Movement Portland offers up 30,500 square feet of pure climbing bliss. Tall lead climbing walls, top-roping, crack climbing, bouldering, a 45-degree solo wall, and a large fitness facility with classes make this a must see climbing gym in Portland
While it wasn’t the first climbing gym in Portland, Movement is now the newest, biggest, and baddest all around gym in town. Located in the heart of the Pearl District in PDX, this world class gym truly has it all with 200 routes and 200+ boulder problems. The options to climb outside near Portland are somewhat limited to smaller crags (without making the 3+ hour drive to Smith Rock), increasing crowds, and damp weather that can make for a short season outside. Nonetheless, climbing junkies of all types can get their fix at Movement to stay in shape for whatever their goal is.
Movement Portland is the gold standard for climbing gyms in the state of Oregon and is among the best gyms in the northwest due to its overall size, quality, diversity of training options, and overall state of the art technology.
Even if you are a purist crack climber who scoffs at the gym scene, Movement Portland will leave you fulfilled. This gym truly has climbing options for everyone.
There are roughly 200 rope climbs in the gym, with the tallest lines traveling up to 55 feet. Lead climbing and top ropes abound with a diverse range of styles. There are vertical walls, a large overhanging steep wall, and all types of features used along the way to mimic bulges, dihedrals, and arete climbs. The different rope areas are laid out nicely within the gym so not everyone is belaying from a central space in the gym. There is also a space for kids to climb away from the main area which helps reduce any issues or distractions.
While most gyms these days have a few cracks for people to try their hands in, they are typically limited to a hand crack, less than hand crack, and finger crack. Movement not only offers up crack climbing, it has 18 different lines with some of the cracks being adjustable in size so you can hone your skills on whatever size needed.
While the tall climbing walls of the gym are the first thing you notice when walking in, the bouldering space is equally as impressive and tucked away upstairs. Similar to the ropes section, there is a bouldering problem for everyone. Steep sections, bulge climbs, straight vertical faces, and topouts abound. Nice padding and large fall zones that don’t overlap with eachother make for a quality bouldering experience. Problems top out at 18 feet high, which was plenty.
Anyone looking to stay strong without actually climbing can do so. There are the standard campus boards but those are often overlooked by better alternatives. The first is a 45-degree wall and pad system that allows a solo climber to get a long burn on overhanging terrain without the need of a belayer. Grades on the 45-degree wall tend to favor strong climbers but there is typically an easier route in the mix. From a non-climbing perspective the gym is outfitted with a large fitness area full of weights, treadmills, spin bikes, and an open area with mats for any type of kettle bell or ball workout you can imagine. The fitness area in it of itself is almost worth the membership.
When the gym first opened in 2012 the grades were notoriously soft for ropes. Since then the grades have come more in line with what you’d expect if you were climbing outside. This is especially noticeable when it comes to bouldering. Compared to the Bend Rock Gym, Movement grades will not lead you to believe you are on the verge of climbing v10. Moves are consistently “bouldery” and as hard as you would expect from the grade outside.
Movement Portland has a variety of climbing, fitness and yoga classes to meet you needs. The range in fitness classes is unbelievable for climbing gym by offering up spin, weights, injury prevention, core specific, and other classes to keep your body well rounded. If you just want to climb and learn about the technical side of climbing, you can do that too through a variety of classes geared towards all different types of climbing. Members enjoy free access to all classes and yoga except select specialized classes.
Similar to other gyms, there is a retail store at the gym. Unlike other gyms, the store carries a wide variety of shoes and brands that you might not otherwise find at your local REI. This is great for trying on shoes or getting your hands on gear before you buy. Members receive 10% of all purchases.
We realize this sounds crazy, but how many gym bathrooms have you been in where you aren’t grossed out to some degree. Most gym bathrooms are pretty nasty and most climbing gyms are almost certainly gross with a mix of dirtbag grime and cramped space. The Movement Portland bathroom is something you wish you had a home with lots of space, lockers, towels, and all of it is kept clean. Enjoy.
If we had to pick one thing we weren’t excited about, it’s the price. An adult day pass is $21 and a annual pass is $880. Not totally unreasonable given the facility but not something most climbers can easily pony up without thinking about. That said, the amount of gym you have access to as well as classes, yoga, and a discount at the shop makes the price tag worth it if you can take advantage of most of what the gym has to offer.
Given the location, it can be hard to find parking nearby if you have to drive to the gym.
If you are living in Portland and looking for a climbing gym, you need to give Movement a try. If you are passing through town and need to get a workout in, Movement is a must. There are other quality gyms in town (Portland Rock Gym, The Circuit), but none with the full offering and size of Movement.
1405 NW 14th Ave.
Portland, OR 97209