Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hometown Sports

Vertical Ventures is Tampa Bay area's only indoor rock climbing venue


They're on top of a mountain.

Not literally, but climbers at Vertical Ventures might as well be.

This climbing gym is the only indoor rock climbing facility anywhere near the Tampa Bay area, and it gets Spidermen — plus women and kids — from all over the state.

Its more than 6,000 square feet of climbing is worth the drive.

"We have a lot of regulars and members that use this as an alternative to the standard gym and workout," co-owner Christian Tartaglia said. "We have people who come in and they've either gone kayaking or been mountain biking or even skydivers who come in and just want to try the climbing."

The original climbing gym that houses Vertical Ventures opened in 1996, but 10 years later, it was falling apart. In 2006, Tartaglia and his two other partners renovated the place, making the climbing routes more smooth to climb and putting in a better-padded floor, even installing air conditioning.

There is no age limit put on climbing at Ventures, but there are also harnesses for little kids, and for the top ropes — the ones that go to the ceiling and nearly horizontal — climbers must be 15 or older.

Another reason Ventures is popular is the adjustable routes, that is, the ledges and grips climbers use. Those let the gym be creative to address climbers' challenges. Ventures also runs the Tampa Bouldering Series, which uses a points system to track climbers' top 5 routes posted. Each color varies in difficulty, and with each attempt it takes to complete the route, more points are deducted.

However, Ventures has one true pull. In an area with little vertical distance, this gym lets anyone get off the ground.

"It's neat that we can bring this to people in a flat state so they can experience mountain climbing," Tartaglia said. "We know we have a quality place to go rock climbing."

Fast facts

Vertical Ventures

Where: 5402 Pioneer Park Blvd., Suite E, Tampa

Owners: Christian Tartaglia, Hal Thureson, Chris Brown

Admission: $14 with specials on various nights. Memberships are also available.

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 2-10 p.m.; Friday, 2-7 p.m., 8 p.m. to midnight; Weekends, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Closed Mondays.

For more information, call (813) 884-ROCK (7625).

What's going on in your neighborhood?

Let us know and we may come document it. Tell us about an event, a game, a practice, an outing, a tournament — just about anything! There's a lot going on in the community and we want to know about it. Contact community sports editor Mike Camunas and tell him what's happening. Call (352) 544-1771 or e-mail him at We live in this community, so let's talk to each other.

Vertical Ventures is Tampa Bay area's only indoor rock climbing venue 04/22/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 24, 2009 10:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. USF tight end Palmore faces charge of credit card fraud


    A University of South Florida football player faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft following his arrest by Temple Terrace police on Monday.

    USF senior tight end Adrian Palmore faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft after his arrest by Temple Terrace police on June 19, 2017. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Rowdies defender gets the call to represent Jamaica


    ST. PETERSBURG —- Damion Lowe has loved his first season with the Rowdies but has some other soccer-related business that might pull him away for a bit.

    Family business, too.

    Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Damion Lowe collides with Louisville City FC forward Luke Spencer earlier this year.
  3. Sarasota's Scooter Gennett: Utility man turned historic slugger

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On June 10, 2009, the Brewers selected a Sarasota High School shortstop in the 16th round of the MLB draft. He'd assembled an impressive resume in prep ball, but as one of more than 1,500 players drafted that year, he had a tough road to the big leagues.

    Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett (4) of Sarasota makes the throw to first as Rays DH Trevor Plouffe (14) grounds into a double play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg Monday, June 19, 2017. For Gennett, the three-game series this week with the Rays was his first trip back to Tampa Bay since his historic four-home run game June 6, 2017 against St. Louis. DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  4. Vegas Golden Knights expansion selections

    Lightning Strikes

    Vegas Golden Knights expansion selections


    Calvin Pickard, Colorado Avalanche

    J.F. Berube, New York Islanders

    Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins


    Teemu Pulkkinen, Arizona Coyotes

    William Carrier, Buffalo Sabres

    Cody Eakin, Dallas Stars …

  5. Lightning's Victor Hedman third in Norris Trophy voting

    Lightning Strikes

    Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman knew he was a long shot to win the Norris Trophy, given to the league's top defenseman, at Wednesday's NHL awards show.

    LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21:  Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning attends the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena on June 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) 700065353