How Much does Rock Climbing Cost – List of all expenses.

how much does rock climbing cost

How much does rock climbing cost? The costs are different for indoor and outdoor climbing. I will list the costs for: 

  1. Sport Climbing Gym (rental gear)
  2. Sport Climbing Gym & Outdoor (buying gear
  3. Bouldering

1. How much do climbing gyms cost?

Including Rental Gear

  • A day in the climbing gym including all the essential rental gear will cost around $30
  • A day-pass at the gym costs between $15 and $30. 
  • The complete rental gear for indoor climbing costs between $5 to $10.
Climbing gym
Climbing Gym
Day Pass$15 – 30 
Rental Gear$  5 – 10 
1 Day Cost= $20 – 40 

2. How much does rock climbing cost 

Essential Climbing Gear

  • Climbing in the gym: The average price for all the climbing gear you need is around $400. 
  • Rock climbing outdoors: the essential equipment will cost around $550 – this includes an additional set of quickdraws (12 pieces) which cost around $150. 
Climbing essential gear
Essential gear
Essential Gym Climbing Gear:
Climbing shoes$  80
Climbing harness$  60  
Climbing rope $170
Belay device + Karabiner$  60
Chalk + Chalk bag$  30
Total Cost for the Gym= $ 400 
Additional Cost (Outdoor)
12 Quickdraws$ 150
Total cost – sport climbing= $ 550 
Optional gear
Chalk brush$ 10
Climbing helmet$ 60
Rope bag$ 30

3. How much does Bouldering Cost?

Bouldering is way cheaper than rock climbing and to get started you do not need tons of Equipment. All you need is a pair of climbing shoes, and some chalk to keep your hands dry. 

Climbing Shoes    $ 80
Chalkbag    $ 20 
Chalk    $ 10 
Cost – indoor bouldering:= $ 110 
Chalk Brush     $ 10
Crash Pad (Outdoor)    $ 200

5 Tipps on How to save money on climbing expanses?

Save money with weekly trials

Many gyms offer weekly trials which often also include free gear rentals. Some climbing gyms have some incredible offers. Which includes 2 weeks membership + a 90-minute class + free gear rental for only 70 USD – If you find an offer like this in your local gym do not hesitate and go for it.

Save money with Memberships

You will get a much better deal for monthly subscriptions or annual Memberships. So as soon as you decide you like Climbing (which you definitely will) you should think about a long-term Membership. 

Save money on rental gear 

Renting Climbing equipment will add up pretty fast. So get your own climbing gear as soon as possible. Also – those stinky rental shoes are not something you want to use regularly – trust me. 

Save money on climbing shoes

To ensure maximum grip on the tiny footholds the sole of your climbing shoes is made of somewhat soft rubber. This rubber sole will usually wear out pretty quickly, especially at the tips of your toes. 

Resoling shoes
Fortunately, you do not have to buy a new pair each time the shoes are worn out. You can resole climbing shoes and so double or even triple their lifespan. 

Get beginner shoes
For beginners, I always recommend getting shoes with a slightly thicker and harder rubber sole. Usually, beginner shoes use a more robust rubber sole anyway. Expert shoes often have thinner and softer rubber – which provides more sensitivity but also wear out faster. 

Take good care of your climbing gear

Especially your rope.
Dirt and moisture will, over time, shorten the lifespan of your climbing rope dramatically. Therefore I recommend you always use a rope bag – which helps to keep your climbing rope clean and dry. 

The tiny dust particles in a dirty rope will have a “sandpaper-effect” and wear down your belay device and your quickdraws as well. 

Cost of essential rock climbing gear

Climbing shoes (cost around $80)

A good beginner climbing shoe costs around $80 and will last you for quite a long time – especially because you can resole them at least 2 times. 

If you go cheaper and buy a no-name shoe for around $60 you might not be able to resole them. Simply because those shoes do not just wear out at the sole but tend to fall apart completely – so resoling is not an option. 

tarantula-la-sportiva climbing shoe beginner
Excellent beginner climbing shoe

Expert climbing shoes will cost around $120 and up to $170.
And for a beginner, these climbing shoes make no sense at all. You will not be able to make use of the more aggressive shape and the thinner more sensitive rubber.

Over the years I have tested many climbing shoes and used them for rock climbing as well as bouldering.

Here you find my recommended climbing shoes for beginners & experts.

Best climbing shoes Review
Top 9 Climbing shoes

Climbing harness (cost around $60)

A good climbing harness for beginners will cost you around $60.

I recommend getting a solid all-around climbing harness with a comfortable fit. The harness does not need to be super lightweight or fancy because these features cost extra and are not necessary for the entry-level. 

Climbing Harness momentum
Climbing harness

For my recommendations and further details about what a good climbing harness: go to my regularly updated article about the “Best Climbing harness – Top 6”.

Best Rock Climbing Harness
Top 6

Climbing rope (cost around $170)

Ropes come in different diameters and lengths. Depending on where and what you use it for length and diameter might change. For the beginner climber I recommend:

  • A 60m rope (with no dry treatment) will cost you around $170 and is a good start. You can use it for indoor & outdoor climbing. 
  • All-round rock climbing rope – Length 60m | Diameter: around 10mm
Climbing rope gym test
Climbing ropes

If you plan to exclusively climb indoors – a 40m or even 30m rope (10mm) might be enough (A shorter rope is less expensive). 

