Climbing high at Carabiner’s

by Sebastian Moronta Blanco, Staff Writer

If you’re looking for a good reason to skip some parties, or just looking for a good workout, look no further than Carabiner’s Indoor Climbing in New Bedford.

Carabiner’s is an indoor rock climbing and fitness facility just three miles from campus, or about a ten-minute drive.

Located at 328 Parker Street in New Bedford, Carabiner’s is open seven days a week. Their hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday 9 to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

UMass Dartmouth students who bring their UMass Pass can get discounts on passes. Fourteen dollars for harnessed climbing, and just ten if you’d like to stick to bouldering.

Additionally, college memberships start at thirty-nine dollars a month for access to climbing or fitness and fifty-nine for full access to both.

They have climbing walls up to 65 feet high, with over 200 wall routes and over 100 bouldering problems. The facility also offers fitness classes like Zumba and yoga, as well as a workout area with plenty of equipment.

The real attraction at carabiner’s is the amount of wall climbing space available. The main climbing area is massive, with routes starting at the bottom floor that stretch up to the ceiling. Intermittently there are ledges and platforms, just to make things interesting.

The outer walls of the facility are for use with ropes and harnesses, and most areas allow climbers to use the walls without belay training.

If you’re interested in learning how to use the big ropes, the staff offer a short training course that provides you with a certification to use the belays from that point on.

If you’ve already learned how to use them either at another gym or were personally taught, you can take the test for free or take the quick refresher course to jog your memory.

Ropes and walls that climb straight up are all great fun, but there’s much more to be done when the harness comes off.

On top of the intense amounts of harness-equipped climbing, Carabiner’s also offers a large bouldering fixture in the center of the climbing area.

In case you aren’t familiar with bouldering or how it differs from climbing with a harness, there are more differences then you might think.

Climbing with a harness means, well, that you’re strapped into a harness. It adds an extra layer of safety on higher climbs, and gives you a little peace of mind.

However, if you don’t tighten it just right they can prove to be a bit uncomfortable, so some prefer to go without. Bouldering, on the other hand, is harness-free.

Now I’m sure the first question on everyone’s mind after hearing those words is, “What happens if I fall?”

Well, the floor surrounding the area has about three feet of cushion to land on, so the short answer is: if you fall, you fall. It’s scary at first but the padding works wonders.

Also, while rock climbing allows you to choose your route up the wall, bouldering is organized into challenges called “problems.”

The pegs you’re allowed to use per problem are restricted to a specific set, so you have to spend time thinking and planning how you’ll make the climb. The climbs are much like puzzles, but with rocks.

If you want to ease into climbing you can always start with bouldering, or short 10-foot climbs without any required training.

The staff makes an effort to offer climbs for all levels and abilities, and they change their routes often so climbs don’t get stagnant after multiple visits.

For those who’d like to stay a little closer to the ground but still want a workout, there are plenty of treadmills, elliptical machines, free weights, and Nautilus machines. Carabiner’s offers most of the standard equipment one might find at your local gym, and is open to all members (or day pass holders) at no extra charge.

Apart from climbing, Carabiner’s offers as many as seven classes a day, lead by fitness expert Jeff Costa and martial arts instructor Spencer O’Berry. Those who upgrade their membership get to take advantage of fitness and martial arts classes like Yoga, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, pole dancing, Pilates and more.

You can register for free at the gym or online at Once you register you’ll want to either stop by to check out the place or call (508) 984-0808 to schedule a belay certification course. Cost ranges from $50-$90 depending on how much training you need.

More information can be found on their website at or on their Facebook page.

Carabiner’s is always a great time and a solid workout. If nothing else, pick a night, grab a bunch of friends, and give just the bouldering a shot. If you’re a member of the Outdoor Club (or if you’d like to tag along), they sponsor a trip to Carabiner’s every Wednesday at 6:30, and have a special discount of only five dollars a day pass.

Overall, their best selling point is the fact that it makes exercise fun. So, if the daily grind at the gym is wearing down on you, Carabiner’s is the best place to spice it up. Join up and rock on!

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