A Beginner's Guide to Climbing in Austin

David Tsai
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Have you always wanted to try rock climbing but never really knew how to get started? Follow this simple, 4-step beginner’s guide to climbing in Austin, and find out if this is a sport that fits your lifestyle.

1. Find a climbing gym or climbing guide service

Climbing gyms are a great place to start for beginners. The floors are padded, there are plenty of easy to moderate routes, and you can rent all the gear you need onsite. The first step in rock climbing, as with any sport or hobby, is just getting started, and there's no more convenient way than by finding a local gym.

Maria Ly

Here in Austin, there a quite a few different gym options:

If you’d rather find an outdoor climbing guide, you can check out:

2. Find a friend

If you already have a friend who climbs, ask if you can tag along next time. Most seasoned climbers love sharing their passion for the sport, so they’ll most likely show you the ropes (no pun intended).

If you don’t know anyone who climbs, then get to know some people in the climbing community. Local Facebook groups and meet-ups can help introduce you to a friendly community of climbers.

Facebook Climbing Groups

Meetup.com Groups

3. Get some gear

Aicacia Young

If you’re getting hooked on climbing, then it’s time to invest in your own gear. All you really need is a pair of climbing shoes and some friends. If you’re psyched on bouldering, then you’ll want to save up for your own crash pad, which is roughly $200 depending on the brand.

If you enjoy sport climbing, then you’ll want a harness ($60) and maybe a rope of your own ($200). You can buy new shoes and crash pads online if you like, but steer clear of used harnesses and ropes, as these are essential for your safety. Locally, check out Backwoods for new shoes, ropes, harnesses, and more. If you're looking for used shoes, then check out the monthly used gear garage sales at REI.

4. Get a gym membership or get outside

Aicacia Young

The best way to improve as a climber is to keep climbing. Most major cities have a climbing gym, and many university recreational centers are starting to cater to climbing as well. If you can, try to join a gym or even better get outside to the Barton Creek Greenbelt , Reimer’s Ranch , Enchanted Rock , McKinney Falls , or Bull Creek .

You can also pay for private coaching lessons, or join a climbing team for more individualized instruction. Climbing guides like Rock-About and Summit Guides can take you on your very own climbing adventure, by yourself, or with a group of friends.

If you’re interested in rock climbing at all the great spots in Central Texas or beyond, there’s no better time than the present.

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