Climbing is the heart and soul of Touchstone, and since we make a point to do what we love… We LOVE teaching people how to safely and efficiently climb. If you’re new to roped climbing and want to get started, you’ve got a few options. Read on to find out which option is best for you!
#1. Come climbing with a friend!
Climbing is historically linked with a culture of mentorship. Way back when there were no climbing gyms, (gasp!) if you wanted to rock climb you typically went climbing with a mentor who would take you under their wing and show you the ropes. (yuk yuk yuk!) These days, teaching someone to climb is almost a right of passage. Someone taught your friend to tie a figure 8 knot, and now it is their duty as a conscientious climber to teach you.
Pros: Cheap. We give our members 2 FREE guest passes each month. One ‘anytime’ guest to use whenever they want and 1 pass on ‘Member/Guest Night’. Shmooze your friend who has a membership to get them to use their guest pass and teach you to belay. You’ll still need to pay for rental gear ($5), and probably owe your friend dinner.
Your friend can teach you how to belay, and then you will have to pass our belay safety check. Or, your friend can belay you.
Cons: Real Talk. Who knows if your friend is really such a great belayer!? Sure they might have climbed the rock wall at REI once, or belayed outside… But to know, is not to know how to teach. Too often a fun trip to the gym turns into hours of frustration. (See #2 for the solution)
How To: If this will be your first time at a Touchstone Climbing Gym, save time by filling out a waiver. Wear comfortable clothing.
#2. Take our Intro to Climbing Class
This is our most popular class, offered daily at every Touchstone Gym that has rope climbing. Be sure to check the calendar at your local gym to find out the daily schedule. In this 1 hour class you’ll learn how to be a self-sufficient climber and belayer in the gym. This means everything from securing the harness, to tying the figure 8 knot, to belaying your climber and lowering them down to the ground.
Pros: This is the perfect class for two people who want to climb the walls – NOW! The class lasts about an hour and is only a few bucks more than you would pay for a day pass. Once the class is done, you are free to practice your new found skills in the gym for the rest of the day. Also – it’s FREE to members. Cha-ching.
Cons: Since there is a lot to teach in 1 hour, you typically won’t have much time to learn about climbing technique. You’ll be able to climb your heart out – but might be missing out on helpful tips and tricks that can make climbing way easier.
How to: Into to climbing or bouldering classes are offered daily at each Touchstone Climbing Gym. Check the climbing class schedule to reserve your spot.
#3 Take our Beyond Belay Class
This is a new class for Touchstone. Since the ICC class only offers safety and basic belaying skills, we wanted to give new climbers a little more CLIMBING instruction right off the bat. This way you build good habits from the very beginning.
This class is designed to get new climbers up to speed on climbing techniques that will help them develop and improve, along with tips on proper gym and outdoor etiquette. This four-session class introduces footwork, body positioning, mental strategies for efficient climbing, and more. You’ll gain an excitement for climbing as a physical challenge and a positive social activity under the guidance of one of our awesome instructors. This is a GREAT way to jump start your new climbing career/ hobby!
Pros: Learn new skills and make new climbing friends over the course of 4 sessions.
Cons: Too much fun?
How to: Check for the next Beyond Belay class at your local Touchstone Climbing Gym!