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climbing Wall

Climbing Wall & Bouldering Grotto

The University of Maryland's 55-foot tall freestanding climbing wall is one of the tallest on the East Coast. Come experience physical and social wellness by exercising in a new environment and meeting new people.

Access to the climbing wall and bouldering grotto is included with a RecWell membership. Simply check in with your university ID or RecWell membership card at the Adventure Program, and we'll get you climbing right away regardless of any previous climbing experience.We have a variety of climbing options for all skill levels. Check out our current climbing routes and bouldering problems

Spring Final Exam & Interim hours are located on the RecWell Alerts page

Climbing Wall
Season Opening March 14
MON through THURS
4pm to 8pm
2pm to 6pm
4pm to 8pm
Facility Hours effective for summer session I
May 31 to July 10
Climbing Wall Monday through Thursday 5pm to 9pm Friday through Sunday Closed
Climbing Wall Closed for the season Closed for the season Closed for the season
Climbing Wall
(August 30 through October 28)
4pm to 8pm Closed 4pm to 8pm
Climbing Wall
(October 29 through November 6)
Closed Closed Closed
Climbing Wall
(November 7 through November 19)
4pm to 8pm Closed 4pm to 8pm
Climbing Wall closed for the season November 20

  • Sign our virtual informed consent and release form
  • Wear comfortable clothing. Jeans and cutoff jeans are not recommended.  Shirts are required.
  • Jewelry; especially rings and watches, should be removed before climbing. Long hair should be tied back.
  • Bring water in a plastic, re-sealable container to drink. 
  • Ask for assistance when needed. Our trained climbing wall staff is happy to help.

There are several routes participants can take to become belay certified at the Climbing Wall.
1. If you've been belay certified before or have previous experience, you can take a belay test during our open hours with a climbing wall supervisor. If you pass, you will be belay certified. If you fail, you will be required to take a Climb Safe Clinic before you retake the belay test.

2. If you've never belayed before or need a refresher on our system, you can take our Climb Safe Clinic. The two hour Climb Safe Clinic is free and will give you the knowledge and experience to successfully pass the climbing wall's belay test. After taking the Climb Safe Clinic, you must successfully pass our belay test three times to become certified to belay at the RecWell Climbing Wall. Sign up here or by finding the Climb Safe Clinic under Reservations on This semester, Climb Safe Clinics are offered Monday-Thursday from 6 PM - 8 PM. 

Belay certifications are good at our climbing wall for a year. After a year, you will be required to recertify by taking our belay test. 

The Climbing Wall values inclusion and is committed to creating spaces that are accessible to all members of the UMD community. To foster community for underrepresented groups, we are hosting affinity spaces at the climbing wall throughout the spring semester. Affinity spaces can be a place for underrepresented people in a community to come together to feel less isolated and more connected. This semester we are offering the following affinity spaces:

Women’s Climb Night:
Date/Time: Friday, April 15 from 6 PM - 8 PM
Audience: Individuals who identify as women

Pride Climb:
Date/Time: Friday, April 1 and April 29 from 6 PM - 8 PM
Audience: Individuals who identify with the LGBTQAI+ community

Ascend in Color:
Date/Time: Friday, April 8 and May 6 from 6 PM - 8 PM
Audience: Individuals who identify with the BIPOC community

Adaptive Climbing:
Date/Time: Friday, March 18 and April 22 from 12 PM - 2 PM 
Audience: Individuals who identify as part of the disability community

  • All climbers must check-in at the Adventure Program desk with a university ID or RecWell membership card and have a signed informed consent release form on file. Forms can be accessed virtually here 
  • All climbers must be belayed by an Adventure Program certified belayer, unless following the bouldering rules.
  • While bouldering, at least one foot must stay below hands at all times.  No topping out on the grotto and no climbing above or below other climbers while bouldering on the wall or grotto.
  • You may not be in the climbing area if you have received any medical treatment or are using any medication that could impair your alertness or coordination.
  • Adventure Program certified belayers may use Adventure Program belay devices.  No Grigri’s or other personal belay devices.
  • All climbers must wear shoes that cover their entire foot while climbing.
  • All patrons must wear a shirt while in the fenced area of the Climbing Wall.
  • Harnesses, helmets, and shoes are all available to borrow for free. 
  • Climbers and belayers must have any personal equipment checked by staff. Equipment deemed unsafe will not be permitted.
  • All equipment must be used according to manufacturer recommendations.
  • All belayers must be anchored tight to the belay stations while belaying.
  • No sitting on the ground while belaying at any time.
  • Patrons may not teach belaying to others, regardless of their comfort or skill level.
  • You must be a current RecWell member over 18 years old to take a belay test or become belay certified.
  • Behaviors deemed unsafe by the Climbing Wall Staff will not be allowed and can result in being asked to leave the premises.
  • All injuries must be reported to the Climbing Wall Staff.  
  • RecWell is not responsible for the personal belongings of patrons. Lockers are available in the ERC.

 Smoking, tobacco, gum, alcohol, and drug use is prohibited.

  • No one will be permitted to enter the facility if deemed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Animals are not allowed (except service animals).
  • This is a family-friendly facility; respectful language and behavior is expected from everyone.
  • Report damage or equipment misuse to the climbing wall staff.
  • In an emergency, climbers must immediately follow the instructions of the Climbing Wall Staff to clear the area as directed.

Violations of these rules and regulations may result in suspension of all recreation privileges or administrative and/or judicial sanction. University Recreation & Wellness (RecWell) facility privileges may be permanently revoked for serious or repeated violations.


The climbing wall and bouldering grotto is located behind the ERC. Get to us by using the steps outside the west end of the ERC near the Outdoor Aquatic Center. Hours listed are weather permitting; announcements regarding closures due to weather will be made on the RecWell homepage and via the Adventure Program Facebook page.

Contact Us

Portrait of Meghan Loughry

Meghan Loughry

Coordinator, Challenge Course & Climbing Wall
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