Uniting Canada's Largest Climbing Community

The Cave – North Mississauga's First Bouldering-Only Rock Climbing Gym

The Cave is one of a number of new climbing gyms that are slated to open in Southern Ontario this season. We caught up with owner Peggy Tseung and manager Ryan Balan of The Cave, and discussed opening dates, construction challenges and the reasons for wanting to open a climbing gym.
The Cave Rock Climbing Gym
Why did you decide to open a climbing gym?
The Cave: We’re both avid climbers, with a particular passion for bouldering. I (Peggy) also live in Mississauga. When we had the idea earlier this year, there weren’t any bouldering-only gyms in GTA, nor were there any facilities in Mississauga, despite its large population.
Tell us a bit about the physical space of The Cave.
The Cave: The space is about 3600 sq.ft. The climbing area was designed to feel slightly enclosed, with archways and overhangs, just like you would find in a natural cave. Aside from climbing, we also have a studio for Yoga and Muay Thai classes, a mezzanine area for climbers to work out or hang out, and a cell phone charging station in the lobby.
The Cave Rock Climbing Gym

Owner Peggy Tseung and manager Ryan Balan of The Cave.

The Cave Rock Climbing Gym

Owner Peggy Tseung and manager Ryan Balan of The Cave.

Who is building the facility?
The Cave: Our friends at High Performance Climbing Walls. They designed, engineered, manufactured and installed the climbing facility for us and they are proudly Canadian! There were other companies to do this work, but we specifically wanted to support a fellow Canadian small business.
You are offering Muay Thai classes at The Cave. Care to explain what Muay Thai is and how it fits in with climbing?
The Cave: Many climbers complain about not being flexible enough, not having enough stamina, or not being strong enough in a certain way to get them to that next level of climbing. Lots of gyms have free weights and an exercise area for climbers to do their thing, but I think instructor-led classes are much more effective. Muay Thai will help build strength and provide a counter workout to the constant ‘pulling’ motion associated with climbing.

The location of The Cave rock climbing gym.

Do you offer any other classes or courses at The Cave?
The Cave: We have Yoga classes as well. Yoga will help our climbers improve their flexibility and mental focus. It’s also a great way to warm up or cool down after a climbing session.
Who do you think will be the typical customer at The Cave?
The Cave: We envision the majority of our members to be between the ages of 15 and 50, either living, studying or working in Mississauga. As a female-owned company, I would also like to encourage more women to come out and climb!
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced with opening The Cave?
The Cave: All the logistics – there’s a lot that has to get done in order to translate an idea into a functioning gym. We have spent the last six months working our butts off to make sure everything is on schedule and in line with our vision. I hope our visitors won’t be disappointed when they see the gym for the first time.
The Cave Rock Climbing Gym

The Cave rock climbing gym during the initial construction phase.

And how about the most pleasant surprise?
The Cave: The enthusiasm from the climbing community! Everyone who has learned about the gym has been very excited and supportive of our new venture.
There’s a number of new climbing gyms opening up in Southern Ontario. How do you think The Cave will fit into this growing marketplace?
The Cave: I think a lot of the new gyms are in larger warehouses with multiple offerings (e.g. top-rope, lead, bouldering, camps, classes, competitions). As such, the day pass price at those gyms reflects these multiple offerings and may be more than some folks want to pay, especially if all they want to do is boulder. The Cave will be a smaller space with cheaper fees, focused strictly on bouldering. Even the Yoga and Muay Thai classes, although you could say they’re secondary offerings, are intended to be training for our climbers.
The Cave Rock Climbing Gym

The Cave rock climbing gym during the initial construction phase.

The Cave Rock Climbing Gym

The Cave rock climbing gym during the initial construction phase.

When are you hoping to have the gym open?
The Cave: We’re aiming for Saturday, Nov 26, 2016. Our grand opening will be Saturday, Dec 3, 2016.
More details about The Cave including operating hours and pricing are available at http://climbingthecave.ca/index.html
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Gus Alexandropoulos is a freelance writer who has been involved in the outdoor industry for over 25 years. During his career he has been the editor at Canada’s national climbing magazine, as well as the gear editor for a national cycling magazine, triathlon magazine and running magazine. His work has been published in Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, and he has been a guest on television and radio broadcasts. His passion for climbing began in Ontario in the mid 80s and he continues to travel extensively in search of crisp conditions and steep rock.