Kids Climbing Classes

Empowering kids through the sport of rock climbing.

Our mission: introduce kids to a lifelong sport that is empowering, rewarding, and just plain fun! DSC_0074

Climbing’s unique physical, mental and emotional challenges provide a wonderful opportunity for children to develop valuable life skills such as problem solving, self-reliance, discipline, teamwork, and character.

Our age-based, progressive program is designed to provide a structured, stair-step approach for kids of all abilities to become skilled and confident climbers.


Summer 2018 session begins Monday, July 2nd.  

Last day to enroll is Friday, June 29th. Sign up now!

Enroll Your Child

Want to try climbing in between sessions or before signing up for an 8-week class?

Check out Kids Rock Block, an hour-long drop-in climbing session hosted by our fantastic instructors.

  • Fun, skill-based curriculum keeps kids of all ability levels engaged and making progress
  • 8 week sessions (paid in two monthly, auto-billed installments on the 1st of each month)
  • Student/teacher ratio:
    • Ages 4-10: 4 to 1 ratio
    • Ages 11 & up: 6 to 1 ratioDSC_2301
  • No mid-session additions (unless specifically approved by the youth coordinator & instructor)
  • Most newer climbers will begin in the standard age group/curriculum. Students with significant climbing experience will be evaluated by a Lead Rec Instructor or Youth Coordinator and placed appropriately.
  • At the end of each session (week 7 or 8), a progress report will be issued to the child and parent, and at that time it may be recommended that he/she move to an advanced version of his/her age group class.
  • To preserve your child’s spot in class, he/she will be auto-enrolled in the same class for future sessions. If you do not wish to enroll your child in the next session, follow the Cancellation procedure below.
Class DurationSession PriceBilled in monthly installments of
1 Hour$149$74.50
1.5 Hour$199$99.50
Class DurationSession PriceBilled in monthly installments of
1 Hour$199$99.50
1.5 Hour$259$129.50


  • Sibling Discount: 25% for each additional child after first.
  • Second class discount: 25% on additional class after first.



To enroll in a Youth Rec session, follow the 4-step process below. Email us at if you have any questions along the way.


Session information, class schedules, and class descriptions are provided below. We recommend selecting a backup in case the class you’re interested in is already booked. If you’re unsure which class to select, email us at and we’ll help you make a selection.


Click below to complete a “New waiver with a child” Be sure to add all children that will participate in camps to your waiver.

Complete Waiver

Already have a waiver on file for you and your family from a previous visit? Move on to Step 2.

Once your waiver has been accepted, you now have an account set up with us and you’re ready for Step 2.


Click below to complete the Youth Rec Session Enrollment Form. If you run into any problems, please email us at

Complete Enrollment Form


A friendly Youth Rec Enrollment Specialist will contact you within 1 business day to confirm your booking or discuss other available options if your class selections are unavailable. They will also collect payment information if not on file already.

Questions? Email us at or give us a call at 773-564-9815. We’re happy to help!


CANCELLATIONS: If you would like to cancel your child’s youth rec enrollment at the end of a session, please email a minimum of 7 days before the end of the session.

REFUND POLICY: Due to space and scheduling limitations, there are no refunds for our 8-week Youth Rec Sessions.

MAKE-UPS POLICY: Students are allowed 1 “make-up” per session by attending one free hour of any scheduled Kids Rock Block drop-in. This make-up must be used within the session in which it was earned.

LOW ENROLLMENT: First Ascent reserves the right to cancel classes with low enrollment after the first two weeks.

Late Spring 20184/30/186/24/18
Summer 20187/2/188/26/18
Early Fall 20189/4/1810/28/18
Late Fall 201810/29/1812/23/18

For class descriptions and program specifics, see below the schedules.

Class NameAge RangeClass Duration
Spider MonkeysAges 4-51 Hour
ScramblersAges 5-61 Hour
Rock HoppersAges 6-81 Hour
Rock WarriorsAges 9-101 Hour
Stone MastersAges 11-131.5 Hour
Stone Masters LeadAges 14-161.5 Hour
Advanced RecAges 6-91.5 Hour
Team PrepAges 9-161.5 Hour

The next session begins the week of July 2nd. Please note: the schedule below is subject to change.

