UNK Climbing Wall

Indoor rock climbing is a wonderful form of exercise that will challenge you both physically and mentally. Our wall is 30 feet tall with 7 rope stations and the possibility of thousands of hold combinations to ensure your climbing experience will never be the same. The climbing wall is located in the new wellness center facility. Push your limits climbing one of the many great routes on the wall while being belayed by our knowledgeable and helpful staff.

Bouldering and using the autobelays is completely free whenever the wall is open. If you would like to learn how to use the roped climbing areas, you will need to sign up for the Climbing Walls Skills Class. More information about the class is below.

To keep up to date with all things Climbing Wall and Outdoor Adventures related, check us out on social media!

Facebook: UNK Outdoor

Instagram: @unk_outdooradventures

When can I climb?

The climbing wall Spring 2018 hours, are:


10:00 am-12:00 pm, 3:00-10:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00-10:45 am, 3:00-10:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am-12:00 pm, 3:00-10:00 pm
Thursday 9:00-10:45 am, 3:00-10:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am-12:00 pm, 3:00 -7:00 pm
Sunday 4:00 -8:00 pm

How do I get started climbing?

For you first time at the wall, you will need to fill out our waiver form before you begin climbing. Bouldering (climbing up a fixed height with no ropes) and the two autobelays on the wall are completely free to use whenever the wall is open.

If you would like to climb any of the roped routes, you are required sign up for the Skills Class or Skills Challenge Test and pay a $5 fee which includes the class/test as well as climbing membership for one year. More information about the Skills Class at test can be found by clicking the "What is the Skills Class and Skills Challenge Test" tab below.

Can I fill out the waiver before I get to the wall?

Yes! Fill out the Climbing Wall Form and bring it with you to the wall!

What do I need to climb?

Make sure to wear comfortable clothing that allows for range of movement such as athletic clothes. We provide all the equipment you will need to climb including a harness, shoes, belay device and carabiner. You may also bring your own personal gear for use.

What is the Skills Class and Skills Challenge test?

The Skills Class is required if you want to use any of the ropes set up on the climbing wall. You may use the autobelays and bouldering for free and without taking the class. The Skills Class will provide you with necessary information and instruction to continue climbing at the wall without the assistance of our staff. Class curriculum includes discussion of the policies of our wall, safety and proper use information regarding all climbing equipment, the different types of climbing, basic technique work to help you be more successful in climbing, how to tie in to the rope as the climber, and how to properly belay. The majority of the class will be spent on demonstration of tying in to the rope and belaying by the instructor followed up by supervised practice time to master the skills.

If you have experience climbing and do not want to take the Skills class, you may take the Skills Challenge test separately. To set up a time to take the Challenge Test, contact Jacob McCann at (308) 865-1549 or mccannjm@unk.edu.

What language are you guys speaking at the wall?

Rock climbing has its fair share of unique terms that may seem like a foreign language to a new climber. Here are a few of them with a general description to help you talk like a pro climber!

Arête (n.) : A 90-degree outside corner, i.e., the cleaved edge where two cliff facets meet at a right angle like a building corner.

    • "This route follows the arête up the whole way and you really have to hug it and stay close to the wall."

Belay (n., v.) : To secure the rope while your partner climbs. Today, belaying involves using a belay device that introduces friction into the system to help arrest a fall; the guide hand stays on the rope above the device, while the brake hand clasps the rope exiting the device so it’s ready to catch a fall. The one who belays is the belayer.

    • "Hey, can you belay me on this route?"

Beta (n.) : A specific, blow-by-blow description of a sequence or climb. More generally, information about a climb or climbing-related (or any) topic.

    • "You want me to spray you with beta on this route or do you want to figure it out on your own?"

Bump (n., v.) : A climbing technique wherein a hand or foot is moved to one hold then quickly moved up immediately to a further hold. This is often done over short distances advancing from an inferior hold to a superior one.

    • "Don't bring your right hand up to that hold, just bump your left hand up to it so you can make the move to the right."

Crimp (n., v.) : A small edge upon which you crimp your fingers, i.e. bend your digits to exert pressure on the knuckles, bringing your thumb against your index finger to close the grip.

    • "You have to crimp down hard on that hold, otherwise its no good."

