Take A Class:

My first climbing experience at REI

Visit your nearest indoor climbing gym, look around and ask questions. Of course you could dive right in and try it yourself, but It's best to begin by taking a class. Preferably one taught by a Boomer climber and designed for older adults with little or no climbing experience.

The Boomer Climbers' Movement Class at Climb Iowa is a fun learning experience. We teach and use state-of-the-art equipment and risk management practices to put your mind at ease and let you "get high" securely, physically and emotionally!

It's wise to check with your doctor first, and if you can climb a ladder you can probably try indoor rock climbing. Beginner climbing routes resemble a slightly wacky ladder.


You won't need any gear - it's provided. You'll be helped into your climbing harness, fitted with climbing shoes and taken through an orientation. Three types of climbing (top-rope, bouldering and lead climbing) are explained, and you'll review the gym's rules.

In top-rope climbing, the climber's harness is attached to a rope running up through an anchor at the top of the route, and then down to the belayer's belay device secured into his/her harness. As the climber moves up, the slack in the rope is taken up by the belayer. 

When the climber reaches the top of the route or gets tired, the belayer lowers the climber sitting in their harness smoothly and slowly to the ground with an assisted-braking belay device. Some routes have automatic belay systems (auto-belays), eliminating the need for a climbing partner.

The Boomer Climbers' Movement Class is a four-week class for adults age 50 and over, and meets on Friday afternoons between 1-3PM. No rock climbing experience is necessary and the class includes a one-month membership with climbing gear provided at no additional cost. Attendees have ranged from 50 to 73 years old.

Boomer Climbers' Movement Classes:

  • No climbing experience necessary
  • You don't have to be strong to attend
  • Indoor top-rope climbing has a very low injury rate (see Fear vs. Reality)
  • It can be an exhilarating journey of self-discovery and empowerment
  • It's easier on the joints than most other exercises - no jarring or sudden movements required    
  • It builds your functional strength, endurance, balance and flexibility while you’re having fun
  • Climbing is uniquely interesting - you'll learn all about advanced belay devices with active and passive braking, carabiners, knots, kilonewtons (kN), beta, climbing techniques and much more

Individuals, couples and groups new to sport climbing will experience an adventure, meet new friends and learn about the gadgets, gear, knots and climbing techniques used in top-rope rock climbing.