Rock climbing is one of the fastest growing sports of late, in part thanks to its recent addition to the 2020 Olympic lineup. Capitlizing on some of that popularity is Reach Climbing and Fitness, a new 22,000 square-foot rock climbing facility in Bridgeport. Opened late last month by area native Michael Feinberg, he’s hoping to inspire a passion for climbing in the community.
To meet his exacting specifications, Feinberg had the facility created from scratch. “When we first started, we were looking into warehouse space and trying to fit it into an existing building and it just didn’t work,” he recalls. “We came to the conclusion that to have the best product, we wanted to build it from the ground up.” The result is walls that stand over 55 feet tall, making it among the highest level competition facilities in the region.
Feinberg developed a love of climbing growing up in the area, which he further honed out West after college. He hopes his love of the sport will encourage others to give it a try. To showcase climbing talent and inspire others, Reach is hosting the Sport and Speed Youth National Championships from July 11-14. It is the first ever national climbing event held in the Philadelphia area and will draw over 1,000 youth climbers and spectators from around the country. Feinberg is hopeful that members of the gym’s own youth climbing team will participate in the competition, too.
“We brought in a fantastic youth coach who brings kids to nationals,” says Feinberg. “We want to be able to have a great team and have these kids thrive and reach their potential and perform well.”
While it is a top-tier competition space, Reach also provides plenty of opportunities for novice climbers to try the sport. The gym offers private belay and basic bouldering lessons, as well as technique training for more seasoned climbers. For those who prefer to work out with their feet on the ground, Reach members also have access to vinyasa and Krav Maga classes, as well as traditional fitness equipment.
401 E. 4th St., Bridgeport, (484) 704-7612.