New Bouldering, Dry Tooling Gym Is a Gateway to the Outdoors

image of climb monadnock
Climb Monadnock is a 2900 square foot facility with 1512 square feet of climbable terrain, including a dedicated dry tooling wall.
Climb Monadnock owners Ryan McGuire and Michelle Gaffney
Climb Monadnock combines multiple areas of expertise of co-owners Ryan McGuire and Michelle Gaffney, blending guiding, instruction, climbing and fitness in a compact space. (All photos courtesy of Climb Monadnock)

Climb Monadnock
Keene, New Hampshire

Specs: In mid-December last year, Climb Monadnock opened near downtown Keene, New Hampshire, after co-owners Ryan McGuire and Michelle Gaffney identified a need for a climbing gym in their community. “The closest gym was over 30 minutes away,” McGuire said about the project’s early days. Since then, two new climbing gyms—Climb Monadnock and neighbor GraniteWorks, which opened in 2024—have stepped in to fill that void.

Elevate Climbing Walls

Keene has been Gaffney’s home for ten years and, because McGuire now resides in the town, they felt it was the right moment to open a gym in the area. As a mountain guide, McGuire had also been “looking for some more stability” and was hoping to travel less. Operating a climbing gym fit the bill, and it afforded an opportunity to incorporate guiding into the business plan. The team found an existing space “in the same commercial building as Michelle’s crossfit gym, CrossFit Monadnock,” McGuire says, and soon Rockwerx and Evolution Builders were constructing the new climbing gym’s 12-foot walls.

Bouldering and dry tooling walls at Climb Monadnock
In addition to guided climbing trips outdoors, Climb Monadnock provides room for bouldering and dry tooling indoors.

McGuire has been a guide for almost ten years and works through the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) Alpine Guide program. All guides that work for Climb Monadnock are AMGA trained, with the goal of ensuring “a high standard of instruction,” the website details. McGuire says guiding is “a great way to diversify your business,” but notes it is essential “to have terrain to guide in.” Fortunately, Keene is in proximity to several rock climbing and ice climbing areas, which prompted the gym to offer multiple outdoor programs and courses for climbers of all levels, from Mt. Washington 101 to Denali Prep. However, McGuire notes guiding does come with “an additional expense from insurance and permits,” so he recommends pricing accordingly.

Eldorado Climbing

Climb Monadnock is a 2,900-square-foot bouldering facility with 1,512 square feet of climbable terrain, including a dedicated dry tooling wall. Amenities at the gym range from fitness equipment to a consignment shop for used gear, and programming options include youth camps and an after-school club for younger climbers. The gym also hosts Wilderness First Aid courses and Gym-to-Crag education, and the owners are planning to host workshops for anchor building and dry tooling.

Climb Monadnock gear shop
Among the services at the new gym is a retail store for buying and selling outdoor and climbing gear.

Walls: Rockwerx and Evolution Builders
Flooring: Strati
CRM Software: Rock Gym Pro
Instagram: @climb_monadnock

In Their Words: “We started this gym to fill a void that we felt the community needed, with the closest climbing gym over half an hour away and being positioned here in a college town (Keene State). We are passionate about helping folks achieve goals or take on new experiences, and we hope to do that inside the gym walls and outdoors with our guide service.” – Ryan McGuire, co-owner of Climb Monadnock

Vertical Solutions