Answers to common questions

Not seeing the answer you’re looking for? We’re happy to help! Email us at info@firstascentclimbing.com or call us at 773-564-9815.

What kinds of climbing are offered at First Ascent Avondale?

We offer autobelay, top rope, and lead climbing as well as bouldering. You can enjoy autobelay climbing or bouldering after a brief orientation. If you would like to top rope or lead climb, you will either need to pass a belay check or take the appropriate rope skills class.

How tall are your climbing walls?

We have walls up to 60 ft. tall!

I’m an experienced climber. Do you require a belay check?

Yes – we require belay checks for both top rope and lead climbing. Give us a call if you have questions about the skills needed to pass a belay check.

What belay devices are allowed at First Ascent?

For top rope climbing, all ropes have a GriGri permanently attached to the top rope that belayers are required to use. For lead climbing, you are welcome to use the belay device you are most comfortable with, as long as you use the belay device you passed your lead check with.

What is bouldering?

Bouldering is climbing shorter routes (called “problems” ) using a cushy pad below you to protect against a fall – no harness or rope required. Some say bouldering is the purest form of climbing: it’s just you and the wall.

Bouldering is often more difficult move for move than sport climbing, requiring solid climbing technique and problem solving skills to unlock the “beta” (the series of movements required to complete a boulder problem) and get a “send” (when a climber completes a boulder problem from start to finish with no rests or falls).

Do you have autobelays?

We sure do: 16 of them to be exact.

What should I wear?

Comfortable, stretchy athletic clothing. We recommend wearing pants or shorts that cover your knees to protect them against scraping on the wall.If you will be renting climbing shoes, we recommend wearing socks also.

Do I need to take a class to climb?

Though classes are not required to boulder or use an autobelay, we highly recommend taking a Learning The Ropes class to gain the skills you need to climb and belay using a top rope. Once you understand belay basics, taking a Movement & Technique class can help you learn efficient climbing technique that will fast track your climbing progress.

Do I need to rent climbing gear if I don’t have my own?

You will need to rent a harness if you plan to use our autobelays. We recommend renting climbing shoes also, since they significantly improve your climbing experience, but you can climb in closed-toe athletic shoes if you prefer.

Do you sell climbing gear?

Yes! We sell a wide variety of climbing shoes, harnesses, chalk bags, chalk, and other climbing essentials. Stop in or call for selection on specific items.

Do you have fitness equipment?

Absolutely! We have a full range or cardio equipment, free weights, functional training equipment, and climbing-specific training equipment. You will have everything you need to get a full-body workout at First Ascent.

Do I have to pay extra for yoga or fitness classes?

Nope. All yoga and community fit classes are free. Small group training, personal training, and special workshops

What is the FA Bonus or Perkville?

Learn more about the FA Bonus here.