Schedule

ASCEND's youth programs are designed to grow strong minds and bodies in Pittsburgh's youth. No matter a child's age or level of experience, we've got a program for you - see below to learn more! To get inspired, follow us on Instagram.

PITTSBURGH YOUTH CALENDAR

YOUNGSTOWN YOUTH CALENDAR

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

Rules

Youth Rules and Tips: Kids LOVE and EXCEL at climbing, especially bouldering. Unfortunately, they sometimes view it as a jungle gym when in reality it is quite the opposite! We want kids to have fun, but our guests' safety is our top-priority. This is why we will strictly enforce the *DIRECT SUPERVISION of any kids 13 and under. While supervising, please remember the following rules. Please help us take safety seriously.

  • No running on or off the pads, but especially on the pads.
  • Pads are only for climbing and falling on. Do not jump around, chase anyone, or perform gymnastics.
  • Approach the intended climb from directly in front of the start. Do not walk on the pads to your next climb. Simply said, get on, climb, then get off.
  • Give other climbers at least 15 feet of space and only one climber per route.
  • The downclimb is only for getting off of the orange top out boulder.
  • Keep chalk socks inside chalk bags. Never throw chalk socks or anything else.
  • Fitness, cardio, and training areas are off limits for those 13 and under.
  • NEVER walk underneath a climber. This could result in injury or death and is the most important thing that you will read on this entire website!

If these rules are not followed, we reserve the right to ask you to leave.

Rules?! There are no rules in climbing, right? Well kind of. So here are ASCEND's:

  • Food, beverages, and sharp objects must stay off the bouldering pads.
  • Street shoes and bare feet are not permitted on climbing walls.
  • Shirts are required - we promise to keep it cool.
  • Sober climbing is the best climbing - do not climb while intoxicated.
  • All climbers and visitors must complete a liability waiver before entering ASCEND.
  • Climbers 13 and under must be directly supervised by an adult.
  • You must be at least 14 to be in the fitness and training areas or to take a regularly scheduled climbing, fitness, or yoga class.
  • There is only one wall you can end up on the top of: the top-out wall!
  • Belaying requires approval from ASCEND staff.
  • Climbing shoes are not permitted in the bathrooms. Gross!
  • Climbing flooring is for falling - not walking, sitting, or horsing around.
  • Use caution when using the climbing walls and fitness equipment - this is not a jungle gym!

Etiquette schmettiquette! But seriously, let's keep everyone happy and healthy.

  • This is a safe space. Everyone deserves respect and compassion.
  • Pay attention! Other climbers may be above you or waiting to climb behind you.
  • Only spot when asked and/or trained to do so.
  • Politely ask before telling someone how to climb - figuring out the beta is half the challenge!
  • Gender does not determine skill or strength. Don't assume.
  • Keep your wet and muddy shoes away from the climbing areas.
  • Chalk belongs in your bag and on your hands.
  • Clean up after yourself - put away fitness equipment - wipe down machines.

Please keep in mind: Failure to adhere to the Rules & Etiquette of ASCEND can lead to the suspension of climbing and facility access privileges.

Youth 101

YOUTH CLIMBING 101: A 4-week session designed to introduce a child to the sport of indoor climbing. An instructor will cover basic gym safety, etiquette, bouldering, auto-belay climbing, technique, lingo, and more! Kids aged 6-13 are welcome to join this introductory course, developed to give the confidence needed to have fun, be safe, and make friends in the gym! If a child is interested in joining the A-Team, this is the place to start!

Duration: Four 1.5 hour sessions each month. Check the booking link for dates and times. Attending all classes is strongly recommended!

PITTSBURGH - REGISTER NOW

YOUNGSTOWN - REGISTER NOW

Family 101

A 4-week program designed to prepare a family to responsibly enjoy the sport of indoor climbing. Caring instructors will teach adults and children about basic gym safety, etiquette, bouldering, rope wall climbing, technique, lingo, and more! If you want your entire family to participate in a great sport together, this is the program for you! Class curriculum varies by facility.

