only share a love for climbing, but also spent years driving their own children to San Francisco to climb. Sklar and Platter partnered with Lucas Kovalcik, owner of Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Gyms to create the Gravity Vault Marin.

This will be the first West Coast location for the Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Gyms, which currently has 11 locations on the East Coast, and many more under development. After five years of searching for the ideal site, the Sklar and Platter were pleased to find the perfect space at the San Rafael Sports Center which is located at the San Rafael Airport and is expected to feature indoor and outdoor sports fields, volleyball, a family entertainment center, dining options, and more.

The Gravity Vault Marin will feature:

  • 18,000 square feet of climbing
  • 4,000 square feet of bouldering over two levels
  • 200+ top pope and lead routes
  • 150+ boulder problems
  • 10 auto belays
  • Two 10m speed walls
  • Adjustable LED kilter training wall
  • Fully Climate Controlled Facility
  • Locker rooms and showers
  • Fitness, yoga, cardio and weight training
  • Lounges and workspaces with Wi-Fi
  • Full-service retail shop
  • Party, yoga and meeting rooms

The Gravity Vault Marin is located within the San Rafael Sports Center at 440 Smith Ranch Road, San Rafael, CA 94903, on the San Rafael Airport property and near McInnis Park Golf Course. For more information, visit or follow @GravityVault/Marin on Facebook and @gravityvault_marin on Instagram.

The bouldering area at the new Vertical Endeavors Bloomington location.  Photo: VE

A new bouldering-only gym could be coming to Minneapolis if Vertical Endeavors follows through on their stated plans. Nate Postma, Owner of Vertical Endeavors as well as the climbing wall manufacturer, Nicros told the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journalthat he is eyeing two warehouses in the city and hopes to be open sometime late 2017.

With their five locations, VE is currently the third largest gym developer based on total climbing square footage in the US behind Earth Treks (#2) and Touchstone (#1). The warehouses that Postma is looking to purchase range in size from 18,000 to 29,000 square feet, which, when completed would undoubtedly bump VE to second place.

Vertical Endeavors just celebrated the grand opening of their tallest gym in Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis and in 2014 they opened the largest climbing gym in the US outside of Chicago.

According to the Bizjournal article, Postma plans to seek SBA loans … for part of the funding. At least 20 to 25 percent of the expansion costs will come from their own cash.

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Climbing Business Journal

Climbing Business Journal is an independent news outlet dedicated to covering the indoor climbing industry. Here you will find the latest coverage of climbing industry news, gym developments, industry best practices, risk management, climbing competitions, youth coaching and routesetting. Have an article idea? CBJ loves to hear from readers like you!

Climbing Business Journal

Climbing Business Journal is an independent news outlet dedicated to covering the indoor climbing industry. Here you will find the latest coverage of climbing industry news, gym developments, industry best practices, risk management, climbing competitions, youth coaching and routesetting. Have an article idea? CBJ loves to hear from readers like you!

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You may be wondering why I started my blog, and why I’m so passionate about the 5 elements, with regard to raising kids.

Well, there’s a story behind the blog … and it’s a bit personal.

The problem appeared when my son turned 4. He was struggling in his Pre-K class from day one, both academically and socially. He wasn’t understanding the teacher’s questions or directions, so his natural tendency to tune out got progressively worse. At home, he would ask me for play dates that other kids didn’t want. I also received advice from well-meaning professionals to persist in getting him play dates, and to pay for a “social skills play group” on a weekly basis if I couldn’t get him any real (free) ones. I enrolled him in a pricey special play group, which he enjoyed…but I did not see much of a difference in his behavior around his usual peer group.

It was already the second year I had tried to put him in sports activities and arrange play dates, but nothing materialized regularly. He never connected with other kids his age at swim lessons, soccer, playgrounds, or at school. I had to stop him from chasing kids on the playground who didn’t want to play with him. We would both end up in tears, so I had to stop taking him to the playground. I was baffled as to what to do with him after school. Child care professionals said he was just immature and not pathological, not on the ADHD/autism spectrum — or not yet anyway. I even took him through an intense and very expensive learning program, where he had 1:1 sessions with a“brain trainer” who did cognitive exercises to raise his IQ. I was relieved to know he was capable of learning and retaining information, and his confidence improved enough to prompt him to talk more in school, but he still wasn’t making any social connections.

