Getting Started

Hello Climber,

Welcome to the Twin Cities Rock Climbing Meetup (TCRC).

So, you are new to climbing or returning after a long break and are wondering how to begin. Well, here are some options for you:

Gym climbing – Here in the Twin Cities, we have two commercial gyms under the same ownership, Vertical Endeavors (VE). VE has a location in Minneapolis and St Paul (also in Duluth and Illinois). You can read more about VE at

To begin climbing at VE, you just show up wearing clothes you might work out in and athletic shoes. VE offers rental harnesses and shoes if you need/want them. You take a mandatory orientation with them and then you are free to use their facility by bouldering or by using auto-belays. Bouldering is climbing short heights with no rope. Auto-belays are ropes/cables connected to a mechanism that takes up slack on the rope as you climb, and if you fall, catches you in a similar way that a seat belt locks up, and then lowers you slowly to the ground.

As you gain more experience/comfort, you can take a beginner class at VE and learn to tie knots and belay other climbers. Then, the gym starts to open up to you more as you have the means to share a rope with other climbers.

In NE Minneapolis, there is a bouldering cooperative called the Minnesota Climbing Co-op (MNCC). The MNCC is run by a board of directors and volunteer climbers and offers open hours from 5:30-9:30 most Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. As it is primarily a bouldering facility, there are no roped climbs. You can find out more about the MNCC at

You can find a larger list of indoor climbing facilities by picking Minnesota from the list found here.

Outdoor climbing – If you are looking to get outside, check out Mountain Project for a list of all the crags in the area here: http://mountainprojec…

There is also a guidebook to the state available. You can find it at the author’s website,

Lessons – VE offers basic to intermediate lessons in MinneapolisSt Paul, and DuluthMidwest Mountaineeringand REI also offer a variety of classes.

Meetup events – If you are not finding events that work for you on our calendar, consider suggesting an event. Go to the home page of our site and use the Suggest A Meetup tab to put your idea out there. Fill out as much of the event posting as you can. When you submit it, Meetup will email the TCRC Meetup Organizer with your suggestion. If it looks like a workable idea, the Organizer will publish it right away. If for any reason the Organizer cannot publish it, Meetup will automatically publish it when a total of three people have RSVP’d yes to the event.

If you would like to become an Event Host and start hosting a regular night at the gym, contact your Organizer and they can set you up with the ability to do so.

RSVP’ing to an event – If you are new to the TCRC Meetup and are attending your first event, take some initiative! Most of our events are held in big, busy climbing gyms. It is hard to say exactly when and where you will be at any given time once you arrive there. We try to start our gym nights by meeting in one location at one time. After that, it is a matter of finding someone you know and connecting.

If you don’t know anyone, take a moment before the event and email your Event Host. Introduce yourself online and make plans to meet in person. Or, use the message board on the Event Page and ask questions or make plans. Climbing is an adventurous activity, put yourself out there for maximum results.

Have more questions? Reach out by email. We’ll do our best to welcome you into the fold.