Friday, August 31, 2012

Dayshots: Indoor Bouldering in Orange County

Louie Anderson has developed sport climbing all over Southern California, including Malibu Creek State Park and Riverside Quarry (these plus New Jack City are where I've done most of my climbing), has published guidebooks for the area, and as of earlier this year, opened a new climbing gym in Orange County called The Factory:

After doing a little Google-ing, it appears that Louie Anderson has been involved with developing the Hangar 18 climbing gyms and actually painted the boulder formations at then-Beach City Rocks, now Hangar 18 South Bay in Hawthorne. I found this post showing familiar walls when they were freshly painted and with no routes. Since I started learning more about climbing and the climbing community, I've come to really appreciate how intimately connected it is, from gyms to outdoor crags, and how much history there is.

On July 16th, I decided to take advantage of The Factory's Ladies Night promotion for a $7 day pass-- in the morning. (I went to see my family afterward to make the most of the drive to Orange County.)

I was the first person there, and waited for a bit as Valarie (co-owner/manager of The Factory, and the climber on the cover of the newest Riverside Quarry guidebook) got the computer up and running.
Valarie behind the counter and the succulent garden.
I get a good feeling about places that have succulents. A customer brought in this little garden for them.
I gave the chips in their snack selection a bit of the side-eye.
It was lovely having the entire gym all to myself for the first half-hour or so. So quiet and peaceful. I got to choose the artist for the Pandora station (I chose Ratatat). People slowly trickled in as the day got later.
The cave. Oh, caves.
Lounging area.
After having climbed on so many routes developed by Louie Anderson outdoors, it was fun climbing on the routes he set in the gym and feeling some echoes. Maybe it was just all the mantling, which climbing at Riverside Quarry involves much of.
Slab zone.
From the top of the slab.
The colors on the walls makes such a big difference in the climbing experience.
Community board. Desserts!!
The Factory's next Ladies' Night is on Monday, September 17th. If I somehow find myself in Orange County again that day, I'm definitely going to make another visit. In the morning, of course.

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