The A-Team

Now enrolling for the Summer Season - May 6-Aug 31!  Registration ends on May 5th!

The A-Team is for anyone ages 6-18 who is interested in pursuing the sport of climbing for pleasure and/or competition. A-Team climbers will be introduced to various climbing skills, terminology, and training protocols. We will also introduce our youth team climbers to the greater climbing community.

ASCEND believes that all people can climb and we strive to create an open and inclusive environment where all of our A-Team climbers can explore this wonderful sport within the structured setting of a 15-week long climbing season. Throughout the season the coaches will work with our youth athletes on identifying areas where growth can occur to facilitate consistent improvement in the ability and mentality of all our climbers. Coaches will work directly with each team member to identify and progress toward individualized goals whether that be to enjoy climbing with friends or to climb competitively. Our climbing team is a fun place to explore limits, gain confidence, and learn life-long skills. Kids love to climb, grow, and spend time with their friends, and what better place to do that than at a climbing gym!

Participation on the A-Team is a privilege and not a right. We expect a certain level of commitment and proper behavior from our A-Team climbers and reserve the right to remove any participant from the A-Team roster if there are continued issues with commitment, ability to follow rules, and/or lack or respect shown to other team members, staff, or the gym community.


Important Information

Structure + Registration Process

The A-Team is split into four levels:

  1. REC (recreation)

  2. INT (intermediate)

  3. ADV (advanced)

  4. COMP (competition)

Each year, there will be three seasons:

  1. Fall (Sept. - Dec.)

  2. Spring (Jan. - Apr.)

  3. Summer (May - Aug.)

During each 15 week season, coaches will work with our team climbers to subdivide the teams into working groups based on age, ability level, and commitment to climbing and training. Each participant is required to purchase either a “Once Per Week,” “Twice Per Week,” or “Thrice Per Week” ticket, which will last the whole season. For those climbers on the COMP Team; you will need to purchase the “COMP-Thrice Per Week” ticket. Please be sure to assign this ticket and purchase to the A-TEAM climber, NOT the parent/guardian making the purchase. The ticket purchase triggers 3 emails, one of which is a Registration Form. It is imperative to fill out the Registration Form that you receive by the indicated deadline. This is where you are able to pick in which session(s) your climber will participate. All of our registration is on a first-come first-serve basis. Once a team session gets filled, that session will be closed to registration for the duration of the season. Current team participants will be given advanced notice to register before the general public. So, get your slots early!

Each ticket denotes the number of sessions per 15 week season. E.g. “Twice Per Week” ticket is equivalent to 30 coached climbing sessions over the 15 week season. We highly encourage our climbers to come to every session. The A-TEAM is designed as a progressive program that builds week by week, and we have found the more consistent the climber, the greater the enjoyment and progression that will be achieved. If a climber is unable to make a session (we get it, life happens), you are welcome to take advantage of your membership to come to any facility outside of practice time to ensure your child does not fall behind their fellow A-Team climbers. For our REC/INT Team climbers we recommend climbing once or twice per week. For ADV Team we recommend twice or thrice per week.

We also encourage our climbers to climb outside of team practice times with their friends/family. In order to facilitate this, a free membership will be included with all A-Team registrations! It will automatically begin on the first Monday that the season starts, and will last through the end of the month of the last session of the season. Ex. Team begins the week of May 6-12 and ends the week of August 19-25, therefore the membership will be active from May 6-August 31 (Since the first day of the new season is May 6, we kindly ask to please finalize all registrations on the Sunday before the team starts: May 5.). For those on the team registering for the following season, the included membership would continue uninterrupted through the next season. Also, rental gear is included during any visit to any ASCEND Facility.

For those COMP Team climbers who would like to continue climbing through the summer, we will be reintegrating the COMP and ADV Team at ASCEND South Side and will not be offering Friday team classes again until next fall. If you are a Regionals and/or Divisionals qualifier please reach out directly to [email protected] for extra practice/training options.

