Climbing Wall

The Climbing Wall offers 3,500 square feet of climbing to students, faculty and staff of any skill or experience level.

campus recreation climbing wall

The Climbing Wall is found in the heart of the Outdoor Adventure Center, which can be accessed by entering Burdick Hall through the main entrance.

Campus Recreation members of all skill levels are welcome to use the Climbing Wall. The OAC staff possess the knowledge and skills to help first-time and seasoned climbers alike.  The Climbing Wall is able to accommodate individuals with hearing, sight, or mobility impairments – please let the OAC staff know what they can do to help make your experience great!

Know Before You Go

Climbing Wall Guidelines

Climbers and belayers of all skill sets and abilities are welcome in the Outdoor Adventure Center. If a climber or belayer requires an adaptation to traditional climbing methods, please see a Campus Rec employee prior to climbing or belaying.

  • Jewelry including rings, necklaces, and dangling earrings are not permitted while climbing or belaying. Any participant wearing jewelry will be asked to remove the item before they can participate. If the jewelry is unable to be removed, the individual may participate at their own risk.
  • Hair extending beyond the shoulders must be tied back when climbing or belaying.
  • All pockets must be empty when climbing.
  • The use of headphones, stereos, speakers, or other devices to project personal music is not permitted.
  • Loose chalk is not permitted, only chalk balls may be used.
  • Personal harnesses and belay equipment must be International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation approved.
  • Clinics and workshops have priority over routes. Instructors may ask climbers to move to another route.
  • No food products and beverages other than water are permitted on the Climbing Wall floor.
  • Climbing above the first quick draw without using a rope is not permitted.
  • Climbers must tie directly into the harness using a figure eight follow-though and a finish knot. All knots are to be dressed and set.
  • All top rope belayers must possess a Towson University-issued Top Rope Belay Endorsement in order to top rope belay at the Climbing Wall.
  • All lead climbers must possess a Towson University-issued Lead Endorsement in order to lead climb or lead belay at the Climbing Wall.
  • All belayers must remain standing and keep their brake hand on the rope when belaying.
  • Lead climbers should move as vertically as possible and clip in to the quickdraws associated with the attempted route. Lead traverses are not permitted.
  • Top rope climbing is not permitted on the ropes directly beside a lead climber.
  • Report all emergencies, maintenance issues, vandalism, or misuse of facilities to a Campus Recreation employee or calling 410-704-2367. 

Failure to follow or adhere to the above guidelines and/or the direction of Campus Recreation staff may result in disciplinary action.

Climbing wall faq

When is the Climbing Wall open?

The Climbing Wall is open when the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) is open. The OAC is open Sunday – Thursday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Fridays 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. The OAC is not open on Saturdays.

Can I bring a Guest?

Guests are welcome to the Outdoor Adventure Center. Please purchase a guest pass online or at Membership & Guest Services prior to arrival. Guests must be at least 18 years old.   

How can I belay?

In order to belay at the Outdoor Adventure Center, participants will need to pass a skills check. Skills checks can be done on the spot – just ask the Supervisor on shift. If a participant fails a skills check, they can retake the skills check after 24 hours.  Participants who have never belayed before are encouraged to register and participate in a Top Rope Belay Clinic.

Is there bouldering?

No, we do not allow bouldering at our facility.

 Is there lead climbing?

Yes, we do have lead climbing. Participants can learn the basics of lead climbing by taking a Lead Climbing Clinic. Lead skills checks are also available upon request.  Participants may mock lead as well in order to prepare and practice for lead climbing.

My body is one that might have specific requirements due to mobility, sight, or hearing impairments. Can I still climb?

The Outdoor Adventure Center welcomes climbers of all abilities and skill levels. We have equipment that can suit every climber of every body type. New climbers that require adaptive climbing techniques are encouraged to also attend our adaptive climbing sessions (but do not let that stop you from coming in during our open hours!) 

My group/club/team wants to climb together – how do we go about this?

The Climbing Wall is available for group programs when the Outdoor Adventure Center is not open. Please scroll to the “Group Programs” section and complete a request. 

Clinics

The Climbing Wall offers Top Rope and Lead Climbing Clinics to Towson University students, faculty, and staff. When a participant successfully completes a clinic, they will obtain the Towson University-issued Top Rope or Lead Climbing endorsement necessary to belay, lead climb, and/or lead belay at the Climbing Wall.

Clinics

Top Rope Belay Clinic

Top rope belay clinics cover the foundations of top rope climbing and belaying.  Participants will learn about the different types of equipment that are used while climbing, how the rope system functions when climbing, how to tie a figure 8 follow-through, and how to belay. 

Dates: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m., starting September 4

Price: $10

Register for a top rope belay clinic.

Lead Climbing Clinic

Lead climbing clinics will go over the basis of lead climbing and belaying.  Participants will learn about the differences between top roping and lead climbing, as well as the inherent risks of lead climbing and belaying. Participants will learn about bouldering and spotting, clipping in, taking a lead fall, and body positioning.  Participants must already possess a Towson University Top Rope Belay Endorsement, as well as be able to climb a 5.9 prior to taking this clinic. 

Dates: September 17, October 8, October 29, November 19, and December 10 at 4:30 p.m. 

Price: $20

Register for a lead climbing clinic.

Movement Clinics

Movement clinics cover both the foundation techniques for climbing (and climbing harder!) but will also hone in on specific skills as it relates to climbing different kinds of routes. The movement fundamentals clinics will cover the different types of holds, balance and movement when climbing; while the movement-specific clinics will develop exercises and body awareness when climbing.

Movement fundamentals clinics:

Dates: October 11, October 18, October 25

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Specific movement clinics:

Dates: November 1 (Balance), November 8 (Footwork), November 15 (Using Momentum) 

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Price: $10

Register for one of our movement clinics.

Adaptive Climbing Sessions

Towson University Outdoor Adventures is committed to providing new opportunities to everyone. Our adaptive Climbing Sessions welcomes all individuals with all types of disabilities and with all levels of indoor climbing experiences. We invite individuals both with and without disabilities to join us for these open sessions – to try something new, reach a new goal, or just to see what this is all about!

Open ADAPTIVE CLIMBING Sessions

Dates

September 15, October 13*, November 17, December 8

Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

*Please bring your family during family weekend to join in on the fun!

Group Programs

All Towson University organizations and the Towson University community are able to reserve the Climbing Wall for a group program. The Climbing Wall provides users with the opportunity to try something new and to get to know one another on a different level.  Our Climbing Wall group programs are custom-designed to fit your group’s needs. Climbing Wall reservation rates are as follows: 

Session Type

TU Student Price

TU Fac/Staff Price

Off-Campus Price

2-Hour Program

$10.00

$12.50

$15.00

3-Hour Program

$15.00

$18.75

$23.00

In order to protect the accessibility for the students and members who support the Climbing Wall, group programs are only available during closed hours. This allows our staff to focus their attention on providing excellent customer service for your group.

How to Sign Up