Rock Climbing with Lesbians? Don’t Mind if I Do!

Jamie’s Team Pick

I’ve just started climbing at Brooklyn Boulders, the largest indoor rock climbing gym in New York City, and it’s a pretty mind blowing place.  I’ll be blogging about my experience climbing there, and while chatting up the project I was told about the LGBT Rock Climbing Club CRUX which has been around since 2008. Sidenote: It looks like Logo showed up to film them for an episode of a dating show?

Their mission is the following:

– encourage competitive participation in local, national and international sporting competitions and events

– fundraise to support local and national LGBT organizations

– provide programming to support at-risk LGBT youth

– increase LGBT visibility within the sporting community

– create a welcoming, supportive environment for members of the LGBT community to encourage participation in sports

The group meets at Brooklyn Boulders every Friday night so I’m definitely penciling that in sometime soon. I mean look at these guys! Here is a photo of the group before marching at Pride via their Meetup page:


And a few photos of some CRUX members climbing for good measure. Climb on!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

Jamie J. Hagen

Jamie lives in Boston and is currently a PhD student in Global Governance and Human Security at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is a freelance writer and also a team associate for the Boston chapter of Hollaback!.

Jamie has written 76 articles for us.


  1. I’ve never been rock climbing due to my lack of upper arm strength.

    My friends tried to convince me to go last week by telling me it’s where all the lesbians hang out. And I laughed at them.

    Why do I hate all stereotypically lesbian activities? Blah.

    • it’s all about the leg muscles actually, your arms are just there to kind of hold on, so if your lack of upper body strength is what’s keeping you from rock climbing, don’t let it. I also have terrible upper body strength but I’m quite decent at rock climbing.

      • the narwhals from hell are right. yes you will use your body strength, but then that’s how you get stronger.

        also, it’s superly fun.

  2. I’ve been to brooklyn boulders. I could only make it up the easiest ones and after that it just got embarrassing.

    • I can make it up the easy ones during the beginning of my climbing but it gets a touch sloppy after a couple of hours. That’s why I go with friends who are funny and always encouraging when things turn into a bit of a hot mess!

  3. A friend and I just started regularly climbing at Vertical Ventures here in Tampa, FL and I absolutely love it! I’m definitely not good at it (plus a small fear of heights doesn’t help), but it’s the most fun way to work out ever. And the people you meet are amazing! I actually haven’t had the opportunity to meet many fellow lesbians there yet, but I also haven’t been on Ladies night.

    Does CRUX know of any other LGBT rock climbing groups? I’d love to find one here and I definitely going to look now that I know such a thing exists. But I hope this isn’t isolated to somewhere so far away from me!

  4. Thanks for giving us a shout out! We would love all of you to come check us out. It’s definitely a fun, relaxed environment for all levels, even beginners. We have people who will help you get started and you will meet a ton of people.
    There are other LGBT climbing groups around, there is a listing on our website:

    Happy climbing!

  5. We have a group like that in Atlanta, but it’s all 20-something-year-old single gay men. That awkward moment when you’re STILL the only lesbian in the group.

    • I climb with that group, and there are women of varying ages. Some are inconsistent or go on days other than Weds. There are more men who show up for the group on Weds. I’ve found the group to be a good entry point because the leaders of the group and consistent climbers will introduce to other queer women. If you climb there on a regular basis, you’ll see that there are quite a few lesbians. :)

  6. I’ve been climbing 3-6 times a week for almost 8 years, and I still have yet to meet many lesbians in the sport.

    This is kinda lame.

    There should be way more LGBT involvement.

    I’d like to personally encourage anyone and everyone to try it at least once. It’s fun, as difficult as you want to make it, empowering and pretty body positive. Failing that, it’s a pretty good story.

  7. Rock climbing is definitely one of my favorite things to do (even though I don’t go often). So this looks awesome!

  8. There are also national organizations for LGBT rock climbers — check out, for instance. And if you’re in St. Louis, come meet up with the St. Louis Mo Climbers at Upper Limits!

  9. rock climbing looks like SO MUCH fun. if i were more outgoing i would for sure be into this, because also, as mentioned upthread: back muscles. unf.

  10. Rock climbing is so much fun, though like with all sports activities I immediately get intensely competitive and get in over my head. You get such a feeling of accomplishment when you get to the top of the wall.

  11. I climb about 3x/ week at Planet Rock in Ann Arbor, MI and I’ve definitely met some queers there. I don’t think there’s a very formal organization but there’s definitely a community here.

    And for those of you who haven’t gone–GO. It’s so. much. fun.

    • Is that huge star shaped volume still up on the lead wall? I was in the gym for youth nationals some years ago. I remember the gym being awesome. You guys have a cargo net too, right?!

  12. I climb at Stone Summit, the largest rock gym in North America, in Atlanta. There is a queer group, the dynomos, which has more men who consistently climb with the group. They do trips and have some really nice experienced climbers who will teach you how to lead instead of paying for the class, etc. The gym offers a discount on Weds night for people who want to climb with the group as well. Don’t fret because there are plenty of queer women in that gym. If you climb there often, you’ll start to make friends and see what I mean. The group is a great entry point to learn who those ladies may be and learn climbing essentials without paying for the classes.

    There are some other gyms with a definite queer presence as well ITP.

  13. I started climbing and loved it…until I fell wrong off the bouldering wall and broke my ankle/leg. My feet weren’t too far off the ground, I just landed wrong.

    And that was the end of hanging with the hot, athletic lesbians.

    Can climbing be a spectator sport? ;) I’ll just go and spot people.
    Unfortunately my health problems (more numerous than just osteoporosis) and my love of extreme sports often don’t don’t play well together.

Comments are closed.