November 08, 2018
Rocking climbing here in Philadelphia just got a lot more diverse — Philadelphia Rock Gyms, as of this month, will be home to a chapter of the group Brothers of Climbing, an organization promoting diversity in rock climbing via monthly meetups.
Per the Brothers of Climbing website, “Rock climbers are some of the most friendly and welcoming people around. However, welcoming does not necessarily mean inclusive. There is so much lingo, jargon, and etiquette that it is easy for someone new to feel left out once they have joined. Our goal is to bridge these gaps.”
Brothers of Climbing welcomes everyone — both men and women — to their inclusive meet-ups that will take place monthly at the Wyncote Philadelphia Rock Gym location, led by Tarik Moore and Jason Hinds.
The first meet up will take place Monday, Nov. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. Newbies can climb with Moore and Hinds for free if it’s their first visit, or they can opt for a discounted package offering an introduction to bouldering and top ropes, as well as a free two-week trial membership.
If you’ve been hesitant to get involved with rock climbing due to fear of being completely new to the sport, or perhaps fear a lack of representation in the gym, the Brothers of Climbing are here for you. Hinds, co-leader of the Philadelphia chapter, lays it out here:
“Being a first-generation Jamaican-American, I never thought I would fall in love with a niche sport like rock climbing. Moreover, the warm welcome and acceptance I’ve received from the climbing community has been nothing short of astonishing. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for every POC (person of color) who enters a rock gym or finds themselves somewhat lost looking for boulders outside. These meetups provide me an opportunity to extend the welcome I’ve received to other POC and show them a seasoned face in an otherwise fairly bland world.”
As for the structure and importance of these meetups, Moore wants you to know: “The meetups usually start with a brief introduction of the participants and leaders and who BOC is and our mission statement. We hold the meetup on the third Monday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. During the climbing session, Jason and I are helping climbers with beta and providing a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere for climbing.”
Why are these meetups an important thing to bring to our city? Moore explains that they help “provide a community for people of color to enjoy climbing and not see themselves as the only one. We love climbing and want to share it with everyone in Philadelphia!”
Brothers of Climbing was formed in 2012 in Brooklyn by Mikhail Martin, David Glace and Andrew Belletty, who asked Moore and Hinds to bring the inclusion to Philly.
Philadelphia Rock Gym’s Wyncote location is at 827 Glenside Ave. in Wyncote. You can find more information regarding the Brothers of Climbing monthly meetups, as well as schedules, here.