The climbing wall is located in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. The wall boasts over 50 feet of amazing climbable features, including bulges, arêtes, roofs, cracks, and a separate bouldering wall. This state-of-the-art climbing wall boasts 10 top rope stations while every square inch is also open to lead climbing! Built by Entre-prises and designed to look and climb like real rock, this new wall will inspire seasoned climbers and beginners alike.

Climbing options

Try climbs are designed for people wishing to “try” climbing. The climbing wall staff will manage the safety systems while you experience the climbing wall first hand. Try Climbs are a great way to get a feel for the sport without committing to a lesson and learning all of the technical safety skills. Try Climbs are held during regular climbing wall hours.

Cost: $5 (does not include CRWC walk-in fee).

Bouldering is rock climbing without the ropes and gear. Participants stay lower to the ground, often traversing the wall searching for the hardest movements. The focus is on body movement and honing their climbing skills without the restriction of technical climbing equipment. Bouldering is quite social as climbers take turns working together to unlock the sequence of movement required to complete a bouldering route. Please enjoy the separate bouldering wall as well as the “splash landing” wall overhanging the Rec Pool! A short orientation is required to use the bouldering wall.

Cost: FREE

Top rope climbing is a style in climbing where the climbing is securely attached to a rope at the top of the wall. The climber then climbs up and down the wall while being supported by a belayer. 

A climbing lesson is required in order to participate in this type of climbing.

  • Sign up in advance on our registration page.
  • A climbing lesson will teach you the basics to become oriented with the wall and the safety procedures for climbing safely. Topics include climbing knots, harnesses, belay skills, and climbing commands.
  • Following the completion of the lesson, you will be asked to come back at a later date to complete the safety check, which is included in the lesson fee. 
  • Top Rope Climbing Lessons max out at four participants per class.


  • Fall/Spring Semesters:
    • Mondays and Wednesdays | 6:30 p.m. & 8:30 p.m. 
  • Summer Semester:
    • Wednesdays | 6:00 p.m.

Cost: $20

After you've gained experience in top-rope climbing, the next step would be learning how to lead climb. To become lead climbing certified, you need to participate in one of our Lead Climbing Courses

Days/Times: Thursday and Friday | 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.


  • January 19 and 20, 2023
  • March 2 and 3, 2023
  • August 24 and 25, 2023
  • November 2 and 3, 2023


  • Participants should be top-rope certified .
  • Participants should understand that instruction will include practicing taking falls to align with our lead climbing test-out requirements. 
  • Participants should be able to comfortably climb a handful of routes at our facility on top-rope in a stable and controlled manner without weighting their harness.  
  • Participants should understand that lead climbing has additional physical and mental challenges that make the climbing feel more difficult in comparison to top-rope climbing.  
  • Participants must understand that to taking the lead climbing test, it is not guaranteed you can take it without arriving with a current lead climbing certified partner. 
  • Participants should understand that taking this course does not certify, or guarantee they will be prepared to certify for lead-climbing at our facility or other facilities.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please email 

Cost: $60 for members | $80 for non-members


Improve your technique, strengthen your core, and advance your skills to the next level by taking a personal training session. Personal training is designed with your specific goals in mind and maybe the link to taking your climbing to the next level. 

1 Climber $40.00
2 Climbers $60.00
3 Climbers $75.00
4 Climbers $85.00

*If a climber is not a member, they must also purchase a day pass.

Due to high demand, we are no longer accepting private lesson requests at this time.

Safety checks are required to obtain your approval card, which you need to climb at the wall. Safety checks can occur anytime the wall is open, and staff is available to check you. You will be required to demonstrate that you have retained the skills from the lesson. Upon passing the safety check, you will receive your approval card. Cards are valid for the current academic year. Safety check recertification is designed for people who have previously passed a safety check at our wall and are looking to update their approval cards. You must present your expired approval card to participate in the recertification process.

Recertification Cost: $10


Programs and events

Conditioning for Climbing

Elevate your performance and technical toolbox in this climbing-oriented strength and conditioning course. Build endurance, power, skill and focus on the road ahead through a multitude of modalities including yoga, for mobility and heightened mind-boy connection, resistance training for a well-balanced muscular body, boulder circuits on the up-and-coming spray wall, and biomechanics. Unlock your true potential with peers and coaches in this five-week journey to greatness.

All sessions will take place at the CRWC Bouldering Wall. 

Registration information


  • Session 1: Tuesdays/Thursdays, Feb. 7 - March 9
  • Session 2Tuesdays/Thursdays, April 4 - May 4

Times: 6 p.m. - 7p.m

Fee: $90.00/session


Head Over Heel Hook

Show your Valentine's Day spirit at our 12th annual top-rope climbing competition! Compete in one of three divisions in this fun event designed to bring all levels of climbers together to showcase their skills and enjoy the sport of climbing. Special prizes will be awarded to those with the wildest Valentine's Day costumes as voted on by your peers!

For the first time ever, divisions will be split into Level One, Level Two, and Level Three, regardless of gender identity. Sign up for whichever division you would like to compete in! Participants will score off their top three routes. The top three participants from each category will compete on a designated finals route!

To know which division is best for you, see the suggested difficulty ratings next to each division. Sign up for whatever division has the highest grade you have flashed or onsighted.

