Austin Bouldering Project – Austin, TX

Final gym of my Texas trip! This one is going to be tough to write. I’m so conflicted! On one hand this is probably the most incredible bouldering facility I’ve ever seen. On the other hand, I feel like the potential it has is somewhat wasted. Granted, this opinion is formed after only one session, but I sampled enough to get a general idea of what the gym has to offer.

Back wall with a wave like feature. Very cool

As an aside, this will be like my previous review: Tons of pictures. This place is so huge it took me 12 photos to capture it in its entirety!

Back corner

At any rate, this gym is MASSIVE. I cannot overstate that.It has by far the most wall space ever seen. I actually got lost in the building at one point because I couldn’t remember which way I came from when I finally found the bathrooms lol

Cave next to the back corner

So, tons of wall space. Loads of different angles, but still an over abundance of slab and vert. When there were overhanging sections it wasn’t consistent! Too many angle changes disrupt what could have been some amazing flow.

Otherside of the cave

The density is the LOWEST I have ever encountered. Sure, the insane settable surface area makes up for it somewhat, but so much is wasted.The gym could have halve the wall space (and not lose any unique angles because so much is the same), retain the same quantity of boulders, and the gym would probably be better for it.

Side wall by the entrance

The setting quality was fairly good, but I felt the grading was somewhat inconsistent. They also brought up another pet peeve that I had entirely forgotten about! The worst grade offender of all: monochromatic grading. If that isn’t clear, they grade based on hold color. UGH! This gym is huge and has a lot of money, but no gym has every crimp, every jug, everysloper, every whatever in the 9 (NINE!) colors they set with.

Around the corner from the first wall you see when you walk in

This leads to the most frustrating part about some gyms.Beginner climbers will never have experience with entire types / series of holds because they are ‘gated’ behind harder grades. I didn’t encounter a single 1 pad or smaller crimp until I was trying V7+ climbs. That is absurd!How are people supposed to warm up on crimps!? How are people supposed to ‘work into’ crimps when they aren’t even close to making moves that use them?

I don’t mean to rant, but this facility does so much right and has so much to offer but misses the mark in huge ways.

Middle wall area? You can see into where the training room is. 

The grade spread was good and in their defense they dobracket the grades which I think is great! A blue problem is v5-v7, a pink is v6-v8, a white is v7-v9+ etc. This is great because it allows some flexibility in grading + style differences, but they shoot themselves in the foot when they require the holds to be white. Just tape the first hold with the color of the grade. Problem solved! No need to tape every hold. They can still retain monochromatic setting. It’s a win win.

The place is is big… they have a map of all the boulders (plus a handy grade chart!)

The walls are textured (meh), and they did use screw-ons a lot which is great! (yay!)

Side ‘area’ with a system wall and ‘comp’ setting

The training facilities for both climbing and general fitness were crazy. So much equipment! I’ve climbed in many gyms whose entire footprint could fit within their training room lol

Climbing specific training area in the center of the bouldering area

Overall, I did enjoy ABP and would recommend it, but is it the best gym in the Austin area? I’m not sure. It’s certainly the most impressive. Given more time I would probably enjoy it more and if I got plugged into a community there I think it would be even better.

Huge training facility

As always, thanks for reading!

Austin Bouldering Project
Wall Space(0-10)10
Wall Shape(0-10)5
Setting Quality(0-10)7
Route Density(0-10)1
Grade Spread(0-10)8
Wall Material(0,2.5,5)2.5
Climbing Training Equipment(0-5)4
General Training Equipment(0-3)3
Total Score(68)45.5