Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hanging Out at Vertical Endeavors


For Christmas I gave my husband a coupon book for "12 Dates in 2012." These were activities that I knew he would love or he has always wanted to do, but perhaps took me out of my comfort zone (of sitting on the couch watching TV). Taking advantage of a rare day off together with the toddler at daycare, last week he cashed in his coupon for Vertical Endeavors. We were going climbing, y’all.

Neither of us had ever climbed anything more than a steep hill, so we were complete newbies at this. And when they heard this, the employees at Vertical Endeavors were practically giddy with excitement. We went to the new Minneapolis location, which, with 28,000 square feet of climbing walls reaching 60 feet in the air, is one of the country’s largest climbing facilities. (There are three other locations, including St. Paul, Duluth and Warrenville, Ill.)

Vertical Endeavors

Photo by Amanda Fretheim Gates

If you’re new like us, you start off with a brief orientation, where said giddy employee shows you the ropes (ha!), teaches you how to clip on and use the automatic belays, and breaks down the site rules. There are several heights of climbing walls as well as bouldering areas, where you can Spiderman up and down cave walls. (More experienced climbers can do tougher climbs if they have with them an experienced belayer.)

And then they let you go at it. I was a little surprised that they didn’t guide us through proper climbing technique, but instead just made sure we wouldn’t injure ourselves—which of course was much appreciated. With automatic belaying, you clip the rope to your belt and start to climb. There are different levels along each wall, so we started with the “easier” ones. Once you’ve climbed to the top, or in my case as far up as you can go (halfway, maybe), all you have to do is let go and you’ll slowly sail down to the ground. It’s really slick.

In just an hour’s time, we were sweating and exhausted, and completely humbled by the kids seven years old and younger who were cruising up and down with ease. (Hey, they weigh less!) My husband woke up sore the next day, but anxious to get back. I woke up just happy to have helped him discover a new workout he enjoys.

After we left, we were starving. Several dining places surround the corner of 26th and Nicollet, including Jasmine 26, The Bad Waitress, Pancho Villa, and The Black Forest Inn. We drove a couple more blocks down 26th to the Bulldog and had yummy sandwiches and a nice cold Summit (this time I'll leave out the obvious pun).

Vertical Endeavors offers classes, leagues, and climbing trips and can accommodate anyone of any ability. The staff is incredibly friendly and, while difficult, the act of climbing is fairly self explanatory. It’s a great activity all year round, but especially awesome during a cold winter’s day when you're striving to experience something new.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day

A Day Trip to Excelsior

Just 20 miles west of the Twin Cities, this waterfront town is complete with charming shops and lakeside dining

Night Art Gallery Is Your Sober Night Out

The Lindstrom art gallery entertains with hors d'oeuvres, tons of art available for purchase, and non-alcholic drinks

Weekend Activities to Satisfy Your Inner-Child

Check out these weekend activities that will have you feeling like a kid again.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: April

Sue Z.'s picks for philanthropic food events in April will have you supporting women chefs, sipping crafty cocktails, and celebrating Cookie Cart's 30th birthday

A Day Trip to Waconia

Enjoy great views, dining, and craft beverage destinations in this West Metro lakeside town

11 Easter Egg Hunts: From Flashlights to Geocaching

Yes, there's an annual adults-only Easter egg hunt in Rochester—and another for dogs, and another with geocaching, and another that drops them out of the sky. Check out more of the best egg hunts around Minnesota.

Rock Climbing in Minnesota

Rock on this spring at climbing gyms and favorite outdoor spots around Minnesota

5 Natural Wonders in Minnesota

Mother Nature takes the best selfies

Bad Axe Throwing Opens Minneapolis Location

Axe throwing makes its debut in Northeast Minneapolis—and it's not as dangerous as it sounds

Visit Award-Winning Minnesota Distilleries

Tattersall Distilling, J. Carver Distillery, and RockFilter Distillery are all worth the trip

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: March

Sue Z. picks Cochon555 as her philanthropic food event this month

5 Must-See Minnesota Public Gardens

Visiting these botanical wonders are sure to make your daisy
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags