Upenn Recreation

Indoor Climbing Wall

Experience the thrill of rock climbing on our 40-foot climbing wall, the hub of the Pottruck Health & Fitness Center. The wall features allow for a wide range of climbs, from beginner to advance. Climbers of all skill levels can challenge themselves, hone their skills, and keep in shape. Climbing wall programs include informal classes, introductory courses through advanced courses, and clinics and are taught by AMGA certified Climbing Wall Instructors.

Climbing Wall Hours


Spring Slap

Climbing Wall Hours:
Ropes and Bouldering
Monday- Sunday   3:00pm – 8:00pm

Passes and Fees

A variety of climbing passes are available to members of the Pottruck Health & Fitness Center. Equipment is included in all packages. Annual and Semester Passes may be purchased at the Membership Services Office located in the Pottruck Health & Fitness Center or online. Day passes must be purchased in person with a credit card. We accept Visa or MasterCard.

Passes and Fees

3-Term Pass- $125

Fall 2019 Pass- $60 (Pro-rated)

Spring 2019 Pass- $75

Summer Pass $50

Drop-in (Day) Pass $10 (members) / $12 (non-members)

*Drop-in passes cannot be applied towards an unlimited pass.

All passes are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Climbing Wall Rules

  • Climbing Wall Rules


    Rock climbing is an inherently dangerous activity regardless of your level of skill and experience.
    It requires that you constantly assess and manage risk. You alone are responsible for your


    • All climbers must check in at the climbing wall desk with a Penn ID before

    climbing by presenting a valid membership or day-use pass

    • Climbing is only permitted during posted open climb times

    • All belayers must pass the belay certification test

    • Personal equipment used by climbers must be inspected by climbing wall staff

    • You must be 6 years old or older to use the climbing wall. Minors are required to have an
    adult present. The legal guardian must sign a minor consent form

    • Shirts and closed-toe shoes must be worn at all times

    • All injuries, no matter how minor, must be reported to staff

    • Only climbing wall staff may move or tighten holds or fixed quickdraws

    • Any actions perceived as dangerous or negligent could result in suspension of privileges


    • Keep your head below the first bolt line when bouldering

    • Do not boulder under roped climbers

    • It is recommended to have a spotter whenever bouldering

    Lead Climbing

    • Anyone wishing to lead climb must pass a lead climbing and belay test

    • No personal ropes or quickdraws (Ask staff for lead ropes & quickdraws)

    • Please coil lead ropes when finished


    *Please ask staff about any questions*



Indoor Climbing Instruction

  • Belay Lesson

    Do you want to learn how to belay or are you looking to brush up on your skills? This 2-hour course will cover the equipment and techniques necessary to belay your climbing partner using the most up-to-date practices. This is a belay course only. Those looking for more climbing instruction are encouraged to take Climbing 101. Belay lessons can be scheduled any day during open climbing hours. To purchase a lesson, please contact or visit Membership Services.
    Price: $10 for Members & Non-Members.
  • Climbing 101

    This is a 2-week course emphasizing climbing equipment, knots, belay techniques and basic movement skills. This course is designed for people interested in learning the foundations of climbing as well as those that are interested in belaying. The 2-week format allows students to perfect their belay technique.  Registration is available online or in Membership Services.

    Price: $20 for Members & Non-Members

    Upcoming Summer 19 Courses:

    Mondays, June 3rd & 10th


  • Gym to Crag

    Experience climbing indoors and outdoors with this course designed for a beginner just getting a taste for climbing.  This course will spend 2 weeks on our indoor climbing wall following our curriculum from our Climbing 101 course, which teaches the basics of climbing equipment, belaying, and climbing techniques. The course culminates with an outdoor climbing experience to one of Philly’s local climbing areas on Sunday, Nov. 1st.  Registration is available online or in Membership Services.


    Price: $60 for Members & Non-Members

    Upcoming Courses:

    Not currently offered

  • Bouldering Basics

    This course is designed for those who are looking to get into bouldering and hone their skills. Climb with Carmella, one of our route setters, as she teaches the basics of bouldering from fundamental movement techniques to route reading and strategy. This course will focus on climbing our easiest to intermediate boulder problems on the wall ranging from V0-V3. No experience necessary. Registration is available online or in Membership Services.

    Price: $10 for Members & Non-Members

    Upcoming Courses:

    Not currently offered

    (Please see Private Instruction if interested in course content)

  • Technique & Movement

    Whether you are new to climbing or just want to work on your technique, this course is designed to introduce participants to the fundamental movement techniques necessary for climbing. This 2-week course will incorporate different exercises and drills for both bouldering and top-roping. No experience required. Registration is available online or in Membership Services

    Price: $20 for Members & Non-Members

    Upcoming Courses:

    Not currently offered

    (Please see Private Instruction if interested in course content)

  • Learn to Lead

    Get on the sharp end of the rope and learn the fundamentals of indoor sports climbing in this 2-week instructional course. This course will teach proper clipping and belay techniques as a lead climbing strategy. Learn to identify the risks involved with lead climbing and how to manage them. Climbers interested in this course must be top-rope belay certified and must be able to comfortably climb top-rope routes that are 5.8 in difficulty. Registration is available online or in Membership Services.

    Price: $20 for Members & Non-Members

    Upcoming Spring 19 Courses:

    Not Currently Offered

    (Please see Private Instruction if interested in course content) 

  • Private Climbing Instruction

    If you can’t make any of our scheduled courses or you are one that thrives in 1-on-1 teaching, then a private instruction is just for you. Learn anything that is taught in our instructional courses or customizes the instruction to fit your needs and your schedule. We are willing to accommodate any date and time, depending on instructor availability. Each session is 2 hours long. Registration is available in Membership ServicesPrice: $30 for Members & Non-Members
  • AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Course 

    The Climbing Wall Instructor Program (CWI) was introduced to certify professionals who teach in an indoor or artificial wall environment. It aims to increase the level of professionalism in indoor climbing and to improve the level of climbing wall instruction, to develop a more consistent standard of care for climbing instructors in the US, to evaluate the skills of climbing instructors in the US, and to provide guidance for further professional development. There are two certification levels:

    • AMGA CWI Top Rope
    • AMGA CWI Lead

    This course addresses the basic technical skills necessary to manage an instructional program at a climbing facility. The course length is a minimum of 20 hours of instruction, skills demonstration, and evaluation, typically run over 2.5 days. CWI Certification lasts for three years. After three years current CWI’s can re-take a one-day reassessment to regain the CWI certification.

    If interested in setting up a CWI course for your organization, please contact:


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