Getting Started

We offer two types of indoor rock climbing here at Stanford, bouldering and roped climbing.  Both types of climbing are available at the AOERC Climbing Wall, while the ACSR Bouldering Center is focused on bouldering.


Bouldering is climbing low to the ground without using a rope or harness. Previous experience is not required to boulder in our gym and our staff would be happy to help you get started. Bouldering is available at both the AOERC Climbing Center and the ACSR Bouldering Center.

Roped Climbing

Roped climbing requires belay certification, so you must first pass a belay test. We offer free belay skills lessons for those interested in learning how to belay. Roped climbing is only available at the AOERC Climbing Center.

Belay Lessons are offered weekly on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 5pm or 7pm (no belay lessons are offered finals week). Signups are available day-of and on a first-come first-served basis for up to six people per lesson. The minimum age to belay at the Stanford Climbing Wall is 14.

Top-rope belay tests are offered any time during standard open hours. No appointment is required. Participants must demonstrate the ability to properly tie in using a figure-8 follow through and belay using the PBUS method.

Lead belay tests are currently offered by appointment only. Please contact Tori Poland ( to schedule an appointment.

Admission is free for Stanford Affiliates who have access to Arrillaga recreation facilities. Please bring your SUID with you. To bring guests from outside of the Stanford Community please click here for more information.  Harnesses and belay devices are provided for those with belay certification, and climbing shoes are available for rent.


AOERC Climbing Center:

The Climbing Center is located 285 Santa Teresa St. and is available for bouldering, top roping, and lead climbing. Harnesses and belay devices are available for use free of charge, and climbing shoes may be rented for $3.00.

ASCR Bouldering Center:

The ACSR bouldering center is located at 341 Galvez St. and features 40+ boulder problems ranging from beginner to advanced. The Bouldering Center is unstaffed and its hours match those of the larger ACSR facility.

Beginner Rock Climbing Courses & Clinics

For a full list of all courses & clinics we offer, click here.

 Day/TimeCourse DescriptionFee
Belay LessonOffered weekly on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 5pm or 7pmThis free 45 minute lesson teaches all the necessary skills to properly use the top-rope safety system. Belay lessons do not teach any climbing skills or technique. Signups are available day-of and on a first-come first-served basis for up to six people per lesson. FREE
Introduction to Indoor Rock Climbing ClinicSection 1: Friday 04/06, 3:00 - 5:00PM

Section 2: Monday 04/09, 6:00 - 8:00PM

Section 3: Monday 04/16, 6:00 - 8:00PM

Section 4: Friday 05/18, 3:00 - 5:00PM
This two hour clinic is designed to give beginners an introduction to indoor rock climbing. No prior rock climbing experience or knowledge is required. Topics covered include belaying skills (properly using the top-rope safety system), bouldering & spotting technique, climbing grade scales, types of handholds, and basic footwork.Student/ Post Docs $20
Faculty/Staff $25
Rock 1: Beginning Rock ClimbingSection 1: Tuesdays 10:30 - 11:20am

Section 2: Tuesdays 1:30 - 2:20pm

Section 3: Thursdays 10:30 - 11:20am

Section 4: Thursdays 11:30 - 12:20pm

Section 5: Fridays 8:30 - 9:20am
This is a quarter-long class that meets once per week. No prior rock climbing experience or knowledge is required. An introduction to climbing covering everything from rope-use, footwork and body positioning to climbing history and culture.Student/ Post Docs $100
Faculty/Staff $120