Climbing Wall

Climbing Wall 

Carleton's 30ft high rock wall is molded granite simulating actual climbing surfaces from a mold of Minnehaha Falls, near Minneapolis. It has five climbing ropes available, and offers four different levels: beginner, intermediate, advanced and lead.

Climbing Rules

  1. Our wall is available for use by Carleton community during specified hours of the day. Four approach levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced, and lead) allow all climbers free access to the wall during specific times. Check-in for the wall is located at the front entrance counter. All climbers must be registered with the Climbing Program before they can participate in open climbing. Climbers must check in with the front counter each time they climb.
  2. First time user/beginner climbers must attend a wall orientation session. Sessions will be held daily Monday to Friday. The orientation includes instruction, harness and climbing shoes. Beginner climbers are encouraged to practice their belay skills (holding the other end of the climbers rope) with staff supervision and move to advanced climber as soon as possible. Beginner climbers are NOT allowed to belay other climbers without staff supervision.
  3. Advanced or lead climbers may belay other climbers during open climbing times. To be an advanced or lead climber the person must have passed an annual climbing test. You must pass with 100% correct to receive your card certifying advanced climber status on the recreation center wall. Lead climbing will only be allowed during specific times. Advanced or lead climbers must not allow beginners to belay.
  4. Wall Fees - There is no charge on equipment for the climbing wall.
  5. Climbing Wall Hours of Operations: Posted at the start of each term.
  6. New Climber and Beginner Assistance available each term.
  7. Group climbing: Private-climbing sessions during off peak times available for a fee. The center will provide the instructor and equipment.
  8. Climbers may use their own harness and shoes with the understanding that they take full responsibility for the safety of their equipment.


Students, Faculty, Staff can use climbing equipment for free. Use your own gear at your own risk.

Annual Safety Checks

Due to the challenge of creating a safe climbing environment, you are required to demonstrate an adequate skill level ANNUALLY in order to have access to the climbing wall. Please note that this skills check is good for 12 months following the date of completion.

Eligibility to Access the Climbing Wall

You must be a current member of Carleton College and be a minimum of 16 years of age. In our efforts to manage your safety, we require that you come to the wall with a partner during open climbing times.

Bouldering Wall

The bouldering wall was installed in the summer of 2005 and its walls are 12ft high. A textured rubber mold was pushed over drying concrete plaster to create a rough surface and the flooring consists of recycled car tires six inches deep. Climbing routes are marked with tape and emphasis is on lateral motion. In addition, the bouldering wall does not require ropes or working with a partner.