Climbing Wall

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.

Staff member teaches climber how to tie a specific knot

Beginner Climbers

Are you just starting your climbing career? We offer plenty of experiences geared towards climbers who are just learning the ropes. See below for more information!

Climber on the top rope wall.

Experienced Climbers

Are you a climber with previous experience? We offer plenty of opportunties to take your climbing skills and knowledge to the next level. See below for more information!

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: $6 (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! 

The bouldering wall is open anytime the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center is open.  Please help us and scan your ID card prior to entering the space so we can track how popular bouldering is on campus!

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: $25

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: TBD


  • TBD


  • 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




Halloween themed climbing event that happens in October!

Show your Valentine's Day spirit at our 13th 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! 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! 

  • Who: Ages 10+ 
  • When: TBD
  • Where: CRWC Climbing Wall 
  • Cost:  
    • TBD
  • Registration Information: 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 on sighted. The point is to challenge yourself! 
    • Level One: 5.6 to 5.9 
    • Level Two: 5.9 to 5.11 
    • Level Three: 5.11 and above 

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 a.m. -2 p.m. for any W/T*/F person who wants to climb! 

 Can’t make the clinic but want to climb anyways? Join us at the wall anytime during open hours! Have a staff member belay you for a $5 Try Climb (rental gear included), or Boulder for free! 

  • When: TBD
  • Climbing Clinic: 
    • Time: TBD
    • Cost: $20 (includes all necessary gear) 
  • Climbing & Social Hours: 
    • Time: TBD
    • Cost: FREE 
  • Where: CRWC Climbing Wall 

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 various 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! 

  • Who: Ages 14+ 
  • When: TBD 
  • Where: CRWC Bouldering Wall 
  • Cost:  
    • TBD
  • Registration Info:  
    • 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. 
      • Level 1: V0-V1 
      • Level 2: V2-V3 
      • Level 3: V4-V5 
      • Level 4: V6 or higher 
    • Write down the name(s) of anyone you would like on your team. Please note that to keep teams as fair as possible, these preferences are not guaranteed. 

Programs and Teams

Rock Hawks Climbing Team

The Rock Hawks consist of a group of individuals who are looking to progress their climbing along with other motivated youth and a dedicated coaching staff. Participants are chosen based off their maturity level, commitment and motivation levels, mindset, and climbing ability level. Ages 10-18 years old.

If you want to learn more about Rock Hawks or have an interested child, please contact Raud Kashef at 


Youth Climbing Team

The Youth Climbing Program exists for youth climbers to learn and improve their climbing skills. Join us for ten weeks of exciting lessons taking place on both our bouldering and top rope climbing wall. Climbers will learn knot tying, belaying, movement technique, rappelling and much more. This program is a great way for youth to broaden their horizons and connect with new friends.

Level 1: An introductory climbing program that aims to expose youth to climbing techniques, gear, and safety. Coaches guide fun and engaging lessons designed to build confidence through problem-solving, communication, trust, and teamwork. Our goal is to foster a safe and positive climbing environment for all climbers. Youth aged 7-12 and over 50 lbs. are welcome to participate in this 10-week program. 

Level 2: This program is designed for dedicated climbers as a progression of the skills learned in level one. In this program, we focus on gaining a deeper understanding of climbing techniques. We encourage thoughtful application of techniques through activities like route setting and projecting. This program is tailored to climbers who have retained the information from the level one program or who have gained significant climbing experience through other programs. Youth aged 10-14 are encouraged to participate in the 10-week program.


  • Level 1: $250
  • Level 2: $275


  • Level 1: 10:30 a.m. - Noon
  • Level 2: 12:30 - 2 p.m.


  • TBD


  • TBD

Private Lessons

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 and Recertifications

UI Rec Services Climbing Wall certifications are required to climb independent from staff. Certification tests can occur anytime the wall is open, as long staff is available. Upon passing the certification, you will receive your approval card. Certifications are valid for one year. 

Recertification is designed for people who have previously passed a certification test at our wall and are looking to renew their certification.

The first-time certification test is free to those who participate in UI Rec Services Climbing Wall top rope lessons. Top rope lesson participants must wait one day after the conclusion of their lesson before they are eligible to take the  first-time certification test.

First-time Certification Test: $25

Recertification Test: $10

Climbing wall retail

Want to use the wall but don't have the gear? No worries, we've got you covered.  Stop by the member service desk to pay for the gear you need.  

Gear Cost
Climbing shoes day rental FREE
Climbing harness day rental $5.00
ATC belay device & carabiner day rental $5.00
Friction Labs Loose chalk purchase $25.00
Friction Labs Liquid chalk purchase $19.00


Group climbing rentals

The climbing wall is available to rent for unique social events, including birthday parties, social gatherings, or team development. For questions, please contact Raud Kashef


Climbing Wall Rates
Number of Climbers  Rate
1 – 10 climbers $200/Hour*
11 – 15 climbers $250/Hour*
16 – 20 climbers $300/Hour*

*Groups larger then 20 should consider dividing the group up over two hours of climbing. 
*Team development event pricing will vary based on the needs of the group.


  • 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: Cash, Check (made out to The University of Iowa), Credit Card, U-bill (Cash, Check, and U-bill are 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