North Texas Outdoor Pursuit Center, Carrollton
I’ve always liked seeing the old Blanton Grain Company silos in Carrollton, just off I-35, but when I learned that they were now the home of North Texas Outdoor Pursuit Center, a rock-climbing gym with climbing inside the silos, I knew I just had to go! We were invited out, and it was even better than our high expectations! Read my tips listed below, go check them out! Located in Downtown Historic Carrollton, there are lots of great restaurants for dinner after your climb!
Know Before You Go
The silos are not climate controlled. We visited during January, when it was chilly! Wear a hoodie or something that you can tuck inside the harness to keep warm. Coats… not so much.
If you have long hair, be sure to bring something to put it up! My daughter’s hair got caught in her ATC while belaying for my son. Ouch!!
It takes 2 people to climb, the climber and one to belay. Each person needs to wear a harness and be prepared to participate. Climbing is actually easier than belaying, because you literally have that other person’s life in your hands, and you MUST stay focused on what they are doing. For this reason, don’t bring young children with you that need your supervision if you are belaying!
Wear closed-toed shoes with good traction.
Plan on at least 2.5 – 3 hours on your first visit.
They have all the gear you need, and it’s included in the $15 Day Pass. Climbing shoes, which are nice but not necessary, are not included in the $15, but are available for $3.
Real Rock Climbing
Something that immediately sets OPC apart from other climbing gyms we have visited is that the equipment is, for the most part, exactly what you would use if you were outdoor climbing. There are no automatic belayers or already tied ropes, we had to learn to do it all ourselves! Chris was GREAT at walking us through it step-by-step, time and again until we had it right!
After our lesson, we practiced several times in the practice area, climbing and belaying, and learning all the appropriate climbing verbage! Climbing was easy, it’s the belaying that is more difficult. You must constantly keep their rope tight!
After about 30 minutes of practicing, we were ready to move on to the silos! Built in the early 1950’s, they are SO incredible, and tall, and amazing!! Did I mention tall? They go up very high! There are climbing courses for every ability, with plenty for the newer climber!
Wondering if it’s for your young child? My 8-year-old has been climbing since he was little, and while we were there several other, younger children were climbing, too!
The silos are connected to one another by small entryways! My kids loved exploring everything!
As if all this wasn’t fun enough, the silos echo! EVERYTHING!! Even when I shhhh the kids, my shhhh would echo back. As a mom, it’s worth the $15 just to stand there and feel like someone is finally listening to you!
On one of the more challenging courses, you have to climb up and into the silo to climb.
Climbing School, Classes and Workshops
If you’re ready to take your climbing to the next level, or want to try outdoor climbing, they have classes to get you ready! Click HERE to see their list of upcoming events, including backpacking and climbing trips!
Rock Climbing in Texas
So, now that you have all these awesome rock climbing skills, what can you do with them? Texas has some great public places to visit! Climb On!!
Mineral Wells State Park “Penitentiary Hollow is one of the few natural rock climbing venues in North Texas. Climbers and rappellers must check in at headquarters. No climbing is allowed when the rock formations are wet.” Click HERE to visit their website.
Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg offers climber and boulders plenty of opportunities to test their skills. Click HERE to visit their websites.
Reimers Ranch Park, just West of Austin, is another climber’s destination in the Texas Hill Country! If you visit, don’t forget that your entrance fee also allows you into Hamilton Pool, a beautiful spring-fed grotto just perfect for cooling off after a day of climbing! Click HERE to visit their website.
Hueco Tanks State Park is in El Paso, and a world destination for climbers, as well as tourist coming to see the pictographs and petroglyphs in the park! Be sure and check their website for vital park information! Click HERE to go there now.
Things to do in Carrollton
Sandy Lake Amusement Park allows guest to step back in time to fun arcade games, rides and paddleboats on the lake, as well as a fun pool to keep cool during the summer. Click HERE to read more.
A. W. Perry Homestead Museum offers FREE tours of this turn of the century homestead! Click HERE to visit their website.
Downtown Historic Carrollton offers some wonderful dining options, such as Cane Rosso, Babe’s Chicken Dinner House, and Agave Azul Mexican Food, as well as shopping, live music and theater at The Plaza. Click HERE to read more about it.
North Texas Outdoor Pursuits Center
1003 Fourth Avenue, Carrollton
Click HERE to visit their website.
Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun!
North Texas Outdoor Pursuit Center invited us out, and we were given complementary admittance, but I was not financially compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.
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