PITTSBURGH - REGISTER NOW

YOUNGSTOWN - INQUIRE NOW

A-Team

Become a part of the A-TEAM by joining the ASCEND Youth Team! Designed for children and teens of all abilities, coaches will foster a positive, inclusive community that supports recreational and competitive climbers as they strive to meet their own personal goals. Participants will learn climbing specific skills as well as teamwork, problem solving, and developmentally appropriate body awareness. Coaches will work directly with each team member to identify and progress toward individual 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 and we have the options to meet the needs of your young climber.

Already a member of the A-Team? Check out our team reference page for more helpful information.

A-TEAM PRICING

All A-Team subscriptions come with an ASCEND Membership, allowing A-Team participants to visit ASCEND at any time throughout the month. They also include small group coaching and instruction each practice, rental gear on team days, ASCEND A-Team shirt, 30% off Evolv climbing shoes (team sponsor!), discounted registration to ASCEND hosted competitions, and more! Monthly pricing is be based on the number of coached practices per week.

Pricing is as follows:

  • Once per week (estimated 4 sessions per month) = $96 / mo. ($24 per 2 hr session)
  • Twice per week (estimated 8 sessions per month ) = $160 / mo. ($20 per 2 hr session)
  • Thrice per week (estimated 12 sessions per month) = $192 / mo. ($16 per 2 hr session)
  • [COMP TEAM] Thrice per week (estimated 12 sessions per month plus coach support at comps) = $234 ($19.50 per 3hr session or $6.50 per hour)
    • participation in USAC Regional, Divisional and National competitions may encur additional fees

In keeping with current parameters:

  • REC Team - may attend practice once per week*
  • INT Team - may attend practices twice per week*
  • COMP Team - must attend practiced thrice per week

*Additional days per week can potentially be added upon request, at an additional cost.

PITTSBURGH A-TEAM

A-TEAM REC: Two hours of coached climbing in a positive, non-competitive environment where kids can boulder, climb the top-rope wall, play games, challenge themselves, build strength, and make friends while under the supervision of caring and experienced staff. Youth Climbing 101 required if lacking previous climbing team experience.

  • Ages: 6-17 (or 18 if still in HS)
  • Duration: Register for one session:
    • Tuesday evenings from 5p-7p
    • Thursday evenings from 5p-7p
    • Saturday from 12p-2p
    • Sunday from 9a-11a
      • To check availability and to get started CLICK HERE.
      • PARTICIPANTS MUST HAVE COMPLETED YOUTH CLIMBING 101 OR HAVE SPECIAL APPROVAL FROM THE YOUTH DIRECTOR TO BOOK THIS EVENT

A-TEAM INTERMEDIATE: Two hours of coached climbing in a focused, competitive environment where kids can improve their climbing technique through drills and individualized coaching, build strength through fitness training, and prepare to compete in climbing competitions. Youth Climbing 101 required if lacking previous climbing team experience.

  • Ages: 8-17 (or 18 if still in HS)
  • Duration: Register for two sessions:
    • Wednesdays from 5p-7p
    • Fridays from 5p-7p 
    • Sundays from 9a-11a
      • To check availability and to get started CLICK HERE.

A-TEAM COMPETITION: Three hours of coached climbing in a focused, competitive environment where kids can improve their climbing technique through drills and individualized coaching, build strength through fitness training, and prepare to compete in climbing competitions. Also included is coach support at numerous competitions around the region. 

