Mock mountains

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Columbus never got its mountain, but this flat ol' town has the next best thing: a handful of craggy imitations at several indoor facilities.

Indoor rock climbing has become more popular around Central Ohio, and walls can be found at area schools, including Ohio State University and several members-only gyms. If you're looking for a fun afternoon without the monthly commitment - or tuition payments - head to Vertical Adventures.

Most of what's offered on the 4,000-square-foot North Side face is top-roped climbing, in which beginners are tied to a rope, anchored at top and bottom and spotted by an expert. First-timers are required to take an intro lesson, which costs $25 and includes equipment and a day pass.

The facility's diverse terrain also includes separate areas for bouldering and leading, two more advanced climbing types. Non-members with experience but no gear can get outfitted and climb a full day for less than $20. More advanced classes also are offered, and there's a pro shop on site.

Local mountain advocate Matthew Moorman would be proud.