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Michael Feinberg opened his rock climbing facility in May 2019. Photo courtesy of Reach Climbing.
Michael Feinberg opened his rock climbing facility in May 2019. Photo courtesy of Reach Climbing.

How Reach Climbing is lifting Philadelphia spirits through rock climbing during COVID-19

The rock-climbing company based in Bridgeport is set to open a new location in West Philly sometime in 2021.

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Michael Feinberg has been an avid climber for most of his life.

“I continued rock climbing through college, even after college, and I went to school in Colorado,” he said.

Feinberg wanted to bring that type of gym back home with him to Philly, so he founded Reach Climbing in May of 2019

“We’ve got the height, we’ve got 55 ft walls, it is a lot like the rock climbing out west in Colorado, we built it from the ground up” he explained.

From the start, the Bala Cynwyd native thought that rock climbing could be beneficial for people curious about the sport.

“Our gym is much different than the other facilities in the region, it’s a great space, it is a lot more open,” he said.

The facility was built from the ground up and offers an abundance of other activities, like a standard gym and a yoga room. 

“We are big and we offer climbing-specific training zones,” said Feinberg.

It is also new, which means it was especially vulnerable during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Before the pandemic, we were very busy,” said Feinberg. “But then we had to close for three months and that was hard on us. We lost a lot of members.”

Thankfully, he soon discovered that his space was big enough for people to keep their distance and still have a fun and adventurous time.

The business adapted, and the community responded.

“We make sure everyone wears masks and we take everyone’s temperature when they come in,” he said. “The community trusts us to make a safe place.”

Many of his members also came back after restrictions loosened up in Pennsylvania.

“We have family members who come in and we also have a youth team,” he said.

The return to business and its success has also allowed Feinberg to recently open an extension of his facility that is located next door.

“We have a full weight room and boot camps that are for our non-rock climbing members,” he said.

Another new component to his second space will be American Ninja Warrior classes.

“Our main instructor, Rich Shoemaker, is someone from our area and who has made it to the national finals on the show a couple of times,” he said.

The hope for the classes is for kids to remain active, especially during the ongoing pandemic.

He is also in the works of opening a third establishment — a bouldering gym set to be in West Philly, at 41st and Ludlow streets.

Though bouldering and rock climbing may seem familiar, rock climbing is secured by a rope and a belayer. Bouldering is solo climbing. 

Reach Climbing provides a great way to get the family involved and lift your spirits during this crazy time.

So for the next social-distant family outing, why not be a little adventurous and make a daring trip to Reach Climbing in Bridgeport?

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