Reader editor Taryn Allen climbs the rock-climbing wall at Movement next to windows overlooking Wrigley Field.
Editor Taryn Allen reaches new heights at Movement Wrigleyville. Credit: Monica McFadden

Indoor rock climbing has seen a huge surge in popularity in the last few years. It’s everywhere in places like California and Colorado, where white, wealthy, outdoorsy, granola people reign supreme, but it’s gaining popularity here in Chicago, too, especially after its appearance in the (delayed) 2020 Summer Olympics and because of its year-round accessibility as an indoor sport. 

Coming out of the pandemic slump, ever looking for reasons to move my body and queer-friendly spaces in which to do so, I took advantage of different promotions at gyms across the city—a free week at Movement, BOGO day passes at First Ascent and Brooklyn Boulders—in an attempt to decide whether or not I could justify such an expensive hobby. 

In the end, I caved and became a member at Movement Wrigleyville, the giant four-story gym that overlooks the baseball field. It’s open, clean, and unintimidating—even for out-of-shape first-time climbers.

I have complicated feelings about the fact that the Movement’s membership base is majority white and north-side saturated and that its fees make it financially inaccessible for many (it’s a stretch for me on my journalism salary), but it ticks a lot of boxes for me—and it seems like many in the queer community feel the same. To address the demand, Movement regularly hosts queer climbing nights, independently and in collaboration with local collective Queers on the Rocks. 

If you have a chance, give Movement a try—local gays will likely feel right at home between the massive pride flag and the glowing red Wrigley Field sign out the window.

Movement Wrigleyville
1115 W. Addison

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