  • Level One: 5.6 to 5.9
  • Level Two: 5.9 to 5.11
  • Level Three: 5.11 and above

Registration information

Who: Ages 12+
When: February 11th, 10:00 - 5:00 p.m. (Check-in begins at 9:00 a.m.)
Where: CRWC Climbing Wall

  • Early Registration (Through February 1st): $30
  • Late Registration (February 2nd – February 10th): $35
  • Day-Of Registration (February 11th): $40


Women Trans* Femme

Join us for our Women/Trans*/Femme community climbing event! Climbers of all experience levels are invited to enjoy the sport of climbing in a supportive, welcoming environment. Please register for the Climbing Clinic taking place at the beginning of the event to learn about safety and the basic techniques of climbing on both the top-roping wall and the bouldering wall. If you are already an experienced Women/Trans*/Femme climber, join us after the clinic for free Try-Climbs between 11:30-2PM for any WTF person who wants to climb!
Why the asterisk on 'trans'? We use this to include all folks that identify as transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, two-spirit, gender non-conforming and other trans-experiences.

Registration information

When: Saturday, February 25th
Climbing Clinic:

  • Time: 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Fee: $20 (includes all necessary gear)

Climbing & Social Hours:

  • Time: 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Fee: FREE


Sets on the Beach

Sets On the Beach is one of the most unique climbing events to have ever existed! Every climber will be put on a team of four. Every team will attempt to set a boulder problem that their team can do, and other teams cannot! Climbers of differing ability levels will be put into teams of 4. Through a series of lottery picks, teams will get to decide what climbing holds they get, and where on the wall they can set a problem. Points will be scored on a variety of different accomplishments and winners will be announced at the end. Join us at the CRWC Bouldering wall for a fun filled time with friends, food, and music! Don't forget to dress in your best beach wear!

When registering, please categorize yourself as one of the following levels of ability level based on your ability to do a bouldering problem in a single climbing session.

  • Beginner: V0-V1
  • Intermediate: V2-V3
  • Advanced: V4-V5
  • Elite: V6 or higher

Write down the name(s) of anyone you would like on your team. Please note that in order to keep teams as fair as possible, these preferences are not guaranteed.

Registration information

Who: Ages 14+
When: March 25th, 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Where: CRWC Bouldering Wall

  • Early Registration (March 1st- 22nd): $25
  • Late Registration (March 23rd-24th): $30
  • Day-Of Registration (March 25th): $35


Youth Climbing Team

The Youth Climbing Program was established to help young climbers learn and improve their climbing skills. The lessons and practices are designed to build confidence by focusing on problem-solving, communication, trust, and teamwork. Staff will guide young climbers in safety, technique, and fun while at the rock wall. Our goal is to foster a safe and positive climbing environment for all climbers.

This Spring we will be offering two separate levels of our Youth Climbing Program.

Level 1: This session is designed for youth who are new or beginners in climbing.

Level 2: This session is designed for youth climbers who have already gone through the Youth program and are ready to challenge themselves further. If your child has not gone through Level 1, but you believe they are ready for Level 2 from previous climbing experience, you may register them for Level 2. If you are unsure of which program might be best for your child, please contact and for further inquiries.

Age range 7-14 years old.

Must weigh over 50 pounds.

Registration will open at 9am on December 14th. 

More information about how to register your child can be found here

Spring 2023 schedule:

Days: Sunday


  • Level 1: 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
  • Level 2: 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 


  • Sunday January 29
  • Sunday February 5
  • Sunday February 12
  • Sunday February 19
  • Sunday February 26
  • Sunday March 5
  • Sunday March 26
  • Sunday April 2
  • Sunday April 9
  • Sunday April 16

Fee: $250


Group climbing wall events

The climbing wall is available to rent for unique social events, including birthday parties, scout troop outings, workplace socials, residence hall and Greek community events.


Climbing Wall Rates
Number of Climbers  Rate
1 – 10 climbers $150/Hour
11 – 15 climbers $200/Hour
16 – 20 climbers $250/Hour

*Groups larger then 20 should consider dividing the group up over two hours of climbing. 


  • 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.


  • 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Climbing wall policies:

  • Cancellations made prior to the end of the registration period will be honored.
  • After the registration period ends no refunds will be given.
  • There are no makeup lessons if a participant must miss a class due to their own scheduling conflicts.
  • If a cancellation is needed due to extenuating circumstances, the participant will need to speak with the Adventure Recreation Coordinator immediately in order for a refund to be considered.

Personal climbing equipment is allowed at the climbing wall. All personal climbing equipment must be recorded during the orientation process and again at each daily sign-in. All climbers must complete the rules of conduct form and be responsible for the proper use and care of their equipment. No auto-locking belay devices are allowed at the CRWC climbing wall.

How to register online:

  • If you are a community member, you can set up an account here. You can also set up an account by calling 335-9293 or by visiting the CRWC member services desk to create an account. Once that's done, you'll be good to go! 
  • If you already have a Hawk ID or have a community account, click here to go to our online registration portal. 
  • Head over to our Online Registration FAQ page to learn more about the process.


  • Payment must be made at the time of registration online or at the membership desk. 
  • Forms of payment accepted: Check (made out to The University of Iowa), Credit Card, U-bill (U-bill is in-person only).
  • If you have questions concerning the program or level placement, please contact the Adventure Recreation Coordinator at 319-335-9290.

Contact us

Dave Patton headshot

David Patton

Associate Director of Adventure Recreation

Raud Kashef

Adventure Recreation Coordinator