Forget Screen Time: Let’s Go Climb!

Article by Miranda Woody

A climber takes on one of the many walls at Outside-In Climbing Gym

Climbing at Outside-In Climbing Gym

The Chocolate Moose CoffeeNestled neatly between two residences on busy Harper Road in Beckley, West Virginia, Outside-In Climbing Gym holds adventure and fun for people of all ages and abilities. Whether you have been to the summit of Yosemite or barely climbed a tree, this place has something for you. Kevin Traube, the owner of Outside-In Climbing Gym, has owned the business for thirty years. Kevin has always sought new and innovative ways to create fun, family experiences in his hometown of Beckley, West Virginia. The locally-owned business began as a small gift shop (The Little Brickhouse), and has evolved over the years into a golf course (Mountain State Mini Golf), a coffee shop and roastery (The Chocolate Moose), and now it also contains Outside-In Climbing Gym. Although the gift shop is officially a thing of the past, customers can still enjoy a game of mini-golf and some delicious coffee along with rock climbing and other activities during their visit.

outside in gym pic 2Personally, my experience with Outside-In Climbing Gym has been very positive. I was hired there about a year ago as a belay attendant in the climbing gym and barista in the coffee shop. My experience with the customers in the gym, specifically, has been one of a kind and my experience with my coworkers is also something very special. Featuring multiple thirty-five foot high climbing walls, a rappelling station, an elevated slackline, and two climbing ropes, Outside-In Climbing Gym offers an impressive array of activities. In the gym, we pride ourselves on being the new indoor hot-spot for physical activity in Beckley, and in all of Southern West Virginia. We work with adults and children equally often, but I have found my experiences working with children to be the most rewarding.

When children first come into the gym, they are often afraid. They always seem apprehensive, seeing as the walls they are about to climb boast an intimidating height of thirty-five feet. However, kids tend to loosen up rather quickly as they play around in the gym, exercising their bodies and minds in order to solve the tougher climbs the gym has to offer. It also helps that they are “on belay” the entire time while climbing the walls, which means that they are harnessed up and attached to a rope while I (or some other belay attendant) take out the slack and keep up with their progress, preventing them from falling at all while they climb. Parents are often thrilled as they watch their children climb.

In fact, one parent and I had a conversation once about the gym and its effect on their child. The parent looked at me and said, “You know, this is so good for them. Body and mind.” I smiled, “Yeah, it gives them something to be proud of. Also, it gets them away from their tablets and televisions”. The parent looked at me quizzically, “You know,” she said, “I hadn’t thought of that. That’s a great point.” The child and the parent left after their one-hour session time in the gym had expired, but before walking out the parent looked at me and said, “We will definitely be back.” It felt good to know that I was contributing to the healthy lifestyle of our customers, all while promoting fun, adventure, and self-confidence.

outside in gym pic 4Outside-In Climbing Gym is open seven days a week, and is currently featuring its new springtime hours. On Monday through Friday the gym is open to the public from 3-9 PM. On Saturday, the gym is open from 11 AM – 9 PM. On Sunday, the gym is open from 1-8 PM. If you buy a membership at Outside-In Climbing Gym, you can enjoy extended climbing hours. Also, Saturdays at 11 AM feature an hour-long climbing class for kids taught by me and Andrew Martin that costs $15. Typical climbing prices for non-members or non-climbing students are 9.95$ for a half hour, $14.95 for a full hour, and $23.95 for an all-day climbing gym pass. After climbing, you can feel free to enjoy a round of mini-golf, for which you will receive a one dollar discount after purchasing both activities.

You can contact Outside-In Climbing Gym at the toll-free number 304-253-7242, or its physical address during business hours, 1818 Harper Road, Beckley, WV. Also, check out their website:

All photos from The Chocolate Moose Facebook Page


Miranda Woody is a Concord University student originally from Beckley, West Virginia. She is pursuing a degree in English. She spent the summer of 2016 living in Brooklyn, New York, and has visited seven countries in her lifetime. She is twenty-one years old, and plans to graduate from Concord in December, 2017. She enjoys writing poetry, rock climbing, and traveling. Check out her other work on

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