Climbing Center

Full Wall
Now FREE for Fac./ Staff

As of January 2023, climbing is FREE for GVSU faculty and staff during open climb times. Rates are unchanged for dependents and spouses.

Who Can Climb at GVSU?

While our programs and services are geared towards the GVSU community, general public are welcome at our facility.

Where to Find Us

The Climbing Center is located in the Fieldhouse on the Allendale campus. This building is often also referred to as the Rec Center but our wall is not located in the same areas as the workout equipment. 

Parking - GVSU Student commuters will find the nearest parking in Lot C. Faculty/ Staff in Lots C & E. General public visitors who do not have a parking pass will find a pay-to-park lot adjacent to the Laker Market Place (bookstore). Please visit the parking website for additional details and hours of enforcement.

Before You Visit

  • If you or anyone in your party are under the age of 18, be sure that a profile has been created for them and that their digital waiver has been signed by their parent/ legal guardian. Signatures by older siblings, relatives, or chaperones will not be accepted.
  • Wear clothes that allow a free range of motion. Athletic type socks for use with the rental shoes are strongly recommended.
  • All necessary climbing specific equipment is available at the Climbing Center. Personal climbing gear may be used so long as it is designed specifically for rock climbing, is in good repair & has been approved by the staff prior to use in the facility.

Climbing is FREE for GVSU Students! A nominal fee applies to all others. Visit our Rates page for details.


All climbers must check-in before getting on the wall.  Expect your first visit to take 5-10 minutes for checking-in.

Check-in includes:

  1. Creating a climber profile.
  2. Signing the waiver (now completed digitally)
  3. A brief overview of our wall, climbing etiquette and general expectations
  4. Rental gear distribution, fit, & adjustment

*Participants under 18 years of age are required to have their waiver signed by their Parent or Legal Guardian. Older siblings, relatives, or baby sitters do not qualify as legal guardians. Participants 18+ sign the waiver digitally when creating a profile in step 1.

Climbing Center

Your First Climbs

During our Open Climb times, our staff are at your service.  We are happy to recommend a few good climbs, tie your knots, handle your ropes (belay) & and answer any questions you might have. 

New to climbing?
You will have the opportunity to participate in 2 styles of climbing:

  • Bouldering - Climbing low to the ground (< 13 ft) without the use of all the technical gear (ropes, harnesses, belay devices, etc...).
  • Top Roping - Ascending the wall with the protection of a rope that is anchored at the top.

Experienced climber? 
We also offer a variety of Lead climbs (safety check required).  Rope and quickdraws are provided.  

Belaying your friends
All participants who have been trained to belay but have not belayed in our facility before must pass a brief safety check with one of our staff before belaying. Belay lessons are available upon request.

Technical Lessons

For the safety of all of the participants, only Climbing Center staff may instruct technical lessons.  This includes, but is not limited to, any and all portion of belaying, and lead climbing.

A variety of technical lessons and workshops are offered each semester.  The frequency that each is offered varies based on the content and perceived desire of the students.  Check our events calendar regularly for upcoming workshops and instruction.

Page last modified January 18, 2023