  • Ages: 8-17 (or 18 if still in HS)
  • Duration: 3 hours each night:
    • Mondays from 4:45-7:45pm
    • Wednesdays from 4:45-7:45pm
    • Fridays from 4:45-7:45pm
      • Fall season registration now closed - check back for spring registration this winter!
YOUNGSTOWN A-TEAM

The Youngstown A-Team features two options:

  • 1. One session per week with two hours of coached climbing in a positive, non-competitive environment where kids can boulder, play games, challenge themselves, build strength and make friends while under the supervision of caring coaches.
  • 2. Two sessions per week with two hours of coached climbing in a positive, challenging environment where kids can grow strength, learn effective techniques and maybe even enter climbing competitions
  • Ages: 6 - 17
  • Duration: Wednesday and/or Friday from 5p-7p. Sessions run monthly. Choose one or two of the two days (day attendance must remain consistent for that month).
      • PARTICIPANTS MUST HAVE COMPLETED YOUTH CLIMBING 101 OR HAVE SPECIAL APPROVAL FROM THE YOUTH DIRECTOR TO BOOK THIS EVENT
A-TEAM INFORMATION
  • All EFT participants must register the front desk.
  • All participants must have completed youth climbing 101 or have special approval from the Director of Youth to join the A-Team or drop-in.
  • Snacks, transportation, and before/after team child care are not included in any of the A-Team offering.
  • Special events, competitions, and holidays may impact some sessions resulting in cancellation or rescheduling. Some months may have fewer than 4-weeks worth of sessions while others may have have more. We will do our best to be fair and equitable and provide advance notice for any schedule changes. 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.

Camps

ASCEND's camps are designed to grow strong minds and bodies in our region's youth. Caring, experienced ASCEND counselors will guide children through fun and developmentally appropriate activities, such as bouldering, top-rope climbing, yoga, slacklining, and more!

MINI-CAMPS

Please hang tight while we schedule our next mini-camp.

SUMMER CAMPS

We are excited for a new season of camps at both of our locations!  ASCEND Pittsburgh will offer half and full day camps while ASCEND Youngstown will offer half day camps only in its inaugural year. Camps will run Monday through Friday for the following weeks:

  • Session 1: June 14-18
  • Session 2: June 21-25 (Pittsburgh only)
  • Session 3: June 28-July 3
  • Session 4: July 12-16 (Pittsburgh only)
  • Session 5: July 19-23
  • July 26-30: Collaborative camp with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh - RESGISTER HERE
  • Session 6: August 2-6
  • Session 7: August 9-13
  • August 9-13: Special shared camp experience with the Environmental Collaborative of Ohio for a full day camp based in Youngstown, OH - REGISTER HERE

PITTSBURGH - REGISTER NOW

YOUNGSTOWN - REGISTER NOW

 

