Schedule

ASCEND climbing classes operate on a first come first serve basis, so be sure to register by booking online using the calendar below (or by downloading the RGPro Connect app), calling in, or stopping by the front desk. Remember: you can always just drop in and climb any time ASCEND is open without a reservation or signing up for a class! Not interested in taking a class? Don't worry, you can use the climbing and fitness areas anytime ASCEND is open without a reservation or signing up for a class, but only if you were taught how to share. See each offering for cancellation policy.

PITTSBURGH CLIMBING CALENDAR

YOUNGSTOWN CLIMBING CALENDAR

Interested in more that just climbing programming? View the ALL ASCEND Events and Classes Calendar.

Classes

ASCEND offers a wide range of climbing classes to help you achieve your goals through proven tactics. These technique and skill focused classes are designed to take your climbing to the next level and teach and reinforce proper systems for improving your safety knowledge.

Boulder Basics (Beginners)

Brand new to bouldering? Still need some pointers? Go beyond our walkthrough with a guided bouldering session. Spend an hour with a climbing coach and get started on the right track.

  • Price: $20 per participant
  • Notes:
    • There is maximum of 4 or 5 people per class, depending on which location. First come, first served.
    • Facility admission and rental fees are additional, should those things apply to you.
    • Participants must be 14 years or older (exceptions will be considered).

*Special reservations are available for $30. Please allow about a week to schedule. There must be at least 2 participants.

PITTSBURGH - REGISTER NOW

YOUNGSTOWN - REGISTER NOW

Intro to Top Roping - Belay Class

Want to learn how to top-rope belay? This introductory course will teach you how to tie your knots and how to belay, so you, your friends, and your family can enjoy roped climbing together.

  • Duration: Tuesdays & Fridays from 6p-7p*
  • Price: $20 per participant
  • Notes:
    • There is maximum of 6 people per class. First come, first served.
    • Facility admission and rental fees are additional, should those things apply to you.
    • Participants must be 14 years or older (exceptions will be considered).
    • Not recommended as a first visit.

*Special reservations are available for $30. Please allow about a week to schedule. There must be at least 2 participants.

REGISTER NOW

Climbing 101 (Beginners)

A 4-week session designed to introduce a brand-new climber to the indoor adaptation of the sport. An instructor will cover climbing technique, lingo, bouldering, top-roping, belaying, training for climbing, and more! While anyone is welcome to join, this broad, introductory course was developed with beginner climbers in mind to give them the confidence needed to have fun, be safe, and make friends in the gym. Participants must be 14 years or older. Interested in Youth Climbing 101? Click HERE.

  • Duration: Sessions start on the first Wednesday of each month, 6p-8p (attending all classes is strongly recommended).
  • Price: $150 guests | $100 members
  • Included:
    • Four, 2-hour sessions of small group instruction.
    • Membership for the calendar month the sessions are held.
    • Rental gear for entire month.
    • 10% off in ASCEND retail shop.

REGISTER NOW

Climbing 202 - Boulder Beta (Intermediate)

A 4-week session designed to sharpen your technique. An instructor will guide participants through a range of climbing skills, including static vs dynamic movement, climbing on slabs vs overhangs, footwork, & projecting! While anyone is welcome to join, this course will be most beneficial to those who have been climbing 6 months or more.

  • Duration: Sessions Start on the first Monday of each month. 6p-8p (attending all classes is strongly recommended)
  • Price: $200 guests | $150 members
  • Included:
    • Four, 2-hour sessions of small group instruction.
    • Membership for the calendar month the sessions are held.
    • Rental gear for entire month.
    • 10% off in ASCEND retail shop.

     

    REGISTER NOW

 

Sport Climbing 1: Indoor Sport Climbing (Intermediate)

Learn the basics of leading and lead belaying. Students will focus on lead belaying with an ATC, how to properly clip quickdraws, and how to take lead falls. Note: Leading on ASCEND's top-rope wall is not allowed outside of this class.

  • Goals: To provide introductory information, hands on practice, and lead climbing confidence.
  • Duration: Offered monthly on select Saturdays or Sundays
  • Cost: $60 members | $70 guests
  • Prerequisites:
    • ASCEND Green Belay Tag
    • Redpoint 10-
    • Comfortably climb 5.9
    • Participants must be 14 years or older.

REGISTER NOW

Sport Climbing 2: Gym to Crag (Intermediate)

In addition to reviewing all topics in Sport Climbing 1, students will be introduced to lead belaying with a GRIGRI, cleaning, lowering, and common sport climbing anchors. Note: Leading on ASCEND's top-rope wall is not allowed outside of this class.

