Beating the cold at the Hadley Central Rock Gym


Wendy Brown, Writer

Sometimes it seems like there’s no such thing as “the great” outdoors in the winter. The slush seeps into your shoes and the wind bites into your face in the way that harsh New England winters do.

Students who wish winter would pass swiftly by can find any reason to stay inside between the months of December and March. But that’s why there are places like The Central Rock Gym in Hadley that provides the thrill of outdoor fun, indoors. The kind of outdoor fun that sends a shiver up your spine.

Just a short bus ride away from the center of campus, the beautiful gym offers a break from the monotonous nature of indoor winter life. With stunning, floor-to-ceiling rock walls catering to a wide range of skill-sets, it oozes with warmth, easing the unbearable wait for spring.

Manager Hana Skirkey emphasizes the community feeling that going to the gym creates.

“The workers get to know you, you can climb with your friends and not to mention it’s more interesting than any normal workout,” said Skirkey.

Prices might seem steep for college students but the gym offers plenty of discounts and opportunities for anyone with a valid college ID. Each Thursday night is “College Night” when an ID gets you a $10 climbing pass and just $5 for rentals.

For the more avid climber, you can opt for the student membership, which at $45 a month, gives you access to all four Central Rock Gyms (located across Massachusetts and Connecticut). And there’s more than just rock-climbing to the gym. Yoga, pilates, spinning, zumba, strength classes and other traditional gym amenities are also available to members. When paired with the month of free rentals you receive, it quickly pays for itself.

If you’re not looking for any commitment you can always schedule a day with friends by qualifying for a less expensive group rate or get even more old-school and schedule a party, which gives you a great rate and a free t-shirt. This isn’t as rare as you might think.

Lindsay Garrone an executive member of Alpha Chi Omega at UMass is once again scheduling a sorority event for this semester.

“Our sisters love it! It’s something different to do, at a time of year when your options are limited,” said Garrone.

With six more weeks of winter left, you’ve got plenty of time to visit the gym and experience a thrill that’s warm and conveniently located near campus. With discounted rates and a unique atmosphere, it allows you to exercise and actually enjoy it and it’s a great alternative to going to the Rec Center if traditional workout routines seem unappealing to you.

The Central Rock Gym is located at 165 Russell Street (Route 9) in Hadley, Massachusetts. To schedule events or learn more about the gym you can call (413) 584-7625 or check out their website

Wendy Brown can be reached at [email protected]


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