Welcome! So you want to start rock climbing?
This page is meant to get you started by pointing you in the right direction.
Rock climbing is for everyone, whether you are an athlete seeking out a new workout, a person searching for a new hobby, a parent looking for an activity to do with your kids, or even someone just tired of current workout routines. The Delaware Rock Gym has something for all ability levels, and we welcome you to come give it a try.
There are no age restrictions on climbing, but for kids they are typically comfortable to start rock climbing around age 5, give or take. We've had participants from ages 3 to 90 years old climb to the top of the wall. Participants must be 14 years or older to belay or to climb unsupervised by an accompanying adult.
What type of climbing do you want to do?
Roped climbing involves two people: a climber and a belayer. The belayer stands at the bottom of the climb and takes the slack out of the rope as the climber moves up the wall. The belayer must be properly trained to protect the climber.
To climb on rope at the Delaware Rock Gym you will need a belayer. If you have prior experience with belaying you may take our tie-in and belay test. If you do not have experience or know anyone who is properly trained as a belayer, you can either do Trial Climbs with a staff member or take the Intro to Climbing Class to learn the basic belaying skills. Scroll down for more details about these options.
The Delaware Rock Gym has 54 fixed top-ropes anchored across our walls.
Bouldering is short, unroped climbing. Our bouldering wall is 14 feet at its highest point. Because bouldering is unroped climbing, bouldering does not require belay training or additional equipment (though climbing shoes do help). Additional, movable gymnastics pads are in the bouldering area as added padding for falls and landings. Bouldering starts at a more difficult levels than roped climbing.
Purchase of a Day Pass provides all-day access to the bouldering area.
Trial Climbs are an easy way to become introduced to the sport of climbing. Structured for those who have never climbed before, Trial Climbs are a set of 3 top-rope climbs during which you will be belayed by one of our courteous staff members.
Trial Climbs are offered on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 10 AM and ending at 5 PM as first come first served. We do offer trial climbs more openly during weekday holidays and appointments can be made for weekdays. Please call us to make an appointment for alternate days and times. The cost is $20 for the three climbs (staff & harness cost is included) Closed Toe shoes are required. Sneakers are your best option. Climbing shoes are available for $5.
Intro to Climbing Class
This class teaches all the skills necessary for indoor top-rope climbing, including putting on the harness, tying in to the rope, belaying the rope for the climber, and climbing communication. Because roped climbing is a two person system, it is best to take the class with a partner or in a group, but individuals are welcome. The minimum age for the class is 14 years old.
The Intro Class is regularly held Saturday and Sunday beginning 11 AM. Weekday classes can also be scheduled by appointment. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled start time of any class. The Intro Class includes the skills instruction, a Day Pass, a harness, and a belay device for $35.
What should I wear?
For any of these climbing options, you want to wear comfortable athletic clothing. No skirts or dresses. Closed-toe shoes are required. Remove any watches, wristbands, rings, or other similar jewlery. Tie back long hair.
Signed Release Agreement
Any person who wants to climb, belay or take a class at The D.R.G. must sign a D.R.G. Release Agreement. If the participant is under 18 then their parent or court-appointed legal guardian must sign the waiver on their behalf.
Now you are ready to climb!
We hope this answers all of your questions and entices you to come give The Delaware Rock Gym a try. If you have any further questions check out our FAQ section or give us a call at (302) 838-5850.
The Delaware Rock Gym
520 Carson Dr. Bear, DE 19701