Climbing ropes range from dedicated gym-ropes to lightweight ropes with special dry treatment for outdoor purposes. Learn more about climbing ropes as well as our Top 5 climbing ropes.  

Best Climbing Ropes

Chalk + Chalk bag (cost around $30)

Chalk will keep your hands dry and provide you with a better grip – you will definitely need it. 

A Chalk bag costs $15.

You fill the bag with Chalk powder (Magnesium carbonate) – a bag of 300g standard chalk ($10) will last you a long time.  

Chalk and chalk bag

Belay device + carabiner (around $60)

I recommend so-called “Assisted breaking Devices”. These belay devices add an extra layer of security over a tube-style device and are the gold standard for sport climbing. 

Belay Device (around $45)
For beginners, I recommend something like the Black diamond ATC Pilot or the Mammut Smart. These kinds of devices cost around $45. 

Black Diamond ATC Pilot

My personal favorite is the Petzl – GriGri it is more expensive though and costs around $100.

Carabiner (around $15)
No matter which belay device – you will always need an HMS-Carabiner to connect the belay device to your harness. These carabiners cost around $15.

dmm-belay-master-climbing carabiner

12 Quickdraws – cost around $150)

For indoor climbing, you do not need to get your own quickdraws – in the climbing gym, quickdraws are already installed into the wall.

As soon as you go climbing outdoors you will have to provide and attach the quickdraws yourself. 

A set of 12 Quickdraws is a good start and will cost you around $150. 

Quickdraw climbing

With this equipment, you have all the essentials for sport climbing – indoor and outdoor. Keep in mind that most of the gear will last you for years to come. 

Cost for OPTIONAL rock climbing gear

Rope bag – around $30 

A rope bag is not essential, but it does make a lot of sense to get one right from the start. Considering a new climbing rope costs around $170 it is a good idea to protect it from dirt and therefore make it last longer.

The simplest versions of those bags cost around $30 and are definitely worth the investment. 

Ropebag climbing
Rope bag

Climbing helmet – $60 

Obviously, you do not need a helmet for the gym. 
But is it necessary to wear a helmet outdoors? Well, it depends on where you are climbing. 

For example: In my hometown crags I regularly climb without a helmet simply because I know the crag and feel pretty safe without a helmet. In other areas the conditions might be different and therefore would choose to wear a helmet. 

climbing helmet
Climbing helmet

Chalk brush – $10 

With a chalk brush, you brush off excess chalk on the climbing holds – to improve the grip. 

  • As a beginner climber, I never used a chalk brush and I did just fine.
  • Most gyms provide chalk brushes – so you are covered there.
  • Later on, as your skills and your climbing level improves – you will want to get your own Chalk brush. 
Chalk brush
Chalk Brush

Belay glasses – around $50 

For absolute beginners, I would not recommend belay glasses because it takes some time to get used to belaying with these glasses.

As soon as you have gained some experience and your belaying is rock solid – you definitely want to get one of those glasses. Especially if you climb and belay often – belay glasses will be a blessing for your neck.  

Belay glasses climbing
Belay glasses

How much does it cost to start Bouldering?

  • A detailed list of all expenses.
  • All essential gear
  • Entrance fee bouldering gym
How much does bouldering cost

Climbing Course – Prices

Many gyms offer climbing classes – especially for beginners it makes a lot of sense to join one of these classes. There you will learn all the basics to climb well and save. 

The classes vary from gym to gym but usually, they are relatively inexpensive and include the day pass as well as the complete rental gear.  

The prices for climbing classes – range from 25 – 70 USD.

Do you need to invest in special Climbing clothes?

No, you do not need to buy special climbing clothes. 

  • All you need is some sort of sports pants that provide freedom of movement and a simple shirt. If you prefer shorts that is fine too. 
  • Women like to wear some sort of leggings or yoga pants and a loose t-shirt with a sports bra underneath. 
  • Also do not choose super wide and baggy clothing, because it might get in the way. 

What to wear Climbing / Bouldering?
As long as your movements are not restricted – pretty much everything goes. Click for further information and a couple of real-life examples of what climbers like to wear. 

What to wear bouldering climbing
Tips and Examples

Why are rock climbing gyms so expensive?

A climbing gym requires a huge amount of space. 

Hight: We are talking about a high vertical space like a 3-floor tall Building.
A tall warehouse with the dimensions and square-footage necessary is not only a costly investment but also relatively hard to find. Most retail or commercial spaces are not suitable for a climbing gym. 

Compared to fitness- or yoga studios, which require just a plain floor, the facility for a climbing gym is more expensive. 

The Investment in the climbing wall construction
The construction of a climbing gym is significant, and all the materials (draws on the lead routes, thousands of different holds, the walls/structures themselves, quickdraws and anchor points, the crash-pads) are quite expensive.

Climbing gyms might appear a bit expensive, but when you look a little closer it is actually not that bad.

  • With a day pass, you can spend all day in the gym with no limit on routes or climbs.
  • Usually, you can get a much better deal by purchasing a monthly or even annual membership.
  • Get your own gear and save gear rental.   

Is rock climbing expensive? 

To start out in rock climbing the basic gear will cost you around $400 for Indoor Climbing and around $550 for Outdoor Climbing. A day pass at the climbing gym is around $20. Rock climbing can be pretty cheap and affordable. However, as you start investing in high-quality climbing gear, it starts adding up.

Bouldering requires less gear and will cost you only around $100 (Indoor Bouldering). A day pass at the bouldering gym is around $15.