Climbing Resources

Beginner Resources

Learn more about common climbing terms, recommendations for training and gear, transitioning to the outdoors, and local climbing gyms

  • Common Climbing Terms (https://rockandice.com/how-to-climb/climbing-terminology/)

    • Top-roping: climbing in a setting where the rope runs from a climber, up through a fixed overhead anchor, and back down to a belayer on the ground
    • Lead Climbing: climbing in a setting where the rope is attached to both the climber and belayer, but not to an overhead anchor, and the climber clips their rope into protective gear as they climb
    • Bouldering: climbing in a setting where the climber has no rope attached to them and they are free climbing to a limited height with the possibility of falling onto pads on the ground
    • Belay: the technique used to hold and manage the rope of a climber in order to arrest or catch their falls
    • Beta: tips or information about how to do a climbing sequence
    • Crux: the hardest section of a climb
    • Send: to climb a route without falling or resting on gear (general term)
    • On-Sight: to climb a route without falling or resting on gear on the first try, with no prior knowledge of the climb or beta
    • Flash: to climb a route without falling or resting on gear on the first try, with prior knowledge of the climb or beta (i.e., after watching another person climb it, or being given beta)
    • Redpoint: to climb a route without falling or resting on gear, after having previously rehearsed or projected the climb (their "project")
    • Hueco Scale, or V scale: standard method in America for rating the difficulty of a boulder problem, in which the number after the V indicates difficulty (e.g., V0 for easy, V1 for slightly harder climbs)
    • Yosemite Decimal System, or 5._ scale: standard method in America for rating the difficulty of a roped climb, in which the number after the 5. indicates difficulty (e.g., 5.6 for easy, 5.7 for slightly harder climbs)
    • Arête: an edge (often able to be grabbed) formed by two intersecting planes of rock, like an outer corner of a building
    • Dihedral: a corner formed by two intersecting planes of rock, like the inside of a partially opened book (opposite of an arête)
  • Rock and Ice Magazine's Climbing Training Tips, On the Wall and Off

  • Climbing Magazine's Skills Articles

  • Rock and Ice Magazine's Guide to Buying the Right Gear

  • Outdoor Skills Videos from the American Mountain Guides Association
    • (https://amga.com/rock-videos/)
    • Note: Watching videos on outdoor skills does not make you proficient in those skills. Before applying these skills outside, it is advised to learn these skills from a professional at your local climbing gym and practice under supervision. Accredited guide services like the AMGA also offer opportunity to get onto the rock and learn these skills first-hand.

Indoor Climbing Gyms In and Around Philadelphia

  • Tufas Boulder Lounge (https://tufasboulderlounge.com/)
    • Founded with an emphasis on community and collaboration, Tufas is a bouldering-only gym founded by three local Philly climbers involved in both collegiate climbing programs and the city's American Alpine Club chapter. It operates on a sliding-scale pricing system in order to promote economic justice and equitable access to the sport.
  • Philadelphia Rock Gyms (https://www.philarockgym.com/)
    • With five locations and counting, PRG has long been a staple in the climbing community in Philly. Their gyms have a mix of roped climbing and bouldering, and are good all-around gyms where you can do a little of everything and learn more about the climbing community.
  • The Cliffs at Callowhill (https://callowhill.thecliffsclimbing.com/)
    • Opened in Winter 2019, Callowhill is the first Philly location in the Cliffs organization, founded in New York. Their tall walls, speed climbing route, and robust instructional program are just a few reasons to give them a visit.
  • Reach Climbing + Fitness (https://reachclimbing.com/)
    •  Located near King of Prussia, Reach has quickly made its mark on the Philly-area climbing scene. It features 58-foot walls, an Olympic regulation speed wall, and an expansive space built to host competitions in a sport that is gaining steam.
  • Elite Climbing (http://www.eliteclimbing.com/)
    • Just across the bridge in New Jersey, Elite is a well-established all-around gym. Group rentals, team building, and overnight climbing packages are all available, and their staff are ready to guide you into the world of rock climbing.