  • Goals: To prepare students for outdoor sport climbing.
  • Duration: Offered monthly on select Saturdays or Sundays
  • Cost: $60 members | $70 guests
  • Prerequisites:
    • Sport Climbing 1 or equivalent experience 

REGISTER NOW

Outdoor Guiding

ASCEND is SO PSYCHED to introduce you all to climbing in the great outdoors. After all, that's where this whole climbing thing originated, so let us show you the ropes and our roots.

2020 Schedule + Locations (dates and locations tentative, due to the evolving nature of COVID-19 restrictions)

  • July 11 – Outdoor Bouldering Trip - Coopers Rock, WV
  • July 25 - Building Top-Rope Anchors - Coopers Rock, WV
  • Aug 8 - Intro to Multi-Pitch Climbing - Coopers Rock, WV
  • Aug 15 - Intro to Outdoor Top-Roping - Coopers Rock, WV
  • Aug 22 – Intro to Outdoor Top-Roping - Coopers Rock, WV
  • Aug 29 – Intro to Multi-Pitch Climbing - Coopers Rock, WV
  • Sept 5 - Women's TR Climbing at Coopers - Coopers Rock, WV
  • Sept 12 – Intro to Outdoor Top-Roping - Coopers Rock, WV
  • Sept 19 – Building Top-Rope Anchors - Coopers Rock, WV
  • Sept 26 - Intro to Multi-Pitch Climbing - Coopers Rock, WV
  • Oct 3 – Intro to Outdoor Top-Roping - Coopers Rock, WV
  • Oct 17 – Building Top-Rope Anchors - Coopers Rock, WV

**Trips are always scheduled for a Saturday and the immediate Sunday is the weather make-up day for any given trip. Participants should be available for both days in case a trip is moved to a Sunday, and are aware that they will not be refunded 100% if they cannot make the Sunday date.

**This schedule is subject to change… including locations, which may change the week of the trip depending on weather.

Intro to Outdoor Top-Roping (Beginner-Intermediate)

This trip is designed for participants new to climbing outside. Sure, you might be able to boulder V7, but roped climbing outside is quite different in terms of technique and safety. If you've never climbed outside or need a refresher, this entry-level outdoor climbing class will leave you feeling more comfortable and ready to take the next step.

  • Goals: Participants will learn how to rappel and how to climb outside using a top-rope system.
  • Duration: Offered on select Saturdays from 9a - 3p (rain day is always scheduled for the next day on Sunday)
  • Equipment: Harness, shoes, helmet required, but if you're without, we got you covered free of charge!
  • Prerequisites:
    • ASCEND Green Belay Tag (if 14 and up)
    • Comfortably climb 5.6

REGISTER NOW

Building Top-Rope Anchors (Intermediate)

Have you ever wanted to know how that rope you're tied into is secured at the top of the cliff? This trip is designed for participants with some experience climbing outside who will be introduced to anchor building and other self-sufficiency skills - the key to begin exploring the world through climbing.

  • Goals: Participants will learn how to rig top-ropes in common situations and will also be introduced to related rope-climbing techniques.
  • Duration: Offered on select Saturdays from 9a - 3p (rain day is always scheduled for the next day on Sunday)
  • Equipment: Harness, shoes, helmet required, but if you're without, we got you covered free of charge!
  • Prerequisites:
    • ASCEND Green Belay Tag
    • Intro to Outdoor Top-Roping or speak to comparable experience
    • Comfortably climb 5.6
    • Participants must be 18 years or older

REGISTER NOW

Intro to Multi-Pitch Climbing (Intermediate)

Are you interested in learning the fundamentals of multi-pitch climbing? In this 6-hour outdoor class you will learn the skills necessary to be a competent follower in a multi-pitch environment at a crag local to Pittsburgh. Skills covered are belaying a lead climber building a suitable anchor for rappelling, how to do an extended rappel with an auto-block backup, and how to belay a climber from a top anchor.

  • Goals: Participants will learn how to lead belay, build suitable anchors for rappelling, advanced rappelling techniques, and how to belay from the top
  • Duration: Offered on select Saturdays from 9a - 3p (rain day is always scheduled for the next day on Sunday)
  • Equipment: Harness, shoes, helmet required, but if you're without, we got you covered free of charge!
  • Prerequisites:
    • ASCEND Green Belay Tag
    • Intro to Outdoor Top-Roping or speak to comparable experience
    • Comfortably climb 5.6
    • Participants must be 18 years or older

REGISTER NOW

Women's Top-Rope Climbing Outing (Beginner-Intermediate)

This trip is designed for participants who identify as women, who are either new to climbing outside or just want to join in on the fun! Sure, you might be able to boulder V7, but roped climbing outside is quite different in terms of technique and safety. If you've never climbed outside or need a refresher, this entry-level outdoor climbing class will leave you feeling more comfortable and ready to take the next step.

