Climbing Center Private Events


Whether you're looking to provide a co-curricular experience for your academic class, a team building opportunity for your athletes, or a fun community building event for your living center, we are happy to help! We understand that most participants may have limited availability outside of your group's regularly scheduled meeting times and will do what we can to accommodate your group. However, reservations will only be accepted for times when the Climbing Center does NOT have Open Climb or previously scheduled programs/ events. 

New Payment Structure for On-Campus Groups!

As in the past, on-campus groups pay a per Climbing Center staff, per hour fee. In an effort to make private events accessible to more groups, the first staff member is FREE! This option can work for groups of all sizes. For small groups (<10), one staff may be all that is needed for adequate climb-time. For larger groups, we encourage sending a number of participants to our open hours, before the group event, for a (free) 30-45 minute training on tying the knots and handling the ropes (known as a "belay lesson"). This allows the minimal staffing to focus on group supervision/ safety while the participants take a larger role in facilitating the climbing experience. This opportunity turns any event into a great natural team builder and means your private event could be free of charge! Email Joe Bitely at [email protected] to discuss training recommendations and getting a cost quoted for your event.

On-campus groups are groups formally affiliated with GVSU. Examples include: academic classes, registered student organizations, housing & residence life, departments, athletic teams, etc. Generally, groups paying with an on-campus account/ university funds. Group events organized by someone with GVSU affiliation do not qualify as on-campus groups and will be charged the general public rate for group events.  e.g. A faculty member wanting to bring their youth group or scout troop to the Climbing Center. 

Group Options

The Climbing Center now has a few different experiences for you to choose from to make your private event exactly what you want it to be.

Just Climb
The "Just Climb" events are exactly what they sound like. Private climb-time for your group at the Climbing Center. This option is great for groups who want the emphasis to be on experiencing the activity of indoor rock climbing.

Team Building
This option was created with our RA's and Student Organizations in mind but it's great for any group that feels they would benefit from working on their transferrable skills such as communication, cooperation and problem solving. It's also great for the RA or department that's interested in encouraging greater social interaction within their group and increasing the sense of community. During the reservation process, you'll have a chance to dial-in on what you would like to get out of the event. We'll provide a tailored experience specific to your group and provide a variety of fun climbing and non-climbing based activities.

The Team Building programs are designed as 2-hour programs but can be adjusted to fit your group's needs upon request. It is intended for participants to all arrive at the start time and enjoy the experience together through the duration of the event (as opposed to showing up at random times within a window and only staying for a portion of the time).

Technical Skills/ Merit Badge
Most of our staff are certified Climbing Wall Instructors. This means they not only have a firm grasp of fundamental climbing skills but also a level of proficiency with instructing and evaluating those skills. We are happy to tailor your group experience to include technical skill instruction within our level of expertise. This includes things like: knots for climbing, belaying, anchor building, sport leading, and rappelling. Perfect for scout troops or anyone looking to take their climbing knowledge to a higher level. Additional fees &/or time may be required, depending on the desired skills.

Important Details
No experience is necessary. The Climbing Center will provide rental equipment and 2 to 4 staff depending on the group size. Groups of over 30 participants should consider more than a 2 hour block due to our climbing area capacity.

General Availability for Reservations
Reservations must be made at least 2 weeks in advance using the form linked above. Private events are only available during times that don't conflict with our open climb hours or previously scheduled programming and group events but generally, the days and times below are what fits our schedule best. 

  • Weekdays between 10pm - midnight
  • Wednesday afternoons
  • Saturdays
  • Sunday morning through early evening

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Climbing Center available for private events?
Any time we are not regularly open or have previously scheduled events. Generally, most availability is found on weekday mornings, Saturday mornings/ evenings, and Sundays. Feel free to contact us to check availability of specific dates/ times.

What is included?
Our standard reservation includes rental equipment, experienced staff to handle the ropes, and a block of time at the wall.

  • General Public reservations include up to a 2 hour block of time.
  • GVSU groups (student org's, academic classes, etc.) have flexibility to choose a duration that fits best with their typical meeting/ practice. 

How much does it cost?
Rates will vary based on the group's affiliation with the University.  

  • General Public (off-campus) rates start at $9 per participant (+ tax, if applicable) with a minimum charge for 10 participants which is typically collected in the form of a deposit prior to the event.
  • GVSU groups pay a per Climbing Center staff, per hour rate. Starting Fall 2022, the first staff is FREE. This is a great option if your group is expected to be small and also If your group has enough participants willing to receive belay training (tying knots & handling the ropes) during our open climb hours, prior to the event, and are willing to help facilitate group climbing. We're happy to discuss options for keeping the event within your budget!

Is food allowed in the Climbing Center?
Yes, but with limitations. Snack type items are fine as are the basic pizza, pop, cake & ice cream. Larger catered-style food requires either 1) using our on-campus catering or 2) a signed food waiver approved by our catering department.

There are a number of vending options in the building for snacks/ drinks. Food may only be consumed while in the seating area. Please let us know if you would like to request on or off-campus catering for your event.

Are there chairs and tables available?
The Climbing Center's natural setup includes seating for 14 people plus two 5' x 5' square tables. Additional folding tables and chairs can be made available with advance notice during the reservation process at no additional cost.

How do I reserve the wall?
Please use the link provided at the top of the page to make a reservation at least 2 weeks in advance. Once received, we will check availability and follow up with you as soon as possible.

How does parking work?
Parking permits are required Mon. - Thu. 3am - 6:30pm and Fridays 3am - 5pm. If your group's event falls within one of these times, parking permits can be requested at no cost. All we need to know is approximately how many vehicles will be coming to campus. These permits typically allow parking in any of the student spaces adjacent to our building (Lots C & F). Once approved, the group's coordinator will be emailed a pdf permit that can be copied and must be placed on the dash of each car. Parking permits may not be requested for GVSU faculty, staff or student use.

Page last modified January 11, 2023