What Else Is Included

All A-Team climbers will receive an ASCEND A-Team shirt at the beginning of each 15 week session (one per year) as well as the opportunity to purchase one pair of Evolv climbing shoes at a 30% discount each calendar year. Participants also receive rental gear on team days, discounted registration to camps, events, competitions, and more! Shoe discount only available during team order window and discounts on camps, events, comps, etc...only available on specified sessions.

A-Team Prerequisites

  • REC Team: In order to join the REC Team, we ask that our athletes have participated in either an ASCEND Summer Camp, Youth 101, or Family 101. Check out our Youth + Family Introductory Classes.

  • INT Team: In order to join the INT Team, we ask that our athletes have participated in at least 1 season on the REC Team.

  • ADV/COMP: In order to join the ADV/COMP Team it is by invite of the A-Team coaching staff at Ascend.

  • If you have previously participated in a climbing team and believe your child has the necessary experience to join the INT, ADV, or COMP A-Team without completing a prerequisite, please reach out to [email protected] with any questions.


  • Once Per Week (15 – 1.5hr sessions) = $450

    • We are making an adjustment to our REC Team schedule for the summer down to 1.5 hr sessions per class. This change is to allow our youth climbers some time off over the summer, as well as a nudge and encouragement to get outside and spend time in the sun! We have also found that some of our REC level climbers are struggling to maintain focus and discipline for a full 2 hr. session. We hope and believe that this change can lead to better results in the gym as well as an improvement in the overall impact our Youth Teams have on the gym community.

  • Twice Per Week (30 - 2hr sessions) = $750

  • Thrice Per Week (45 - 2hr sessions) = $900

  • COMP Thrice Per Week (45 - 3hr sessions) = $1,125

    • participation in USAC Regional, Divisional and National competitions may incur additional fees

Additional Information

  • Snacks, transportation, and before/after team child care are not included in any of the A-Team offerings.

  • We ask all our climbers to arrive as close to the start of their team as possible and to show up ready to climb. That means having proper clothing (active clothing allowing for stretching and movement—climbers must wear shorts or pants underneath skirts), a water bottle and snack if possible (we offer drinks and snacks for purchase at the front desk), and try to show up rested and ready to send.

  • Special events, competitions, and holidays may impact some sessions resulting in rescheduling. But, we will do our best to plan out the entirely of each season from the beginning and not disrupt that. Thank you in advance for your understanding!

If you have any questions, suggestions, interest in joining the team, interest in competitive level training, or for more information, send us a message.

All About The

REC (Recreation) Team

The REC Team is our introductory-level team at ASCEND. The focus of this level is to learn the language, geometry, and technique of climbing. Our coaches will facilitate an exploration of the sport through three 15-week long seasons over a calendar year. Our coaches will work with our climbers to grow a sense of curiosity and excitement for climbing through 1.5 hr structured sessions with coaches exploring the basics of climbing, community, and mentality. We value the climbing community just as much as the sport itself at ASCEND and our coaches hope to foster a similar sense of community and camaraderie to our youth climbers. This means that along with learning the basics of climbing, we will also focus on team-building skills, and group dynamics. We climbers love to support each other when sending our projects! Our goal with the REC Team is to provide a base from which our climbers can progress into our next level: the INT Team.

