How Do I Start Bouldering?

  • Bouldering is a style of indoor climbing with about 15-ft tall walls and no ropes. There is giant mattress below you called a crash pad, so don’t worry. 
  • The objective of bouldering is to climb a preset route, or “problem”. You can think of a route as a short challenge or puzzle to solve. 
  • Boulder routes are a group of same colored holds specially set to go from the bottom of the wall to the top.  There are tape marks to show you where to place your hands and feet to start the route. The color of the tape represents different levels of difficulty.  We have color wheel signs up around the gym to describe the range of difficulty for our bouldering routes.  
  • So if its your first time don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.  Start by talking with a friend or our staff and decide what level of route you want to climb, find that color tape on the wall and look for the starting holds for your hands and feet.  Now your on your way to learning how to boulder!
  • Some other important tips to remember:
    • Be aware of other climbers. Take turns when climbing in crowded areas.  Watch for overlapping fall zones.
    • Whoever starts their climb first has the right-of-way, if you find yourself close to another climber while on the climbing wall.
    • If bouldering, please place your chalk bags and other items out of the fall zones.
    • If you use a brush to clean the holds please set it down outside the fall zones or tuck it against the base of the wall.


  • It is likely that you will fall at some point while bouldering in a climbing gym.
  • Know your body’s abilities and what impacts your body can sustain. Climb inside of your comfort zone, especially if you are uncomfortable with heights.
  • As you climb up the wall, anticipate falling and how you will react. Practice falling from increasing heights until you are comfortable falling from any elevation.
  • If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, downclimb to a level where you are comfortable using any hold available.
  • Even if you are an experienced climber, take the necessary time to understand our crash mats and the padding in order to understand the stiffness and how it reacts when you fall from different heights.
  • Before you start your climb, be sure that the area underneath is clear from other people, chalk bags, brush poles, etc.
  • When falling, DO NOT attempt to catch yourself on your feet, like a gymnast’s finish. While impressive in appearance, the padded surfaces do not offer reliable terrain and landing on your feet can put your ankles and back at risk of injury.
  • If you fall, don’t try to land on your feet, instead, tuck and tumble, distributing the impact over as much protected surface area of your body and over as much mat area/time as possible.