Know Before You Go
- No prior climbing experience is needed to use the gym
- First time users will receive an orientation and training that covers all of the key things you need to know to climb at the URWC Gym
- Climbers may bring their own climbing equipment, but for those that need it, we provide climbing shoes and harnesses at no additional cost
- Our staff are always happy to answer your questions - just ask!
- If you have advice (beta, in climbing lingo) about how to climb a route you see another climber attempting, ask them if they want the beta first.
- There's no one "right" way to climb - as the climber Alex Lowe said, "the best climber in the world is the one having the most fun."
Climbing Gym Passes
A pass is needed to participate in climbing or bouldering. Purchase A Climbing Pass.
Valid entrance to the University Recreation and Wellness Center (URWC) is required to use the climbing wall. Non-Members should stop at the Member Services Desk to gain access to the climbing wall.
|Semester Pass||$55 ($33 mid-semester)|
|Daily Pass (members)||$12|
|Daily Pass (non-members)||$17|
Belay Technique Refresher
The U of M Climbing Gym is excited to reintroduce rope climbing after operating as a Bouldering facility during COVID. Since it has been a long time since some of us have used our belay skills, we want to start the semester off by offering the opportunity to refresh and practice your technique. Your instructor will review the most important elements of belay technique, discuss what is involved in the belay test, and provide opportunity to practice belaying with direct coaching. Please note that the Belay Refresher is not designed as a substitute for the Belay Technique Clinic. If you do not already know how to belay, you should check out that clinic instead.
Lead Belay Refresher
The U of M Climbing Gym is excited to reintroduce rope climbing after operating as a Bouldering facility during COVID. Since it has been a long time since some of us have used our lead belay and climbing skills, we want to start the semester off by offering the opportunity to refresh and practice your technique. Your instructor will review the most important elements of lead belay technique, discuss what is involved in the lead test, and provide opportunity to practice with direct coaching. Please note that the Lead Belay Refresher is not designed as a substitute for the Lead Belay Clinic. If you do not already know how to lead belay and lead climb, you should check out that clinic instead.
Top Rope Belay Clinic
If you like to climb and want to take the next step towards climbing independence, this clinic is for you. The Top Rope Belay Clinic will cover everything you need to know to climb as safely as possible in a top-rope gym setting including harnesses, equipment, knots, climbing commands, and belay technique. You will work with a knowledgeable instructor who will explain and demonstrate the key skills you need to know and will provide ample time for hands-on practice and individual coaching. All climbing equipment is provided. Please note that in order to obtain a belay qualification at the U of M Climbing Gym, all climbers must pass a practical belay test at a later date. Attending this clinic does not automatically qualify you to belay, but will prepare you to be successful in the practical test.
Lead Belay Clinic
Are you ready to take on the challenge and responsibility of sport lead climbing? This clinic will introduce you to the technical and mental tools necessary to climb on the sharp end of the rope. You will work with a knowledgeable instructor who will explain and demonstrate the key skills you need to know and will provide ample time for hands-on practice and individual coaching. All climbing equipment is provided. Please note that in order to obtain a lead belay qualification at the U of M Climbing Gym, all climbers must pass a practical lead belay test at a later date. Attending this clinic does not automatically qualify you to lead belay, but will prepare you to be successful in the practical test. Previous top rope belay experience is a prerequisite for this clinic. Ability to top-rope routes graded 5.8 or higher is required.
Climbing Coaching Sessions
Working with a coach is one of the most effective ways to increase your climbing ability and confidence. Coaches can work with you on individual goals, watch and assess your technique, understand your fears and mental barriers all while being supportive, pushing you to challenge yourself, and giving specific, individualized feedback in real time while you climb. The only problem is that climbing coaches can be really expensive! The U of M Climbing Gym is excited to introduce free coaching sessions for all semester Climbing Members. We’ll be hosting 10 sessions over the course of the semester and you may attend as many or as few as you want. All you need to do is sign up in advance and come to the small group training session during our regular gym hours. The coach will discuss with you your goals and suggest activities to help your growth as a climber. We embrace a holistic approach to climbing and focus on the triangle of climbing skills: technical skills, physical fitness, and the mental game. Regardless of your ability level and personal goals, these coaching sessions with support your growth and development as a climber.
Bouldering Basics Clinic
The sport of bouldering involves climbing shorter walls while using a padded floor or mat to cushion falls. Bouldering is climbing in its simplest form and allows you to focus on the essence of climbing - the movement and mental challenge. Bouldering Basics is designed for newer climbers or those who have never climbed before to learn the fundamentals from an experienced instructor and have all of their questions answered. At the Climbing Gym, we believe that rock climbing is for everyone and this clinic will demystify the sport and help you build comfort and confidence navigating the weird and awesome world of climbing. We will talk about the basic gear (shoes and chalk), how to interpret climbing grades, falling technique, and introduce the core movement concepts for climbing.
Climbing Technique Clinic
Climbing is primarily a movement sport--having proper technique is essential to progress. This clinic is geared toward beginner and intermediate climbers who want to learn and practice a variety of climbing techniques. The clinic will build a foundation of footwork technique, discuss the role of the upper body, and teach key skills including flagging, backstepping, cross-overs, drop knees, and lie-backing. Participants will leave having gained new skills, assessed areas for improvement, and knowing how to continue to improve their climbing skills.
Climbing Training and Technique - climbing higher and harder
If you want to improve your climbing skills, you need to know the fundamentals of climbing training. Whether you are a newer climber looking to develop your abilities or an experienced climber looking to gain the edge you need to send a project, the underlying principles of climbing training are the same. The knowledge you gain from this clinic will help you plan and implement a training program that works for you whether that involves a spreadsheet and a yearlong training macrocycle or simply setting small goals each time you climb to get the most out of a session. Clinic participants will be provided with a number of worksheets, training documents, and resources they can use in the future. The clinic will start with a goal setting exercise and individual assessment of climbing strengths and weaknesses. From there, we will address the triangle of climbing skills: technical skills, physical fitness, and the mental game. This holistic approach will provide you with activities and drills to improve in each of these areas in alignment with your goals and personal strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, the clinic will cover building out a structured training plan. There is no one size fits all approach to climbing training - this clinic will empower you with the knowledge you need to create your own training plan, whether simple or complex, in a way that fits into your life and your goals.