The Circuit Bouldering Gym Northeast
There's a lot of weird things in Portland, however the rock climbing scene is definitely not one of them. As of my visit in April 2018 there were four rock climbing gyms adjacent to the Willamette River alone. There are other rock climbing gyms sprawled out through Portland and a section installed at Portland State University. Being in Portland for only a weekend, it was hard for me to choose which gym to check out. But using a complex and proprietary system of whims I settled on The Circuit Bouldering Gym Northeast. As the name suggests this is a bouldering only gym (which I am a fan of). The Circuit Northeast is one of a few facilities in The Circuit Bouldering Gym chain.
Getting to the gym was easy and straightforward. It was located in a complex away from the local main street. I do not have a metric to consistently categorize gym sizes (yet), but I would consider this to be a medium to large size gym. The Circuit Bouldering Gym Northeast has your typical open one-floor level warehouse layout. Facing inward from the entrance, which is in the center of the gym, it looked like the gym was broken into 5 distinct areas. First, to the left of the entrance is the slack line section.
Going clockwise, in the second area there are medium and large boulders both allowing for topping-out.
The larger boulder has a small resting area and flex space at the top along with a small wooden slide that leads to a short down climbing area for descending.
The smaller boulder has a wooden sliding area at the top that goes directly to the bottom.
The third area is a contiguous perimeter slabs along the back wall.
The fourth area is a mixture between a designated playing area for children on one side and what appears to be flat wall area used by adults. The bathrooms are also located in this area near the adult side. There is a metal slide in this area accessible by topping out.
The fifth are is a fitness area with free weights, cardio equipment, pull up racks and various other equipment.
Credit cards were accepted at this location. After filling out the waivers I was allowed to climb immediately. The staff was friendly and quick to help when needed. I felt that the ratings of the problems I attempted were consistent with the level of difficulty I expected from them. It was not too crowded and was an overall good experience. I really like the fact that they have a designated area for children and a party room. Kids have a tendency to run around (which is not allowed for good reason) when there is little supervision, and they may not understand the danger they pose to themselves and others at times. The most frequent complaints I hear about are related to children cluelessly running around or standing under active climbers. Having a delineated section allows the children to have their fun while letting adults enjoy their serene climbing environment. I understand that it is not always practical for gyms to do this, but it is very much appreciated when they do.
With all of that said, I have no intention of rating this gym (I don't have a standard rating system in place to do so if I wanted to anyway, yet). This is a not an in-depth look at all the things this gym can offer you. I did however want to share my experience with you all. I enjoyed my visit to The Circuit Bouldering Gym Northeast and it was a worthwhile experience for me. Experience being the best teacher, I suggest you give The Circuit Bouldering Gym Northeast a try. If you plan to check out this gym or if you have already been to The Circuit Bouldering Gym Northeast and want to add your view; please feel free to leave a question or comment below.