Earth Treks Climbing Gym in Timonium is an amazing experience. I had always been interesting in trying indoor rock climbing but had never had the opportunity until a friend took me along one evening. She had been climbing at Earth Treks for several months and knew the ropes (pun intended) so she was able to introduce me to the sport without me getting intimidated. She had me climbing on some of the simpler routes in no time at all—proof that it can be fun for the newest of novices. The gym is huge—two levels of climbing walls of varying heights, plus a coffee shop and an area with weight equipment and a nice pro shop as well. I’m told it’s the largest indoor climbing gym on the east coast, and I can well believe it. They have classes for beginners (which my friend had taken to get her started; climbing needs two people—one to climb and one to hold things down at the bottom—this person needs instruction in knot tying and belaying) and advanced courses and outdoor courses as well. For now, I’ll stick with easy indoor climbing. Rental equipment is available for a nominal fee.
They have a location in Columbia as well, but I understand it isn’t as nice and is also doesn’t have good climate control.