The Stronghold Climbing Gym

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Even without any instruction, you can start climbing here at The Stronghold on your own! You will just need rental gear and a safety orientation from our staff. Below are brief summaries of the different types of climbing we offer at our Lincoln Heights and Echo Park locations and how you can get started with each. Visiting with kids? Check our notes on that here.


Bouldering is a form of climbing in which our only protection is the mat or crash pad below. There are no ropes or harnesses involved, and the tallest boulder is 16 ft. You can boulder on your own or with friends, and all you’ll need to get started are climbing shoes and some chalk. Take our Bouldering 101 class to learn all the basics of bouldering, or get started on your own after a five-minute bouldering orientation from our staff! Our Echo Park location is exclusively a bouldering gym, while our Lincoln Heights location offers both bouldering and roped climbing.
Bouldering 101


All the bouldering basics including navigating the bouldering area, starting & completing climbs, falling, grading, and more!

Prerequisites: Must be 14 or older to take this class.


In addition to bouldering, our Lincoln Heights location offers several types of roped climbing. The walls in this area are taller, ranging from about 30-50ft. The protection that we use in this area comes in the form of auto belays and ropes, which we attach to our climbing harness.

Auto belays (5-min Safety Orientation) Auto belays are devices that control a climber’s descent back to the ground once they let go of the wall. By using an auto belay, you can climb routes on taller walls without a partner. To get started, you will just need rental gear and a 5-minute safety orientation from one of our staff members. We have a total of 10 auto belays in our facility, which means you will have access to dozens of different routes without needing a partner or belay skills.
Top Roping (Belay Certification Required) In top roping, a rope passes through an anchor at the top of the wall. The climber ties into one end of the rope, and their partner attaches to the other end in order to belay. In the event of a fall, it is the belayer’s job to catch the climber using a special device, called a belay device, and proper belaying technique. To get started, you and your partner will each need a pair of climbing shoes, harnesses, chalk, and a belay device to share between the two of you. Anyone planning to belay at our facility must pass our belay test (regardless of experience). You can ask the front desk to take the test and receive your Top Rope belay certification card once you’ve passed! Would you like to learn how to belay? We recommend taking our Intro to Rope Climbing class, which is offered multiple times per week. Learning how to top rope will greatly increase the number of routes you will be able to access in our gym.


Learn the essentials you need to start top roping in the gym! Tying a figure-eight climbing knot, belaying and lowering your climber, and safety checks.
Prerequisites: Must be 14 or older to take this class.


No partner, but want to climb the longer routes in the rope area?
Learn to use our autobelays safely and have access to all 10 autobelays throughout the gym!
Just ask the front desk for assistance!
Prerequisites: None required.

Lead Climbing (Lead Belay Certification Required)
Lead climbing is a type of climbing where the climber, or leader, is tied into one end of a rope and clips the rope into hanging quickdraws (double-ended carabiners) as they progress through the route. Unlike with top roping, in which the rope is already threaded through an anchor at the top before the climber begins, lead climbing begins with the entire rope on the ground.

Anyone planning to lead climb and/or belay at our facility must pass our lead test (regardless of experience). You can ask the front desk to take the test and receive your Lead certification card once you’ve passed!

Would you like to learn how to lead? We offer weekly Intro to Lead Climbing classes. You must be certified to top rope belay at The Stronghold before taking this class.


Take your climbing to the next level and learn the proper technique to safely lead climb and lead belay.

Taking this class does not certify you to lead in the gym.
Prerequisites: Must be Top Rope-certified


Check out our FAQ for more answers to the questions you may have!
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