Climbing gym provides workout alternatives

Catalina Diaz
LV Life Editor

Keeping fit has had a major boom in recent years, with new and unique health gyms like SoulCycle becoming major players.

Many fitness enthusiasts are finding alternatives for their regular workout regimen, like climbing gyms.

Hangar 18, an indoor climbing gym that provides a workout for everyone from beginners to experts, keeps climbers on their feet, literally, as they scale different sized and shaped rocks to the very top, where a sense of accomplishment and success awaits.

“I’ve been climbing at Hangar 18 for 10 years now, and there’s always been a community of people that solve these intricate problems or climbs,” Upland native and avid climber Jonny Gonzalez said.
The rock formations, which are changed weekly by employees of the facility, provide plenty of challenges. Each formation is graded based on its difficulty, giving climbers a good sense of their level of progress.

“It’s self-rewarding, and by getting to the top, it makes you want to accomplish even more,” Gonzalez said.

For beginners, intermediate climbers and experts alike, there is an immense sense of community and motivation inside Hangar 18.

Rock trails begin after only a few steps of entering the climbing gym, many of which reach nearly three stories high which may be intimidating to some.

Instead of hearing machines and bars clinking together, like in an LA Fitness or a 24 Hour Fitness, climbers hear 1980s classics coming from the gym-surrounded speakers and a lot of chatting.

Often one will hear shouts like, “you’ve got it” or “look to the left,” where people are pushing each other to reach the top by helping them find the next best move.

Hangar 18 offers various types of climbing such as: bouldering, which is a free climb that consists of trails much shorter than that of its opposite style, top-roping.

With top-roping, climbers will be connected by rope to another person who is stationed on the ground.

In addition to climbing, the gym offers lessons for beginners as well as yoga classes twice a week, to enhance mobility and encourage wellness.

“To us it’s just climbing and having fun, but in reality we are training for outdoors, and it makes us more comfortable when were on actual rock so we’re not as scared,” Joseph William Martinez said.
He has been climbing at Hangar 18 for over five years.

Martinez said that the friendships he’s made at the gym are great and assist in his overall fitness progression.

Anthony Sciutto, a Cincinnati native who travels to California often, met Martinez and Gonzalez his first day of visiting the climbing gym.

“I feel like these guys are a testament to the community of this place,” Sciutto said.

Sciutto said he has only been in California for three weeks, and during his first visit to Hangar 18, both Gonzalez and Martinez were more than willing to help him with his climbing technique.

The gym has members who have been going for several years, as well as those who have come back after a hiatus.

“I grew up in Upland and used to come to Hangar, but I stopped after my family moved,” Rancho Cucamonga resident James Cribb said.

He said that he decided to return to Hangar 18 because of a coworker who also frequents the climbing gym.

Hangar 18 is located at 256 E Stowell St. in Upland.

The gym is open, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., and 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. over the weekend.

Student memberships are $36, and do not require a contract.

For more information about Hangar 18 and its locations, visit

Catalina Diaz can be reached at


  1. This was very informing and enthusiastic article. It is always great to get a perspective from an articulate, educated and enthusiastic editor. I truly enjoyed this article, very much waiting for Catalina’s next project. Thank you Catalina, great job!!

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