Whether you’re trying climbing for the first time or still have a box of pitons tucked away in your attic, you’ve come to the right place. We offer a variety of climbing options, fitness classes, and events for our vibrant community.

If you’re new to our gyms, keep reading to get the most out of your first visit.

Three Ways to Climb at Berkeley Ironworks


1. Bouldering

Bouldering is performed without ropes or harnesses. All you need to boulder at our gym is a pair of climbing shoes — and we have rentals.

Never bouldered before? Watch the video below, and ask the front desk staff for a quick orientation.

Bouldering Awareness Video
Women top roping

2. Top Roping

In this style, the climber is securely attached to a rope passing through an anchor system at the top of the climb, then down to a belayer.

You must be proficient at belaying to top rope. Know how? We’ll give you a quick test and then a day-belay card. If not, we have a class. All you need then is gear, which we can rent you.

Touchstone Tips
Women high on a wall

3. Lead Climbing

When lead climbing, the climber ties into a climbing rope on the ground that isn’t attached to an anchor point. As they climb the route, the climber clips the rope to hanging draws.

Lead climbing requires unique expertise from both the climber and belayer. Looking to learn? Check out our Tracks Program.

Watch Ethan's Lead

Before You Visit

1. Complete Our Waiver

Each participant must sign a liability waiver or have a current copy on file in order to be in the gym. Participants under the age of 18 must have a waiver filled out by their legal guardian.

Online Waiver

2. Book an Intro Class or Prepare for a Belay Test

Intro to Climbing: This class is the quickest way to rope up and get climbing. In this class, you will learn the basic skills needed to start rope climbing, including how to:

  • Secure your harness
  • Tie a figure 8 follow through knot
  • Complete your safety checks
  • Belay using an ATC belay device
  • Catch a fall correctly
  • Lower your climber back to the ground

Includes: Gear rental, instruction, and a Day Pass. Available to those 14 years and older.

Reserve Your Spot

Belay Test: Anyone planning to belay in our gyms must pass our belay test. Top rope belay tests are free to take and are offered on demand throughout the day. Lead belay tests are available on a drop-in basis (if able to accommodate) or through a reservation system.

Climbing Solo? Our gyms are not equipped with permanent grigris or auto belays. But not to worry — if you didn’t come with a partner, just let the front desk know. We’ll be happy to find a new friend for you to climb with in the gym.

3. Watch our Bouldering Safety Video

If you’ve never bouldered before, we suggest watching our Bouldering Safety Video to learn best practices, safety techniques, and etiquette.

4. Arrive Early

Allow plenty of time for parking. Everyone entering the gym will need completed waivers. If you’re renting form us, you’ll also need time to be fitted for your harness and climbing shoes.

There’s More

Weights on RackFitness Room and Classes

World-class climbing may be our claim to fame, but we have incredible fitness classes and a full weight and exercise room, too. As some of our popular classes require prior registration, booking ahead is always a good idea.

View Fitness Classes

Child BoulderingClimbing with Kids

Climbing is an inherently risky sport — and safety is our main priority. If you’re bringing kids, please take the time to review our Climbing with Kids page before visiting the gym. We want you to have the best experience possible on your first visit — setting expectations for all of us helps ensure you will.

Climbing With Kids

Still Have Questions?

Our FAQ page may have the answers you’re looking for.

View FAQ