As long-time residents of Bloomington-Normal, we understand our community. We have experienced it as children, as students, and as parents. As long-time climbers, we understand how the sport can profoundly and positively impact the lives of people both young and old. We have witnessed how it can build friendships, strengthen family bonds, and instill confidence. That’s what led us to open our community’s first dedicated bouldering gym – The Proving Ground.
If you’ve already experienced climbing, you will find inspiration on our walls. If you’re venturing into climbing for the first time, we’re here to ease you in. If you’re looking for a way to spend meaningful, healthy time with your family, you’ll find no better place. Let us prove it to you.
What’s Waiting for You at The Proving Ground
6,500 square ft
of bouldering on amazing new walls built by Rockwerx
area with autobelays and bouldering for beginners
multipurpose room, fully stocked pro shop, and showers
with a Kilter Board, campus board, and free weights
Bouldering is rock climbing, without using ropes or harnesses, on climbs that don’t go too high off the ground. Our climbing walls range from 12 to 18 feet tall. Outside, boulderers move small mats and pads under the climbs. In our gym, the entire floor is a giant, squishy pad.
If it’s your first time climbing, rest assured there are plenty of beginner routes you’ll enjoy working through. Once you’re ready to push it, there will be intermediate/advanced routes ready and waiting for you!
Nope! Since there’s no roped climbing in our gym, there is no need to arrange a partner!
Whatever you’re most comfortable in for other types of physical pursuits. Climbing shoes are required. You can bring your own or rent a pair from us!
Everyone. Whether you’re climbing or spectating you’ll need to complete a waiver. You can fill one out when you visit the gym. Keep in mind, if you are bringing a child and you are not their guardian, arrange to have the waiver completed by their guardian.
Only for parties and events. Day passes can be purchased at any time during operating hours. We recommend large groups call in advance so we can be ready for your arrival.