Bouldering in Oceanside

Vital Climbing gym is one of the only climbing gyms open 24 hours a day for members, and has no ropes or support systems. Huh? You ask…..Yes, open all day…? and no one to see if I fall…? Sounds like an awful combo! Well, It’s not, I promise! 

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The entire gym is designed specifically for Bouldering. What is that? It’s considered a "main" style of climbing and done low enough so you only need a small safety pad for landing. It’s also one of the easiest ways for a climber to start their adventure into this sport. I’m not a climber, and will never pretend to be one (these people are extremely strong and dedicated to the sport….not me). But I will say this was a fun experience, and if you have a little bit of coordination, and some type of athletic ability, you’ll be able to enjoy this gym without a doubt. On top of their memberships, they have “learn to climb” workshops where you can learn the basics from a pro (including learning “how to fall”). If you really want to get into it, the fitness side of the facility includes a gym membership with a “crossfit” style workout corner, yoga & a slackline. The “24 hours a day” open gym feature is specifically for the members who are experienced. They have regular hours of operation for first timers, and plenty of climbing time for drop-ins and climbing virgins. 

What to bring?

Yourself! And friends, if you want to. This can be done solo, and you don’t need someone to hoist you up there since you’re challenging yourself to get to the next highest point. It might even be the perfect place to zen out and give yourself the mental and physical challenge you’ve been looking for (outside of fighting evening traffic lol). Wear athletic clothing that is fitted so you won’t worry about catching on anything. Bring a pair of socks, and you will rent climbing shoes there.

Post climb fuel:

My favorite casual and cozy spot for locals in Oceanside is The Wrench and Rodent. Don’t worry about dressing up to for this spot as it's a super casual option. And don't judge it by it's name (I mean, I didn't name it...), but seriously who puts the word "rodent" in the name of a restaurant. 

My advice: (because I messed up on my first visit there….) Make sure to look at the “specials” on the menu. There’s usually a dozen different sushi options that are available for the day, and the chef has whipped them up especially for his restaurant. Don’t make this place your “romantic date night”. Instead, make it a fun social outing, where you sit at the sushi bar and get adventurous about the menu. It’s loud and fun, and with a 6’3” husband there was no way our idea of a “romantic corner table for 2” was going to work in this space (totally my fault). Anyway, I recommend this place, because I loved the food, loved how the menu changes, loved the laid-back atmosphere, and really think it’s the best place to get sushi (and well sourced sushi might I add) in Oceanside. These guys know what they’re doing! Let them surprise you at the sushi bar and don’t forget about sake!


Heather Lake