As the weather grows colder, Seven Bays Bouldering gives locals a unique way to keep moving.
Paul Denzler, general manager and head setter at Seven Bays, is this week’s midweek mugging recipient.
Located at 2019 Gottingen St., Seven Bays has both a spacious cafe and a large indoor climbing wall.
“What this has evolved into is we have two separate customer bases,” Denzler said. “We have those who come for the cafe and those who come for climbing, and obviously there’s a mix in the middle.”
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that is done without a harness. Denzler said the gym sees both dedicated climbers and people who want to try something new.
“A new climber probably can last for like an hour, and the more experienced climbers probably last two to three hours,” he said.
Those who wish to try bouldering can purchase a day pass or monthly membership. All the necessary equipment is available at the gym.
The adjoining cafe serves up a little bit of everything, including snacks, a full menu and Propeller beer on tap.
“We try to offer every size of meal, because the big thing we want to make sure is that people who come after climbing have their gains,” Denzler said. “So we make sure to offer stuff for them, and also for those who just wants to come in and buy a coffee...and hang out for a couple of hours.”
Seven Bays is owned by the Richer-de la Plante family. The family has multiple climbing gyms across the country, including Allez Up in Montreal.
Denzler, who studied design, said setting where the rocks are placed on the wall is one of his favourite parts of the job.
“We’ll usually come in and have a general idea of a direction we want to go in, but we don’t plan it out ahead of time,” he said. “It’s honestly just from experience, having climbed a bunch and knowing how the climbing world works, you try and just have a library of moves in your head.”
A quarter section of the climbing wall is changed each week, creating a completely new wall by the end of the month, Denzler said.
Along with the upstairs climbing space, Seven Bays has an expanded fitness area in the basement to give members more opportunity to train.
Denzler said he thinks the gym’s inclusive atmosphere is what makes it so popular.
“People are often looking for a way to work out and a way to be active that also has a good community and good vibes, where you don’t feel out of place,” he said. “Climbing offers that to people, especially because most of our clients are fairly new. It’s a very welcoming environment and I think that’s what appeals to people a lot.”