There’s a big, shiny new building in Chicago, and we’re stoked to invite anyone and everyone to come climb with us inside of it.


If you’ve already visited First Ascent, you know that the sport climbing area is massive, the bouldering area is chock full of fun and powerful routes, and the fitness, yoga, and training rooms – once fully completed – will give fitness enthusiasts (not just climbers) a reason to come train and be fit of mind and body.

Chicago is notoriously flat, which is great for bicyclists, but not ideal for climbers. It’s not like countless cities out East or out West with great climbing either within or not too far beyond city limits. It’s not like San Francisco or New York City, both of which have natural boulders to climb in public parks.

Over time, it’ll be fun to see first-time climbers turn their baby-soft hands into calloused vice grips. At first the wide-eyed astonishment of a new climber – when he/she accomplishes finishing a route they’ve been projecting – will soon turn to a steely gaze of focus and concentration as their limits are pushed beyond what they ever thought possible during that first visit to the gym.

For that we’ve created our Learning the Ropes and Intro to Climbing Classes. These ease newer climbers into some of the basics that are much better learned in a relaxed group setting. Some folks who climbed in the past, but have maybe forgotten how to tie the figure-8 follow through or the proper belay techniques also benefit. The classes are great ways to meet people and possibly find a future climbing/belay partner, too.

Seasoned climbers now have no excuse not to train. You will have unhindered access to yoga classes that will increase your flexibility, fitness classes that will improve your core strength and functional mobility, and some of the newest cardio machines out there to keep the winter weight off.

Our vision is to fill First Ascent with climbers and fitness enthusiasts of all abilities and interest levels. We want this to be a home away from home – for everyone from the Sharmas and Honnolds to those who’ve never thought of willingly defying gravity – where a welcoming atmosphere is ever-present and where people from all walks of life share in the moving meditation of climbing for health and happiness.

It’s an honor and a pleasure to welcome Chicago to climb at First Ascent. We’ll see you soon.

xoxo #letsclimbchicago