Climbing Center

Getting Started

The first step is to decide when and how you would like to experience climbing. Regardless of how you get your start, experienced staff are always on-hand to help you and we have all the equipment you'll need. We have 3 options for starting out.  

  1. Our most popular option is Open Climb where you can reserve a time slot to show up, climb, and just have fun. Details below.
  2. Our Intro to Indoor Climbing workshop is a great option for anyone who wants some formal skill instruction in a small group setting.
  3. For student organizations, residence halls, and departments, we also offer private group events.

Open Climb Details

Open Climbing hours are currently only available to GVSU students, faculty and staff through the Winter 2021 Semester.

Open Climbing hours are 90 minute blocks of time and are available by RESERVATION ONLY.  Reservations must be made via IM Leagues and can be made 2 weeks in advance up to 30 minutes into the start of a session. GVSU students, faculty & staff may reserve up to 1 block per day. Each session has a 14 participant capacity. Once the limit is reached, participants will be added to the wait-list which will automatically update if participants drop a session at least 15 minutes before its start.

If you have not used the IM Leagues before or are Having Issues Registering, you will want to know about a few quirks with the registration process that have been brought to our attention. Check them out at the bottom of this page.

For additional information on our return to climbing this Winter, please see our Winter 2021 Plans.


All climbers must check-in before getting on the wall.

Check-in includes:

  1. Checking that you have a reservation and current waiver on-file
  2. A brief orientation to the facility & overview of the expectations (first visit only)
  3. Rental gear distribution & adjustment (with instruction as-needed)

*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.

Your First Climbs

During our Open Climb times, our staff are at your service.  We are happy to recommend a few good climbs, 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 (10' - 12') 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 redirected through an anchor at the top of the wall and controlled by a qualified individual at the bottom (the belayer).

Experienced climber? 
We also offer a variety of Sport 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. 

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 knots & belaying.

A variety of technical lessons and workshops are offered each semester. The frequency that each is offered varies based on the content and desire of the students. Check out our Technical Skills page for typical offerings

Where to Find Us

The Climbing Center is located in Fieldhouse B170.  Entering the building at the Recreation Center's Welcome Desk B.  Turn right to enter the Fieldhouse (left takes you into the Recreation Center).  Stay right when the hallway splits. The Climbing Center will be the first set of doors on the left.

Full Wall

IM Leagues Quirks

  • Faculty & Staff who have not used IM Leagues before will need to email Joe Bitely at prior to setting up an IM Leagues account and reserving climb time. Authorized usernames must be pre-added by an administrator before an account can be created by the user. Currently, only student usernames are uploaded at the beginning of each year.
  • When registering for a session. you will be prompted with one of 2 buttons.
    • If the session has not yet reached capacity, the button will say "Sign Up"
    • If the session has reached capacity, the button will say "Join Waitlist"
  • When signing-up for a time, it will prompt you for your GV Username. IM Leagues is set to only accept letters. If your username contains numbers, you will need to omit them.
  • Agreeing to the Waiver:
    • You will notice a blank checkbox and will not able to manually check the box to agree. You must read (scroll) to the bottom of the waiver text and click the "Accept" button. Upon doing this, the box will become checked and you may continue with the registration process.
    • If you are under 18 years of age, you must present a completed paper waiver to the climbing center staff at check-in. Legally, you're not allowed to agree to the waiver and must present the paper form signed by your parent or legal guardian allowing for your participation. 


Go to IM Leagues

back to the top