CAMPS FAQ
What ages are best suited for ASCEND Summer Camp?
  • We recommend ages 6-16, but are sometimes flexible. Inquire for more.
What will a typical summer camp day look like?
  • Every day will include activities such as bouldering, top rope climbing, games, yoga, hiking, crate-stacking, slacklining and more. Specific activities vary by facility.  Our highly experienced and trained camp staff will be involved constantly by supervising, teaching, coaching, and encouraging each child.  Half day campers will have a break for snack and full day campers will have a break for lunch.
How do I drop off/pick up my child?
  • For camp arrival, please park and bring your child into the gym. For dismissal, please park and enter the gym to pick up your child. We have a parking lot outside our main entrance, a supplemental lot at the UPMC/Rite Aid on the corner of 23rd and Jane St as well as on street parking.
What modifications are in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • The number of participants in each camp session has been reduced.
  • Until further notice, appropriate face coverings will be worn at all times by coaches and participants while indoors. Masks will also be worn outdoors when social distancing is not possible.
  • Other facility staff and users are expected to follow CDC face covering guidelines requiring masks for non-vaccinated people.
  • Participants are asked to bring in only the items that are necessary for that day. Each child will have a specified cubby to store their belongings that is cleaned everyday.
  • Our staff will continue regular cleanings of commonly touched surfaces.
  • All staff and participants will engage in frequent hand washing including before and after climbing or other activities.
  • Participants will complete a daily health screening and receive a temperature check upon arrival.
  • Any staff or participant that feels sick or exhibits any symptoms is encouraged to remain at home.
Will you serve food or snacks?
  • Campers will have the opportunity to re-energize with a snack break every morning. We will not provide the snacks, so if your child desires food or drink please send something with them every day. Kids are also permitted to buy concessions from our front desk.
  • Full day campers will have a break for lunch. Lunch is not provided so please send it with them in the morning.
Can my child climb after summer camp hours have finished?
  • Kids can climb after camp has ended for that day without having to purchase an additional day pass. That being said, our staff supervision ends at the conclusion of camp; so any children under the age of 14 would need to be directly supervised by a parent or guardian.
What should my child wear?
  • We encourage athletic apparel for climbing, but many climbers are just as happy to climb in jeans. 
Is climbing rental gear included in the price of camp?
  • Yes, any climbing gear a child would need to participate in camp activities will be provided. This includes climbing shoes, chalk bags, and climbing harnesses.
Does my child need to sign a liability waiver?
  • Yes, every participant and visitor must sign a liability waiver in order to enter our facility. Individuals under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign for them. You can do this ahead of time by clicking HERE or in person at the gym.
What is your refund policy?
  • 100% of your deposit will be refunded if you cancel 10 days before your scheduled camp session.
  • 50% of your deposit will be refunded if you cancel 5 days before your scheduled camp session.
  • 0% of your deposit will be refunded if you cancel less than 5 days before your scheduled camp session.
  • 100% of your deposit will be refunded if camp is cancelled due to low registration.
Should I tip the camp staff?
  • Tipping the camp staff is not required. Although if you feel a staff member has positively exceeded your expectations, feel free to express your gratitude however you see fit.
Is it ok to enroll my child if they have never climbed before?
  • Absolutely! Our camps are designed to be accessible to all levels of climbers; from first timers to experienced competitors.
What will a typical summer camp day look like?
  • Every day will include bouldering, top rope climbing, yoga and special activities such as, hiking, crate-stacking, slacklining and more. Our highly experienced and trained camp staff will be involved constantly by supervising, teaching, coaching, and encouraging each child.
Do you offer day care before or after camp hours?
  • We do not offer day care before or after camp. Our camp hours are 9am-12pm for half day camp and 9am-3pm for full day camp.
My child has special needs. Can they attend camp?
  • We will do everything we can to include children of all abilities. For more specific info please send us a message.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or for more information, please send us a message or join the ASCEND Newsletter and social media feeds found below.
Scouts

We have several scout program options to meet the ages or needs of any scout.

  • Our 2-hour workshop is designed for youth ages 8 and under. This program includes climbing terminology, indoor climbing safety/etiquette, basic bouldering skills, and climbing with auto-belays. Cost is $35 per participant (minimum 3 participants).
  • Our 3-hour workshop is designed for youth ages 9-13. This program includes all aspects of the 2-hour workshop plus top-rope climbing. Cost is $45 per participant (minimum 3 participants).
  • Our 4-hour workshop is designed for youth ages 14-18 or for those that are at least a First Class Scout. This program includes all aspects of the 2-hour and 3-hour program plus belaying and rappelling. By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to earn the Climbing Merit Badge for Scouts BSA or the Ultimate Recreation Challenge Badge for Girl Scouts. Cost is $60 per participant (minimum 3 participants).

Important Notes:

  • Any necessary climbing gear rentals are included at no cost during the program.
  • All prices are based on a minimum of 3 participants and programs may not be booked without 3 or more participants.
  • Sessions scheduled with 5 weeks or more of notice will be guaranteed to be staffed. Sessions scheduled with less than 5 weeks of notice will not be guaranteed, but we will do our best to make it happen.

Send us a message for more information or to schedule your group.

Scholarships

ASCEND's Equity + Outreach Fund will work to support families in need of financial assistance! Bear with us as this program grows, but the goal is simple - to connect those in need with those who want to give. Interested families will apply for financial assistance for programs such as Camps, A-Team, Youth 101, and Family 101, and we will work with those families to help offset those costs. Simply send us an email telling us what you're hopeful for by clicking the button below. Also be sure to learn about our Supported Memberships and Complimentary Day Passes.

REQUEST ASSISTANCE                     MAKE A DONATION

Competitions

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