First time rock climbing at Alta? Here’s everything you need to know to have a great experience with indoor rock climbing. For those new to climbing, your first visit can be both exhilarating and a bit overwhelming. Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered with this guide online, and our amazing staff once you get here with everything you need to know for your first time climbing in our gym.

1. Waiver and Check In

Waiver: Before you can start climbing, you’ll need to fill out a waiver. This is a standard procedure to ensure that you understand the risks involved in climbing and agree to follow our safety guidelines. You can fill out the waiver online before you arrive or at the front desk. If you’re under 18, make sure a parent or guardian completes the waiver for you.


Check In: After the waiver, your first stop is the front desk where the staff will pull over your waiver, make sure it’s completed, and then you will purchase your pass, whether its a day pass, membership, or punch pass!

2. Gear Fitting

Proper gear is essential for a safe and enjoyable climbing experience. Gear is available for rent at Alta and should be purchased with your pass. Here’s what you’ll need:

Climbing Shoes: These special shoes are designed to provide the grip and support you need on the wall. Our staff will help you find the right fit—climbing shoes should be snug but not painfully tight.

Harness: A harness is crucial for safety, especially if you’re top-rope climbing or belaying. We’ll help you adjust your harness so it fits securely and comfortably.

Chalk Bag: Chalk helps keep your hands dry and improves your grip. While it’s not required, it is nice to have. You can rent or buy a chalk bag at our gym.

Belay Device: If you plan to belay, you’ll need a belay device and a locking carabiner. Our staff will show you how to use them safely during the orientation.

3. Orientation

Video Orientation: If it’s your first time at Alta, you’ll need to watch a orientation session. During this orientation, you’ll learn about the gym’s layout, climbing rules, and safety procedures. Once you’ve completed the video, our staff will help you to the next portion, physical orientation.

Physical Orientation: After you’ve watched the video, purchased your pass, and been fitted with the right rental gear, one of our staff will take you on an orientation of the gym. You will learn how to use the auto-belays, gym etiquette, route ratings, restricted areas, simple climbing technique, and how to belay and tie-in. This is the perfect time to ask any questions and get familiar with our facility. If at any time you forget or have concerns, come back to the front desk and ask for help!

3. Simple Climbing Terms and Checks

Climbing Terms:

  • Belay: The act of managing the rope for a climber to ensure they are safe in case of a fall.
  • Top-Rope Climbing: A style of climbing where the rope is already anchored at the top of the route.
  • Bouldering: Climbing shorter routes without a rope, typically with a crash pad below for protection.
  • Crux: The most challenging part of a climb.
  • Hold: The grips or features on the climbing wall that you use to ascend.

Safety Checks: Before you start climbing, it’s crucial to perform safety checks:

  • Harness Check: Ensure your harness is buckled and double-backed.
  • Knot Check: Verify that your knot (usually a figure-eight follow-through) is tied correctly and securely.
  • Belay Check: If you’re belaying, double-check that the belay device is threaded properly and the carabiner is locked.
  • Communication: Always use clear communication with your climbing partner. Standard commands include “On belay?” (to check if the belayer is ready), “Climbing” (to start climbing), and “Take” (to request that the belayer take in slack).

4. Climbing Tips for Beginners

  • Start Easy: Begin with routes that are well within your comfort zone. This will help you get a feel for climbing and build confidence.
  • Use Your Legs: Climbing is as much about leg strength as it is about upper body strength. Focus on pushing with your legs rather than pulling with your arms.
  • Stay Relaxed: Keep your movements smooth and controlled. Tension can lead to fatigue and mistakes.
  • Ask for Help: Our staff and fellow climbers are here to help. Don’t hesitate to ask for tips or advice.

5. Need Help? Just Ask!

At Alta Climbing, we’re committed to making your climbing experience safe, fun, and memorable. If you ever have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to ask our friendly staff. We are always happy to assist you, whether it’s about gear, climbing techniques, or belaying procedures.

6. Further Your Skills: Climbing Classes and Fundamentals Courses

If you’re looking to take your climbing to the next level, consider enrolling in one of our climbing classes or fundamentals courses. These programs are designed to help climbers of all levels improve their skills, learn advanced techniques, and gain confidence on the wall. Our experienced instructors provide personalized guidance to ensure you reach your climbing goals.



Your first climbing experience at Alta Climbing is the start of an exciting journey. With the right preparation, gear, and knowledge, you’ll be ready to conquer the walls and enjoy all the thrills that climbing has to offer. Remember, safety is paramount, so always follow the guidelines and perform your safety checks diligently. We can’t wait to see you reach new heights—happy climbing!