Minneapolis climbers need no longer drive 30 minutes through ugly traffic to get a wall-workout. Instead, they will be able to bike a mile or two to the newest temple of artificial rock. After years of whispered promises, Vertical Endeavors has scaled the bureaucratic mountains and insurance obstacles that impeded it from opening a facility for the rock monkeys west of the Mississippi. This Saturday, the Eat Street location will open to the public. It's a free event, so expect it to be packed, but if you want a chance to clamber up a few virgin routes while listening to a live band, relish the smell of fresh chalk as you hang from the ceiling, or peruse the vendor booths for the latest gear, it's your day. There will be discounted yearly memberships available during the event, so get a look at the 25,000 square feet of climbing walls and 60-foot routes to see if you want to sign up. If not, go and see some world-renowned climbers do chin-ups with their pinkies during periodic demonstrations of Alpine prowess. Bring a friend if you want, but there are 25 auto-belay routes for socially awkward wall rats to hoist themselves up and down, and three bouldering pits for those happier with low-altitude feats of strength. For the civic-minded, VE will be hosting a fundraiser that day for Simpson Housing Services, whose mission is to house, support, and advocate for people experiencing homelessness.
Sat., Nov. 12, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 2011