Climbing and Bouldering

An OAP staff member instructs two students at the climbing wall. The instructor holds belay ropes. All three are wearing masks. [View Image]

Spring 2021 roped climbing hours are

  • Monday - Friday 2:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday CLOSED
  • Sunday 3:00 - 7:00 p.m.

New for Spring 2021! The OAP March Climbing Challenge! 

The Cary Street Gym Climbing area features a 35-foot climbing wall with six top rope and one lead climbing routes. This area also features one freestanding and 18-foot bouldering section.

  • There is no additional cost to members or guests to use the climbing area. 
  • The Climbing Wall is a chalk free area. However, liquid chalk is allowed. 
  • Climbers must sign up for a facility access reservation to enter the Cary Street Gym, but do not need to reserve a climbing time.
  • all bouldering is drop-in any time the building is open, and roped climbing drop-in is available during posted hours.
  • All climbers must wash and/or sanitize their hands before entering the climbing wall floor or picking up rental equipment.
  • A maximum of 8 climbers may be on the climbing wall floor at any given time.
Program Modifications Climbing Wall
  • Climbing harnesses & shoes are available for free rental
  • Only OAP staff are permitted to belay climbers at the Wall, to limit the rope surface contact for climbers.
  • Lead climbing is only available during climbing clinics, which must be registered for in advance.
  • Patrons can register for climbing clinics online. Use the links in the clinic schedule below. 
Clinics Spring 2021

If these clinics do not work with your schedule or if you have a specific clinic that you would like offered, please email to schedule a custom climbing clinic to meet your needs."

Click on the linked title to register. All schedules are subject to change.

ClinicDateDayTimeSkill LevelFitness Level
Belay Clinic2/24Wednesday6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Beginner Low 
Climbing Technique Clinic3/2Tuesday4:00 - 5:00 p.m. BeginnerLow
Belay Clinic3/3Wednesday6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Beginner Low 
Belay Clinic3/10Wednesday6:00 - 7:00 p.m.Beginner Low 
Sport Climbing Clinic3/11Thursday2:00 - 4:00 p.m.IntermediateLow 
Gym to Crag Clinic3/16Tuesday3:00 - 5:00 p.m. BeginnerLow
Belay Clinic3/17 Wednesday 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Beginner Low 
Belay Clinic3/24 Wednesday6:00 - 7:00 p.m. BeginnerLow
Climbing Technique Clinic3/25Thursday2:00 - 3:00 p.m. BeginnerLow
Sport Climbing Clinic3/30Tuesday5:00 - 7:00 p.m.IntermediateLow
Belay Clinic3/31 Wednesday6:00 - 7:00 p.m. BeginnerLow
Climbing Technique Clinic4/1Thursday2:00 - 3:00 p.m.BeginnerLow
Belay Clinic4/7Wednesday6:00 - 7:00 p.m.BeginnerLow
Gym to Crag Clinic4/8Thursday12:00 - 2:00 p.m. BeginnerLow
Sport Climbing Clinic4/13Tuesday3:00 - 5:00 p.m.IntermediateLow
Belay Clinic4/14Wednesday6:00 - 7:00 p.m.BeginnerLow
Belay Clinic4/21Wednesday6:00 - 7:00 p.m.BeginnerLow
Climbing Technique Clinic4/22Thursday6:00 - 7:00 p.m.BeginnerLow
Sport Climbing Clinic4/27Tuesday3:00 - 5:00 p.m.IntermediateLow
Belay Clinic4/28Wednesday6:00 - 7:00 p.m..BeginnerLow
Gym to Crag Clinic5/4Tuesday3:00 - 5:00 p.m.BeginnerLow
Belay Clinic5/5Wednesday6:00 - 7:00 p.m.BeginnerLow
Belay Clinic5/12Wednesday6:00 - 7:00 p.m..BeginnerLow

OAP March Climbing Challenge
Climb into spring in a fun way with the OAP!  March 1 - 31, we are hosting our first annual climbing challenge. Try to set a personal record or compete against friends and climb El CAPITAN from your home climbing wall at the Cary Street Gym!
El Capitan (Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La in Native Miwok)  is a 2,900 granite monolith. Our climbing wall is 35 feet tall. Do you have what it takes to make 82 trips to the top to climb the equivalent of El Cap’s famous rocky face? That breaks down to 82 climbs in a month = 21 climbs a week = 4 climbs every day that we are open!

Climbing Wall Hours are: 
  • Monday - Friday   2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 
  • Saturday CLOSED
  • Sunday 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Don't want to go solo into the challenge? Join our group effort and help the OAP reach our goal of climbing to the peak of Everest, which is 29,035 vertical feet! Every climb helps us get to the goal. All levels of experience are welcome. 

All levels of climbing experience are welcome. Start your climbing adventure today by signing up at the Climbing Wall desk

To record climbers’ efforts there will be free punch cards kept at the climbing wall desk. After every climb, you will earn one hole punch from an OAP staff member. Efforts will be recorded and shared weekly through OAP social media! (is this online, or at the wall office? Will you be sharing it out on social media? )

  • Every climber to complete their ascent to El Cap receives a free rental from the OAP. 
  • The three highest climbers will get rad pieces of climbing gear. 
  • Everyone who participates gets entered in a raffle to win some cool prizes.  

Who: any climber, beginner to advanced! Anyone and everyone is welcome (masks are required)  

Where: Cary Street Gym Climbing Wall. (To use the gym, workout time must be reserved on the MyRecSports portal or through the VCURecSports mobile app). 

What: climbing to El Cap and/or Mt. Everest

When: March 1-31, 2021 

Why: It’s a fun way to get in some rock climbing during the colder months, meet some new friends at the wall, or set a new year challenge for yourself! Also, a chance to win some rad gear.

How: Fill out a punch card at the wall and get climbing! Punch cards will be kept at the Wall and stats will be displayed at the end of each week. Be sure to get your card punched after each climb and return it to the desk to make sure your climbs are logged 

Prizes: Every climber to complete their ascent to El Cap receives a free rental from the OAP. The three climbers who ascend the highest will get pieces of climbing gear. Everyone who participates gets entered in a raffle to win cool prizes

Any questions? Email us at or stop by the Wall during our open hours.  


Virginia Commonwealth University
Division of Student Affairs
101 S. Linden St.
Richmond, VA 23220

(804) 827-1100

About Recreational Sports

VCU Recreational Sports offers a diversity of programmed and informal recreational, fitness and sports activities for the VCU community.

Page last updated 08/14/2018

View graphic version