How to Get Started

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Not sure where to begin? Just looking for some answers? Read our How to Get Started FAQ.

I’ve never climbed before. What do I do?

We love beginners! Drop by the gym anytime wearing comfortable clothing and non-marking, clean athletic shoes. Climbers 7 & up can boulder (low climbing without ropes) without prior experience. Most climbers 4 & up will be able to climb some of our higher walls using the auto-belay machine as long (minimum 40 lbs required). To start top-roping with a partner (that’s what you’ll see most people doing in our gym), you’ll need to learn how to belay (don’t be nervous, you’ll do fine). Sign up for one of our Beginner Lessons.


What does a beginner lesson include?

Our Beginner Lessons include all the equipment you’ll need. The instructor will teach you everything you need to know to be able to climb in our facilities. Please visit our Programs page to learn more about beginner lessons. Whether you’ve never climbed before or want to improve upon the basics, the CCC has programs for all skill levels.


Do I need a partner?

You don’t need a climbing partner to get started. Bouldering (low climbing without ropes) requires no special equipment, and you may use our auto-belays to climb to the top of some of the regular walls by yourself. However, to try all the climbing areas in our facilities, you will need a partner. If you need to learn to belay, please book a beginner lesson in advance. If you are taking one of our classes, no partner is necessary. The other class participants will be your partners.

Check out our Find a Partner page for more info as well.


What is Belaying and the Belay Check?

Anyone who climbs with a rope needs either a partner or an auto-belay to control the rope and keep the climber from falling. Belaying is what we call managing the rope for your climbing partner. You give and take rope as needed. If you don’t know how to belay, we suggest signing up for our 2-hour Beginner Lesson. The Beginner Lesson is not mandatory, but it does provide an excellent foundation on which to build your climbing practice. Please call ahead or book online.


What is the difference between bouldering, top-roping and lead climbing?

Bouldering is low climbing without ropes. It can be done alone and does not require any certification or instruction. You don’t need a rope because you don’t go very high. We’ve even put some cushy padding in those areas for when you jump down after sending. Top-roping is the most common form of climbing you’ll see at the gym in which a climber goes up a wall while his or her partner manages the rope (belays). Lead climbing is a more advanced form of climbing in which the climber brings the rope along as he or she climbs, clipping into carabiners attached to the wall as they go up. Lead climbing requires advanced training and allows access to the steepest parts of the gym where top-ropes cannot be attached.


What do I need to do if I already know how to belay, and how much does the check cost?

If you already know how to belay, you just need to show us by doing a belay check when you come in. It’s $5, (or free if you get a membership) and if you pass ( don’t be nervous), it will be valid at all CCC locations.  You don’t need to reserve ahead of time, just let the staff know upon arrival that you require a belay check and they’ll get to you as soon as possible. And Yes, you need a partner for your check…. someone has to climb.


Do I have to sign a waiver?

All adults (18 years and older) must fill out a waiver before entering the climbing area. Anyone under 18 must have a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian. Our online waiver can be filled out here. We recommend doing it ahead of time so you don’t have to wait at the desk…It’s faster online anyways. All adults will need valid, government issued photo ID for us to validate their waiver.  If you have a completed waiver on file, you are good at all CCC locations.


How much does it cost?

Check out our Rates page for information about day passes, memberships and rentals.


How old do you have to be to climb?

There is no minimum age to climb, but we recommend ages 4 & up for top rope climbing and our ClimbPark, and ages 7 & up for bouldering. To see a full list of programs we offer for 14 and under, click here. Climbing keeps you young, so keep climbing!


Do you host birthday parties, and is there a dedicated party room?

All locations host birthday parties. CCC Chinook and Stronghold host parties on our traditional climbing walls and our CCC Hanger or our new CCC Rocky Mountain locations use the innovative ClimbPark area for all group bookings. All locations have a dedicated party room that is reserved for you with each party. Note that all participants must sign a waiver. Visit our Groups page for more information.


Can I bring a group of kids?

Yes, you may drop in anytime with a number of kids. Kids 7 & up can boulder (low climbing without ropes) without prior experience and most kids 4 & up will be able to climb some of our higher walls using the auto-belay machine as long (minimum 40 lbs required). Depending on your level of experience, you may want to make a group booking in advance so that we can assist you with the belaying, or even provide a lesson. Visit our Groups page for suitable options. Please note that each youth participant will need a waiver signed by his or her parent or guardian prior to climbing. The adult who has brought in the group can only sign for his or her children, not any other people’s children.  Just send them to our website, filling out a waiver online is easy.


Do I need to book anything before coming in?

If you would like us to teach you how to belay, you must book in advance. If you simply want to boulder or use the auto-belays, you do not need to book in advance. Check out our Drop-in programs here.


Are you open on holidays?

We only close on Dec 24th and Dec 25th. We are open regular hours on all other days and holidays.