Onsight Rock Gym

5335 Western Avenue

Knoxville, TN 37921

(865) 888-9123

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5335 Western Avenue
Knoxville, TN, 37921


Onsight Rock Gym is a brand new, world-class indoor rock climbing gym in Knoxville. Featuring over 12,000 sq feet of climbing surface and walls that soar over 50 feet tall, we are Knoxville's largest and tallest rock climbing gym. Onsight offers top rope/lead climbing and bouldering for all ages and abilities as well as a wide array of programming for adults and youth. Onsight even has a separate climbing room for private parties and events. We are proud to be a part of Knoxville's community! 


Onsight Rock Gym's blog. Stay updated on news and events!

Filtering by Category: Rock Climbing

Setting Up for Success - Having a Positive Attitude

Jonathan Carter

How many times have I heard it? Honestly, it’s been far too many to count.

I guess I'll give it a try but I'm feeling pretty weak today.

That move is impossible - this route is stupid!

I've never sent a 5.11 before.

Here’s what happens. People receive a jolt of nervous energy just before attempting a climb. This dampens inhibition and causes climbers to blurt out whatever is really on their minds. And what is on climbers’ minds is often negative and self-defeating. Maybe the source of this negativity is self-deprecating humor/humility or maybe it’s genuine self-doubt. But the end result is usually a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.

Maybe you really are feeling weak today, maybe that move really does seem impossible this time around, and maybe you never have sent a 5.11 before. But you aren’t going to feel stronger or send 5.11 or anything else if you approach the climb with a bad attitude. Sometimes you’ll surprise yourself for the better, but usually you’ll end up doing the negative thing you said you were going to do.

But don’t worry, people - there’s a better way! And you don’t even need to act like a conceited jerk! But you do need to think about what you’re thinking about and what you’re talking about before and while you climb. Are you psyching yourself out because of a grade or a climbing style that isn’t your strong suit? Are you focusing on being sore or tired or having fallen on the climb before? Find some helpful ways to get these thoughts in check and start practicing the method(s) that work for you.

Here’s some of what often works for me. I like to tap into a memory of a time when I climbed well - how I felt, what I smelled, the cool breeze or the warm sun. I also like to visualize the movement of the climb as much as possible, what it should feel like to have perfect execution, and how I might fix or push through any possible mistakes. I also like to get as excited as possible about the opportunity to climb the route or problem rather than thinking of it as a burden or obstacle. If it’s a climb I’ve tried a number of times before, I tell myself that I’m going to send it eventually - so it might as well be this time. These are just a few of the many ways you can improve your attitude and self-talk … and, along with that, improve your likelihood of success.

So, just like you check your knot before you climb, also check your attitude. You’ll be glad you did.

Illustrator and Climber Extraordinaire

Yolanda Chen

We have been so lucky to have our good friend and artist, Sophie Binder, share her incredible talents with Onsight Rock Gym. From day one, Sophie has been involved with all aspects of graphic design for this project. Her work resonates throughout Onsight both behind the scenes and within the facility. Sophie's latest project has been designing Onsight's Limited Edition Grand Opening T-shirts, which will going to production very soon! 

Sophie Binder is a free-lance designer/illustrator and a native of France. She studied art and design at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Appliqués Duperré in Paris, then worked as a designer in France, Italy, and the United States for the past 30 years. She has been involved with numerous projects throughout the world.

Sophie’s work has also brought her close to conservation and non-for-profit organizations and the outdoor industry. She counts among her clients Petzl International, Rock & Ice, Ouray Ice Festival, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, FMCS, US Fish and Wildlife Services, MO Department of Conservation, Patagonia, Toulouse Blagnac airport in France...among others.  

She has illustrated and co-published four books in France for the publishing company Privat. Sketching and illustration haves always been at the core of Sophie’s life, both professionally and privately. In 2001, she put her belongings in storage and embarked on a 14 month-“field study” and circled the globe on her bicycle with sketchbooks and watercolors stowed in her bike bags. She came back with 600 sketches of people, places, architecture and animals, believing even more in the power of drawing. After her voyage, she settled in St. Louis where she currently freelances in graphic design, illustration, web design and commissioned art.  In 2013, She self-published a book about her journey: The World Two Wheels and a Sketchbook. You'll be able to buy a copy for yourself at the Grand Opening Celebration on April 23, where Sophie will be present for a book signing.

When not working, she splits her time between her passions for rock climbing and art.

Soft Opening Officially Begins

Yolanda Chen

The wait is FINALLY over and we are so excited to get all the pre-opening members in here to boulder with us. As of now, ONLY the bouldering area will be open for climbing. The roped areas are still under construction and hopefully will be done by the end of the month. We will open up more climbing areas as they become available. 

Members, come on in during our scheduled bouldering sessions to start training for the upcoming spring climbing season! We have two members only bouldering sessions scheduled so far: 




Check back regularly on our events calendar as more members only climbing hours become available. It's not too late to purchase a pre-opening membership so you can get in some bonus climbing before your annual membership even begins! We are still shooting for a late March/early April grand opening day. 

Lastly, thanks to all of our amazing volunteers who came out on short notice to help install the heavy duty vinyl cover on the flooring in the bouldering area. We are putting on the finishing touches today and tomorrow and we'll be ready for all you members to come in and crush on Friday! 

Here is a fun time lapse of the flooring cover installation. This goes to show just how awesome Knoxville's climbing community is. We are so ecstatic to be a part of it and watch it grow!