Recommended Age Range: 6-12 years old

ASCEND South Side - REC Team - Current Offerings

  • Once Per Week - Register Here

  • Twice Per Week – Register Here

  • Thrice Per Week – Register Here

    • Tuesday Nights 5-6:30p

    • Thursday Nights 5-6:30p

    • Saturday Afternoons 12-1:30p

    • Sunday Mornings 9-10:30a

ASCEND Point Breeze - REC Team - Current Offerings

  • Once Per Week - Register Here

  • Twice Per Week – Register Here

  • Thrice Per Week – Register Here

    • Monday Nights 5-6:30p

    • Wednesday Nights 5-6:30p

    • Saturday Mornings 9-10:30a

    • Sunday Mornings 11a-12:30p

ASCEND Erie - REC Team - Current Offerings

All About The

INT (Intermediate) Team

Our INT Team is a continuation of the topics from REC Team as well as an introduction to the next set of higher level topics around climbing and community. Following the same three 15-week seasons per calendar year, this is also the team where our climbers can explore what it means to them to be a climber. The INT Team is the “bridge” team of youth climbing at Ascend. Climbers on the INT Team are encouraged to try all aspects of climbing, including outdoor climbing and competitions. Our INT Team climbers must have a strong base in the physical and mental aspects of climbing on a team. They must also demonstrate the necessary level of commitment required to progress in this more goal-oriented environment. On this team, climbers will work with coaches to determine specific, attainable goals for each season. Our coaches will then work directly with each climber to achieve those goals.

Along with the technical aspects of climbing, we will continue to foster and grow the supportive community of the A-TEAM. On our INT Team, we will work with our climbers to help create “good sending energy” for themselves and everyone else on the team. This will be facilitated by careful monitoring of our climbers by the coaching staff, ensuring that our training groups are appropriately organized by age, ability, and level of commitment. We will ask more of our INT Team climbers in terms of finding intrinsic motivation and ownership of their participation in the climbing team. This ownership over one’s growth and development we hope fosters a lifelong love of climbing and the community surrounding it.

Recommended Age Range: 8-16 years old

ASCEND South Side - INT Team - Current Offerings

  • Once Per Week - Register Here

  • Twice Per Week – Register Here

  • Thrice Per Week – Register Here

    • Tuesday Nights 5-7p

    • Thursday Nights 5-7p

    • Friday Afternoons 11a-1p

    • Saturday Afternoons 12-2p

    • Sunday Mornings 9-11a

ASCEND Point Breeze - INT Team - Current Offerings

ASCEND Erie - INT Team - Current Offerings

All About The

ADV (Advanced) Team

The ADV Team is dedicated to our youth climbers who are interested in training hard and improving their climbing skills, but are not interested in the competitive side of climbing. While the commitment level is slightly lower than that of the COMP Team with practice sessions remaining at 2 hrs. per session, there is still an expectation that members of the ADV Team are excited by the idea of training and working hard on their climbing. We generally recommend at least 2 sessions/week for our ADV Team climbers and encourage them to climb on their own outside of practice as well. In addition to the climbing focus of the ADV Team, our coaching team will work with the team to begin to explore the broader climbing community on their own time outside of the team structure. We believe in providing our youth climbers with a platform to have a lifelong sport to pursue no matter where they end up in life.

Recommended Age Range: 10-18 years old

ASCEND South Side/Point Breeze - COMP Team – Current Offerings

All About The

COMP (Competition) Team

The COMP Team is heavily focused on training for and competing in the USA Climbing (USAC) Youth Series throughout the year. This team requires the highest level of commitment to attending team practices and competitions throughout the season. This includes three 3 hr. climbing sessions each week, and a commitment to attend enough competitions to qualify for regional rankings. The COMP Team will roughly follow the same 15-week cycle, with specialized training for those athletes competing in Divisional and/or National level USAC competitive events. As such this team is only open to athletes who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to climbing and training and have been invited by the COMP Team coaching staff. Along with higher levels of climbing training, there will be more emphasis on pushing limits and practicing mental resiliency strategies that support competition at the highest level.
A commitment to the COMP Team is a commitment to intensive training on a consistent basis. We want our COMP Team climbers to make that commitment to repeated intensive training. In order to facilitate this, we ask that climbing takes a front and center role in terms of after school activities. We recognize that many kids participate in a variety of after school activities; however in order to be a COMP Team member we ask that the commitment to climbing over the course of each 15 week season takes a prominent role in the lives of each climber.

ASCEND South Side/Point Breeze - COMP Team – Current Offerings

  • The COMP team takes the summers off. We'll see you in the fall!