  • Goals: Participants will learn how to rappel and how to climb outside using a top-rope system.
  • Duration: Offered on select Saturdays from 9a - 3p (rain day is always scheduled for the next day on Sunday)
  • Equipment: Harness, shoes, helmet required, but if you're without, we got you covered free of charge!
  • Prerequisites:
    • ASCEND Green Belay Tag (if 14 and up)
    • Comfortably climb 5.6

REGISTER NOW

Outdoor Bouldering

Have you been bouldering the gym for a couple months now and you are interested to learn about taking your skills outside? This trip is designed to give you the skills necessary to take your bouldering practice outside. We will always run this trip at Coopers Rock, but there are many bouldering areas within this forest, and we will mix up the spots where we climb to give participants a variety of problems and grades. Our main focus will be at areas with high concentration of V0-V5 problems.

  • Goals: Participants will learn how to boulder outside. Proper pad placement and spotting technique will be discussed and practiced. The day will begin with a discussion about safety factors and Leave No Trace ethics.
  • Duration: Offered on select Saturdays from 9a - 3p (rain day is always scheduled for the next day on Sunday)
  • Equipment: Just shoes and chalk! That's the beauty of bouldering. We will provide crash pads, but please feel free to bring your own if you have one. Need shoes? We've got you covered free of charge! We will not provide chalk, please bring your own if you would like some.
  • Prerequisites:
    • Ability to climb in the yellow circuit or greater at ASCEND.
    • Participants must be 18 years or older.

REGISTER NOW

Private Guiding

Looking for something that's not listed above or prefer to roll with your own crew? Have little to no experience and just want to get outside for an all-inclusive day of climbing? Scout troop that needs climbing merit badges? We got you! Pricing will vary depending on your needs and how many people you have.

INQUIRE NOW

Adaptive Climbing

As a space that fosters community & belonging, our goal is to provide accessible climbing for people of all abilities. While anyone is welcome to come to the gym at any time (including your service dog), we'd be happy to schedule you with a staff member to make sure you get the most out of your visit to ASCEND. We also host adaptive community events! See below for more.

REGISTER TO CLIMB AT AN UPCOMING EVENT

If you're interested in volunteering, would like to inquire about a special event, or have any additional questions, please email [email protected].

Competitions

Climbing comps? Yep - they're a thing that we host, so keep your eye out for the next Steel Town Throw Down! Head on over to our EVENT BLOG to learn more about what's coming up and what's history.

Private Coaching

Personal Training at ASCEND includes everything from classic fitness training to climbing coaching, all designed for YOU in a 1-on-1 or small group setting. Whether you'd like to send V10, get in shape for epic hikes, or recover from/prevent injury, we got you. Meet with a trainer, discuss your goals, and be on your way to your next challenge. Pricing will vary depending on your needs and how many people you have. And don't forget that EFT members receive one complimentary consult.

INQUIRE NOW

Instructors
Todd McCormick

Todd was introduced to climbing through the Boy Scouts but started getting more serious about it when he started at the University of Pittsburgh in 2004. Since then he has gained experience with route setting, guiding, coaching, and outdoor retail. He is passionate about traveling and loves exploring new areas through climbing. He's traveled extensively throughout the country primarily for sport climbing and bouldering. He is also an avid ultra runner, and he loves talking about pretty much anything running/climbing related.

Matthew Tschippert

Matthew has been competing at climbing competitions for as long as he has been climbing. Starting in 2009, he was drawn to the sport after a long career in swimming. In addition to competing nationally, Matt has also traveled and climbed a number of hard boulder problems outside, including the classic Hueco Tanks problems "Power of Silence" and "Power of Landjager". Currently, he has an affinity for route setting & sharing his climbing vision through coaching. 

Maria Rose

Maria Rose is relatively new to the climbing scene, having first started while living in northern Thailand. The majority of her time was spent sport climbing on the walls of the Crazy Horse crag outside of Chiang Mai, and deep water soloing in Krabi. (This has made her very spoiled to climbing in perpetual sunshine.) Maria is also a competitive runner, running track and cross country from middle school through college, setting pole vault records in college, and training with the Thai national track team. She is passionate about seeing female athletes and athletes of color receive more recognition in the climbing scene, and hopes to make the sport more accessible to Pittsburgh's communities through coaching and conversations that challenge stereotypes of who belongs outdoors.