- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 17, 2002

Location: Sportrock Climbing Center is located at 45935 Maries Road in Sterling, Va. From Route 7, take Cascades Parkway south about a half-mile. Turn right on Maries Road and take the first left into Cascades Business Park. Additional locations are 14708 Southlawn Lane in Rockville and 5308 Eisenhower Ave. in Alexandria. Climbers must be at least 6 years old.

Hours: The climbing center is open from noon to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. The three Sportrock locations offer Kids' Nite, a program for children ages 6 to 14. With guidance from experienced first-aid-and-CPR-certified instructors, the children climb throughout the facility and play familiar games, but on the vertical plane. Kids' Nites are held every Friday from 6:30 to 8 p.m.; advance registration and prepayment are required.

Cost: The two-hour basic skills class is $30 (minimum age 14). Climbers also can purchase individual climbs at $4 each or five for $16. Kids' Nite prices are $19.50, $30 for two children in the same family or $40 for three in the same family.

Parking: Parking is free and plentiful.

Attire: Most visitors prefer shorts or spandex leggings. The front desk also offers special climbing shoes, which make it easier to gain a toehold. Note, however, that the largest size is 11 1/2.

Information: Call 571/434-ROCK or visit the Web site at www.sportrock.com.

Other options: Indoor climbing facilities also can be found at the Rockville Climbing Gym, 301/309-3226; Earth Treks in Columbia, 410/872-0060; Galyan's in Fairfax, 703/803-0300; and Recreational Equipment Inc. in Bailey's Crossroads, 703/379-9400.



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