The Dangers of Solid Rock

Just a quick word to the wise for those of you considering a visit to the indoor climbing gym Solid Rock located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Safety-wise the place can be troublesome. Unlike most gyms which require passing a standard examination with an instructor, Solid Rock instructors give you a five minute chat and send you on your way. Even worse is that most of the instructors (with the exception of one or two actual climbers) have little to no experience in the sport and have zero practical knowledge to provide to the clients (other than how to pull a rope through a gri-gri).

Now as for equipment Solid Rock has always adhered to a very simple motto “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. The ropes are changed much less than protocols say they should be. The anchors supporting the climbers have not been changed in years which should be worrisome to anybody imagining the effect of even a couple of months of gym falls without anything resembling an inspection and the belay devices (in this case gri-gris) have been almost eaten through due to the amounts of falls they’ve taken (the crash of the metal of the carabiner and the metal of the device is having a serious corrosive effect.)

For those of you savvy to the ways of lead climbing you might want to check out another locale. The few routes that actually provide for sport climbing have lowering anchors composed of webbing and ‘biners as old as the building. Which on the one hand is great if you’re into antiques but not so great when your 40 ft off the deck hoping that nothing breaks.

Quality wise the gym is a nice place to visit with a good number of routes. Unfortunately those routes are set for life and never change. The gym has apparently changed its focus in recent years and is now directed to a younger crowd, specializing more in birthday parties than the sport itself. Due to this most of the routes will be considered fairly easy to anything but the most novice of climbers. Yet, despite all this it’s still possible to get some good exercise just try to stick to the ground level bouldering cave, you’ll be a lot safer.

*If you do decide to hit the routes try to ask around for Eduardo or Hector who are basically the only two instructors who can also be considered accomplished climbers. Have a good climb and try to be safe!

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~ by Alberto Ramos Cordero on December 23, 2007.

9 Responses to “The Dangers of Solid Rock”

  1. […] Original post by Alberto Ramos Cordero […]

  2. very interesting.
    i’m adding in RSS Reader

  3. All this is true!!! The managers don’t have any experience in climbing!!!!! and the instructors don’t pay attention to the people they only give u a chat and leave u!! they are always talking about the party of the night! And the manager is in charge Mariedith Escanellas is no less than a bitch! she is the one that don’t even know what is a gri-gris! So be careful when u go I think is safer if you climb on natural rock

  4. This is very sad and very true since i used to work there around 5 or 6 years ago. At that period of time the staff was composed of climbers ranging from beginners to professionals we did a “climbing demo” always and went one by one on each participant on how to belay correctly. Also i used to change the ropes as soon as i noticed that i was the time to change it. Also as for routes there where 5 route setters at that time myself included. Last time i went there was around 3 years ago and the place was seriously in need of care and attention. Apparently the management doesn’t understand the seriousness and dangers of rock climbing.

  5. OMG, a page criticizing Solid Rock….haven’t ya’ll thought about just talking to chain of command administrating the place or just leaving a freaking comment card? I am sure you are all very concerned but given the situation I don’t think this page will make any difference….

  6. This is amazing. the person who created this blog is an ex-employee who got fired for being IRRESPONSIBLE and NEGLIGENT. So i advice all readers to be careful. Can we trust this source??? NOTT! It’s easy to blame the administration for the employees RESPONSIBILITIES. A word of advice… This blog is BS!

  7. I am trying to find a climbing gym in Puerto Rico to practice rock climbing skills that I learned in the U.S., I went to this climbing gym at Monday afternoon and it was closed. Does anyone know if its closed permanently or when is it open? Does anyone know of another climbing gym that can help me pratice the sport? I dont know anyone here that rock climbs and find it to risky to go out door climbing by myself

    • Hi I’m new to PR, Rio Grande, and looking to start training in the sport. Did you find any thing?

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