4:00 PMScramblersRock WarriorsScramblersRock HoppersKids Rock Block
(Click to learn more)
Spider MonkeysRock HoppersScramblersRock HoppersScramblersRock Hoppers
5:00 PMRock HoppersRock WarriorsRock HoppersRock WarriorsRock WarriorsStone MastersRock HoppersRock WarriorsRock HoppersStone Masters
6:00 PMStone MastersAdvanced RecStone MastersTeam PrepAdvanced RecStone MastersStone Masters LeadStone Masters


10:00 AMSpider MonkeysScramblersRock HoppersKids Rock Block
(Click to learn more)
11:00 AMRock HoppersRock Warriors
12:00 PMStone MastersStone Masters Lead
1:30 PMAdvanced RecTeam Prep



Our 8-week session classes utilize 5 simultaneous tracks of development to keep your child engaged and moving forward, all while having a great time:

  • Technical safety skills
  • Movement skills
  • Strength and fitness
  • Strategic thinking
  • Goal setting and completion

If a child completes the basic curriculum in his/her age group class, we have advanced versions of each class to build upon those initial skills, as well as a competitive team prep program for especially talented climbers.


DSC_3688Our Spider Monkeys curriculum is centered around the concept of “learning without knowing you’re learning.” Through a multitude of climbing and movement related games we try to build basic kinesthetic learning skills, body awareness and balance. Movement skills, confidence and empowerment are emphasized over technical skill mastery or route completion.


In our Scramblers classes, students will engage in many forms of climbing with the goal of learning basic safety skills, basic footwork, core movement skills, and the ability to “summit” our rock walls. We strive to instill a fundamental understanding of how to utilize strength and balance to move “with” the rock. We incorporate many student-centered, simple movement games to open up terrain kids might not otherwise attempt, and to make their time on the wall fun, satisfying and instructive.


DSC_0161Our Rock Hoppers students are usually ready to begin moving away from of our vertical walls and on to steeper, more interesting terrain. We emphasize the importance of footwork skills over pure strength as the terrain becomes steeper, and an understanding of the basic mechanics of climbing and body positions–or what we call “climbing moves.” At this age, students are also introduced the concept of “sequencing,” which is the skill of planning their path up the climb before they begin.


Our Rock Warriors students are at a fantastic age to readily learn the interaction of strength, technical movement, and thoughtful planning that is the essence of rock climbing. These students will engage in all styles of climbing to refine core movement skills, learn rope skills, master intermediate footwork and begin to develop a fundamental understanding of the interaction between body position, gravity and rock. We incorporate unique movement specific exercises to develop motor memory and an intuitive feeling for how to attack any combination of rock holds and positions.

STONE MASTERS (Ages 11-13)

In our Stone Masters classes, students begin to truly refine their footwork, movement, and body positioning skills. We add in more complex “specialty” moves, sequencing skills and advanced rope work. At this age, we also introduce challenging strength training exercises more specific to climbing. Some Stone Masters may work toward our Team Prep series (or even a direct try-out for the competitive team), while others will work on perfecting their technical rope skills, building out their repertoire of climbing moves and exploring new and more challenging terrain as their strength continues to increase.



Our Stone Masters Lead curriculum is very similar to regular Stone Masters, with the large addition of learning how to “lead” climb and belay. Lead climbing is when the climber is not protected by a rope from above, but rather, brings the rope with him/her and clips it to protection points as he/she ascends the wall. It is an advanced form of climbing that is essential for those children hoping to move on to the competitive team (where they must lead climb during competitions beginning at age 14), or for those who want to eventually progress into outdoor climbing where the ability to lead is generally required.


Advanced Rec is a 1.5 hour, invite-only class. It is designed for those who have completed the advanced curriculum in their age-group class, but may be a bit young, or not quite ready, for the Team Prep series. Advanced Rec will focus on more advanced strength and conditioning specific to climbing, moving on to steeper terrain, learning to “read” or “sequence” the route, and pushing into the higher difficulty grades. Advanced Rec is generally taught by a Lead Rec Instructor.

TEAM PREP SERIES (Ages 9-16)                               

Image-72Our Team Prep series are 1.5 hour, invite-only classes. This series is designed specifically for those kids who are training for a spot on First Ascent’s national caliber competitive team (team tryouts are the first week of Sept. and the last week of Feb.). Designed by our Head Team Coach and taught by Assistant Team Coaches and Lead Rec Instructors, these challenging classes focus on one specific area of development per session, and offer the best way to learn to move like an expert, get super strong, and unravel complicated bouldering and route sequences.

Generally offered:

  • Team Prep I – Movement I (summer)
  • Team Prep II – Strength Training I (early fall)
  • Team Prep III – Movement II (late fall)
  • Team Prep IV – Strength Training II (winter)
  • Team Prep V – Sequencing and Strategy (early spring)
  • Team Prep VI – Competition Climbing (late spring)

Questions? Email us at