By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter

FOLLOWING a temporary six-month closure because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Bouldering Hive (bhive) in Makati City has opened for business once again to cater to rock climbers of various levels who are out to further sharpen their skills.

The only gym in Metro Manila dedicated to bouldering, bhive, which is located at Ayala Malls, Circuit Makati, is excited to be back in operation and resume its push to grow the exciting rock climbing form in the country.

For the uninitiated, bouldering is a unique form of rock climbing that requires only two things — chalk and climbing shoes.

Ropes and harnesses are not necessary, making the activity a relatively simple and inexpensive activity for anyone to pick up if they so do want.

Climbs can be up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) tall or relatively low, with a one foot-thick safety mat that allows climbers to return to the ground with a soft landing.

The bouldering gym opened in September 2019 and was steadily gaining a following and establishing itself as a community center for new and experienced climbers until the pandemic put everything to a stop.

“Climbers have their office, their home, and The Bouldering Hive. We designed this gym to help foster a community. It’s become a place where people gather multiple times a week to meet friends and push themselves or just have fun. We’ve also hosted events, competitions, and activities that bring together Metro Manila’s growing climbing community,” said bhive founder Christoph Bastin in a release.

“The pandemic has brought these events to a stop, but the sense of community is still strong,” he added.

Like all businesses during this time of the pandemic, bhive has made the necessary adjustments in its health and safety protocols, coming up with added measures to ensure a safe environment for climbers.

The measures in place are the submission of all climbers of health declarations and temperature checks upon entry; mask must be worn at all times (free masks are provided in case the mask gets too wet); the gym’s capacity is limited to 40 visitors per time slot; three separate time slots are allotted per day to reduce the risk of exposure among visitors; and each slot is three hours long, with 30-minute breaks in between to sanitize the gym.

Also part of the measures are routine disinfection of the climbing walls every day; all climbers must wash their hands before and after their workout; only liquid chalk (a mixture of climbing chalk and alcohol) is permitted on-site to keep hands dry and also disinfect hands regularly during climbing; showers are currently closed and unavailable for use; and CO2 levels are monitored at the gym and a high level of ventilation inside the gym is maintained.

Now back in operation, Mr. Bastin is hoping bhive’s ascent continues and appreciation for bouldering here goes deeper.

“It (bouldering) is a 3D puzzle, you solve with your body. This is a way people can try something new and overcome their limits, like a fear of heights. We have a saying in the climbing community, ‘feel the fear, but do it anyway.’ You can climb at your own pace and experience the joy of overcoming your limits,” Mr. Bastin said.

The Bouldering Hive is located at the Upper Ground Floor at Circuit Lane, Ayala Malls, Circuit Makati. It houses 400 square meters of climbing walls, air-conditioning, a coworking space, and lockers. Rates for climbing start at P600.

For more information, log on to or follow The Bouldering Hive on Facebook and Instagram (@bhiveph).