Hollywood Boulders – Los Angeles, CA

Checked out this gym while visiting a friend in LA. The reviews seemed promising and the pictures made the facility look spectacular! Suffice it to say there was a lot of money invested in this place.

There was a good amount of wall space, with relatively consistent angles in certain spots and great variation in others. If the wall was relatively shallow or slab-like a large blank area was given, but if it was overhung beyond 30 degrees or so it would become more ‘organic’. This shape of wall I do not find helpful in a gym. The setting can become stale in that area because the problems will naturally tend to fit that specific feature.

The setting was solid at the ~v5 and under grade, but anything harder and it was all over the place. Granted, I only had one session and no one to bounce beta off of, but the problems felt like an afterthought. I tried a couple V8s that had feet that seemingly disappeared with no discernable beta. Inconsistent is perhaps a better word.

The style was very compy, with not a lot of ‘traditional’ technical bouldering. (My preference!) Compy can be fun, but if the gym is primarily a training ground for outdoor climbing then I don’t find compy to be particularly helpful. I have no qualms with a gym having some comp-style climbs, but for it to dominate a gym is a disservice.

Average problem density as you would expect from a monochromatic gym. The grade spread was stacked more toward the bottom of the scale (v0-v5), with far fewer in the v6-v10 range.

The walls are Walltopia which looks cool, but the textured surface is a negative for me. Wears through shoes faster and doesn’t encourage precise footwork as much. Even though the walls are plywood, they didn’t have any screw-on holds which I’m always a little saddened to see. Certainly not a requirement for a gym to be considered good, but using those types of holds can radically change the style and quality of setting by opening up far more placement options!

The training equipment was stacked heavily toward general fitness and not climbing specific. Lots of free weights, treadmills, ellipticals, etc.

Hollywood Boulders
Wall Space(0-10)7
Wall Shape(0-10)6
Setting Quality(0-10)4
Route Density(0-10)5
Grade Spread(0-10)6
Wall Material(0,2.5,5)2.5
Climbing Training Equipment(0-5)2
General Training Equipment(0-3)3
Total Score(68)35.5