New to Climbing? 

What is the Belay?

A nautical term from the old english: "Be" to exist "Lay" to set down. A Belayer is an individual who secures a rope with the purpose of protecting the climber from falling by lowering the climber off the wall to set them on the ground.

What do I Need to Bring?

Wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to move freely. If you do not have climbing equipment, it is available for rent or purchase. Plan to rent climbing shoes if you do not have your own climbing shoes. Climbing shoes do not require socks, but if you're renting we encourage you to bring your own socks. Outside street shoes are not allowed on the climbing floor.

Bring a partner who is at least 14 years of age. You will need at least one partner to use the ropes because climbing involves both a climber and a belayer.

All participants must have a current Release of Liability Form (waiver) on file and update their waiver each year. Youth under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian signature. Notes from parent/guardian are not accepted.

What Happens When I Arrive?


After you are checked in, we will teach those 14 years and older how to Belay. Depending on how many people are in a group, lessons are 45 to 60 minutes. This instruction will include Bouldering, Auto-Belay and general facility orientation for all ages. No appointment is necessary for the Belay Lesson. From the time we are open, lessons are done every hour on the hour. New climbers would want to arrive no later than three hours before close in order to have enough time for the class and climbing afterward. If you have learned to belay elsewhere, you may qualify to belay after demostrating your skills for a Belay Test. Lessons and Belay Tests are to be done by Climb Kalamazoo staff ONLY. After you are qualified to belay at Climb Kalamzoo, we will happily provide free belay refresher instruction for future visits, so please do not hesitate to ask questions.

Are There Any Age Requirements?


No matter the age, we have climbing routes you will love!


Youth 3-13 years: With an adult belayer and supervision, this age group will love climbing tons of vertical terrain with fun, easy reaches. We provide a full body harness for our climbers age 3-6. Be prepared to provide supervision for this age group. For the safety of all of our guests unattended children are not permitted at Climb Kalamazoo. Drop offs are not permitted for those 13 and under.


Youth 14 years and older: this age group will be required to complete the Belay Lesson and Orientation on their first visit and are treated as adults with regards to belay and climbing. Once waivers are completed by the parent or guardian, this age group may belay and climb with only visual (non-participating) supervision from an adult.

What If I Do Not Have A Partner?

No problem! We realize many guests are new in town or too busy to make arrangements for a climbing partner. Auto Belay stations allow a climber to ascend a high volume of routes in a short amount of time. Climb Kalamazoo offers a premium bouldering experience with two top out boulders, and a huge variety of routes and styles from beginner to elite.

Does Climb Kalamazoo Provide Belayers?

Climb Kalamazoo staff is not available to belay climbers.

How Physically Fit Do I Have To Be To Climb?

Our facility caters to many ability levels. We have a variety of fun beginner routes as well as extremely difficult advanced routes. If you have an existing medical condition, pregnancy or any other health concern, you may want to consult a physician before beginning a new sport or exersize regimen.