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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

Where Climbing the Walls is a Good Thing

Elev8, northern Michigan’s first climbing gym, offers full-service climbing, yoga and fitness options to accommodate a range of skill sets and ages from those brand-new to the sport to experienced climbers. Instructional classes and rental equipment are available for newbies looking to test out climbing.

            Access options range from monthly all-inclusive memberships and day passes to first-timer passes and youth rates. Two dollars a month from every membership sold goes into an Elev8 Scholarship Fund to make gym access available to those that can’t afford it.

            Traverse City natives Kevin Vlach and Nick Olson built the 10,000-square-foot facility from the ground up with a 40-foot climbing wall, bouldering areas, aerobic and weight equipment, yoga and fitness classes, and onsite child care.

            Climbing as exercise strengthens the hands and forearms, biceps, shoulders, neck, traps, upper back, lats, lower back, abs, glutes, thighs and calves. Vlach  notes, “Your entire body, including the cardiovascular system, benefits from rock climbing. Rock climbing complements and boosts performance in other sports, too.”


Location: 77 Boyd Ave., Traverse City. For more information, call 231-600-7260 or visit