I was frustrated, lonely, and so was my son. Since he wasn’t interested in having me read to him, and would get tired of playing with his toys, I ashamedly started giving him free reign over his screen time. One day I noticed he was watching a 60 Minutes interview of Alex Honnold, a free solo rock climber, over and over again. I asked him if he wanted to try climbing at an indoor rockclimbing gym, and he said yes. I found out about The Gravity Vault, a local gym in Monmouth County of New Jersey. They require the kids to be at least 5 years old, so I promised him I’d take him as soon as he turned 5 — at the start of the summer.

His introductory session proved he had the interest and ability, as he fearlessly topped the children’s walls.After he took a 6-week climbing class, I must admit I was still disappointed since I didn’t make any mommy friends from the experience, and didn’t end up arranging any play dates.

At the end of the summer, I enrolled him in a 5-day intensive indoor climbing camp, and the ages were mixed on a daily basis. I initially panicked because he was the only child who did the camp every day, and I thought he would object to the daily change in routine. Each day they had different kids, and their ages ranged from 8 – 13. I noticed that he was happy, confident, and comfortable even with much older kids — and climbed quite well.

This was my “aha” moment, as I realized I needed to separate my need for mommy friends from his need to have a happy and productive childhood — with or without play dates. Sometimes the conventional advice and current social norms of parenting are just plain wrong for an individual child. This is certainly true for water children, and my son is in that category. Water kids are highly introverted, may experience social delays, think and move more slowly, and are not cut out for contact sports.

For a one-page guide to determining 5 element personality type, please contact us here

I ended up getting belay-certified so I could hold the rope while he climbed, and I now take him to the climbing gym every day after school. Now his climbing improvements, along with putting him in a Pre-K Plus program where he’s the oldest child, have launched his confidence and mood! He is even articulating to me, unprompted, what his teacher taught him that day on a daily basis!

Further update:My son is about to finish kindergarten at our local public school. He is the oldest in the class, and has had play dates with at least half the class — and many were initiated by the other kids! His teacher is pleased with his academic progress and social skills, and he will be 7 at the end of the school year. Along with climbing, he now excels in gymnastics and running — individual, non-contact sports.

So you see — children of every element have potential challenges, but when we pay close attention to their nature, we have a chance to help them thrive, and watch them reach their full potential.

Now that you know more about me, I’d like to know something about you. What is your ideal outcome from reading this blog? Leave a comment here, or send me a private email via the Contact Us page.



New Jersey

  • Brick, NJ
  • Chatham, NJ

    The second Gravity Vault location to open, Chatham hosts a variety of options for the new to experienced climber. The facility boasts over 13,500 sq ft of rock climbing.

  • Flemington, NJ

    Hunterdon County's home for climbing! Featuring 17,500 square feet of climbing, a 360 degree boulder and more!

  • Hoboken, NJ

    25,000 square feet of climbing has come to the Mile Square!

  • Middletown, NJ

    Middletown features over 14,000+ sq ft of rock climbing including arêtes, chimneys, overhangs, arches, extensive bouldering, and more! Open 7 days a week!

  • Montclair, NJ
  • Upper Saddle River, NJ

    Since 2005 we've been bringing indoor rock climbing to northern New Jersey with over 13,500 sq ft inclusive of private rooms (great for birthday parties), lounge seating and a cardio area.

  • Voorhees, NJ

    Now open! Please visit our location page for more details!

New York

  • Nassau County, NY
  • Melville, NY

    Featuring over 20,000 sq ft of state of the art rock climbing terrain. The facility has more than 100 rope stations and extensive bouldering providing everything from super technical lines to beginner walls great for parties or corporate events. Come experience a metro quality gym on The Island that's easily accessible from the expressway with lots of FREE parking!

  • Poughkeepsie, NY

    The best indoor rock climbing in the Hudson Valley from party walls to steep boulder problems and difficult lead routes. There's something fun and challenging for everyone, open 7 days a week!


  • Lehigh Valley, PA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Radnor, PA

    The Gravity Vault Radnor is a state-of-the-art climbing facility that has come to the Philadelphia/Mainline area!


Gravity vault the

So low that you could make her spread her legs. Her legs and pubis are shaved, and the smell that she exudes is unimaginably beautiful. I walked back a couple of steps to look at the whole picture. The sunset light shone through the windows. In the empty office of the Sunday school, under the condescending gaze of the hair-eyed redeemer, a girl was lying on her desk.

The Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Climbing Gym

Not care about all the conventions and prejudices. I gently lifted her up and placed her on the table. We kissed slowly, I began to caress her ear, she moaned languidly.

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At last, and it was over. But that was not all. I was ordered to take off my blouse and kneel on the edge of the bed. The time has come for the most important thing.

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