I showed up a little early but the guy working let me start climbing anyway. He said you can always tell the "gym climbers" because they get tired after a (perfectly reasonable) 35 feet. I wondered what that meant for people who used to be gym climbers four years ago, but haven't climbed anything steeper than a staircase since. Turns out--pretty intense. I was only able to scale the wall in its entirety once (which each ensuing climb hitting lower and lower on the wall). It's hard to tell in the photo, but the biggest challenge of this wall is that about ten feet from the top it juts out significantly, so just when you have no strength left, you have to heave yourself up a substantial overhang.
The wall and the people who run it are part of Outward Bound, and the adult climbs they do on weekday evenings are just a small part of their day. The main purpose of the wall is to teach inner city kids how to climb, while learning about team building and adventuring. It's a great organization, and all of the money from the nightly adult climbs goes toward the cause. For this reason alone, I'd like to go back sometime when my arms are cool with it.
The best part about a 60 foot wall is that the view from the top is amazing. Naturally, you get a great view of the bottomless construction pit next door, but beyond that, the Empire State Building and Manhattan skyline are just across the river. Even better than that, of course, is the view looking back into Queens. Making this another successful Astorian April outing.