FAQs

Q: Can I bringing guests into the climbing wall?
A: Yes! All guests must have a guest pass. Guest passes are available for purchase from the recreation center front desk. Details regarding family access can be found here.

Q: Can I rent shoes? Harness? Belay device?
A: Yes! Shoes can be rented through the Outdoor Center (hours here) located across the hall from the AOERC Climbing Wall. Harnesses and belay devices can be borrowed at no charge by those who are belay certified at the climbing wall.

Q: Do I need to wear climbing shoes?
A: No. Close-toed shoes are all we require, so tennis shoes work just fine. However, we do recommend climbing shoes as they provide a much better climbing experience. Climbing shoes may be rented through the Outdoor Center (hours here).

Q: Are children welcome at the wall?
A: Yes, youth 17 and under are welcome to come climb during “Family Hours” on Sundays. Please note that all minors 17 years and under are required to be accompanied and supervised by an adult at all time.

Q: What are “Family Hours”?
A: Great question! Family hours are a busy time for Stanford Climbing Wall staff. To help us along, please note that that our staff do not offer belay services. Due to the busier atmosphere, staff may also not be able to give belay tests so please try to come take your belay test ahead of time. Family hours are listed here.

Q: Do we have child-size harnesses?
A: Yes, full body style harnesses are available at the front desk for smaller children who may need them. Ask our climbing wall staff for recommendations on harness style for your child.

Q: I’ve never used a rope before. How do I learn how to do this “belay” thing?
A: The Stanford Climbing Wall offers FREE belay lessons each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 5:00pm and again at 7:00pm. Lessons last about 45 minutes to an hour. You can sign-up at the Climbing Wall front desk. Sign-ups are first come, first served, and lessons are are limited to six participants each.

Q: Do you offer lead certification?
A: Yes. If you already know how to lead, check-in with our Climbing Wall staff. A select few of our staff are certified to assess your lead safety skills and able to grant certification once lead climbing and lead belay competence has been demonstrated. You will need YOUR OWN gear, including rope, belay device, harness, and a partner to test with.
Do you want to learn how to lead climb? Our Rock 3 class goes over all the industry standard best practices for lead climbing in an indoor setting, and will also dive into some basic anchor building techniques.

Q: Do you offer climbing classes?
A: Yes! You can check out our course offerings here.

Q: What happens over the summer?
A: The Stanford Climbing Wall will be open over the summer! Check out our summer hours here.

Q: What do the numbers at the start of each climb mean? (wiki page)
A: Our gym uses two different rating systems, the “V” Scale for boulder problems and the Yosemite Decimal System for roped routes.

Q: What if I don’t have a partner?
A: There are a few different ways to find a climbing partner if you don’t already have one. ClimbFind is an online forum for finding partners in your area. You may be able to find a buddy through the many communities of climbers on the Stanford campus, via The Stanford Alpine Club mailing list of the Climbing Wall Facebook group.
You can also ask the desk staff to make an announcement for anyone looking for a climbing partner, or groups looking to add a third to their party.

Q:How often are routes changed?
A: We strive for a 10 week to turnover of all routes and boulder problems across both facilities.  Ask our staff about what’s new!