Crux (n., v.) : A route or problem’s most difficult passage or sequence. To crux (v) doesn’t always mean to reach a route’s crux, but instead to struggle anywhere on a climb.

    • "The crux of this route is about half way up after that good rest."

Deadpoint (n., v.) : The high point—the moment of weightlessness—achieved by a dynamic move upward, whether or not the body completely separates from the rock; or a movement that incorporates this type of lunge, with the feet typically not leaving the rock (as they do in an all out dyno).

    • "You don't need to dyno to that hold. Keep your feet on the wall and deadpoint to the hold."

Dyno (n., v.) : A dynamic move in which the climber springs for a distant hold, his feet leaving the rock. Ideally, the hold is grasped at the deadpoint if the motion is vertical or nearly so.

    • "I always say, if you can't reach the hold, DYNO!"

Flag (v.) : To drape one leg crosswise across the other, usually behind it (an outside flag), while pointing the flagged leg’s toe into the rock to counter a barn door. With an inside flag, your flagged leg crosses between the other leg and the rock, generally engaging the shoe’s outside edge.

    • "Stand up with your right leg and flag your left leg out to keep your balance."

Flash (n., v.) : To send a pitch first try, but with specific beta (perhaps running beta from a friend on the ground).

    • "Thanks for the beta on that route, I was able to flash it."

Gaston (n., v.): A reverse lieback in which the fingers face inward, as if prying open an elevator door.

    • "The best way to grab that hold is to gaston it with your left hand because your next move is up to the right and you need your right hand there."

Hand jam (n., v.) : A crack technique in which you slot your hand and cup the palm, wrapping the thumb underneath or beside your fingers, to jam against the crack’s walls. A secure hand jam can provide a chance to dead-hang and de-pump.

    • "When you're climbing up the crack, you really just want to hand jam as much as you can so your forearms don't get tired."

Heel hook (n., v.) : Glomming your heel onto or around a rock feature and pulling. Heel hooks can be lateral and below you, as in around an arête; and also horizontal and frontal, as in on a ledge in front of your face.

    • "Heel hook that hold out left so you can reach up to the next hold with your left hand."

Intermediate (n.) : A hold not locked off but merely held, en route to a better handhold above with the same hand. Intermediates can be faux holds that let you scooch your hips higher or otherwise adjust your body position.

    • "At the crux you gotta bump your right hand up to that intermediate, get a higher left foot, then stand up to the jug.

Jug (n.) : The most secure of handholds; a hold so deep, incut, and big it’s like grabbing a bucket lip.

    • "This route better be all jugs because I am so pumped right now!"

Lieback (n., v.) : To lean horizontally (sideways) off a hold, often a crack, and walk the feet high in opposition.

    • "To use the wall to your right for feet, you need to lieback on those holds and work your feet up."

Mantle (n., v.) : Pressing down on a ledge or boulder lip with one or both arms, recruiting the triceps, while you rock over your foot; short for mantleshelf. A beached whale is a poorly executed mantle.

    • "Rock up on to your right foot and mantle off your left hand to reach that next hold with your right."

On-sight (n., v.) : To climb a route on your first try with no prior knowledge of the climb.

    • "That was a hard on-sight! I didn't read that sequence right at all but was able to fight through it."

Pitch (n., v.) : A rope length; more slangily, a climb (“Get some good pitches in today?”). This is another unit of climbing measurement that, unlike standard units of measurement (meters, feet, etc.), remains open to fluid interpretation.

    • "I'm exhausted today, I climbed 10 hard pitches."

Pocket (n.) : An inset hole, divot, or rock hollow. Pocket climbing, as often found on welded tuff and limestone, isolates finger tendons, so can be tweaky.

    • "I can only get my middle two fingers in to that pocket up there, but its pretty solid."

Pump (n., v.) : That tight, weak, swollen feeling in the forearms that comes, while climbing, from the accumulation of lactic acid combined with restricted blood flow. It’s much easier to get pumped than to de-pump.

    • "I am so pumped right now, I couldn't make a fist even if I wanted to."

Quickdraw (n.) : A bar-tacked nylon runner (dog bone) with a loop on each end to accommodate a carabiner. Used to clip the rope into protection while reducing rope drag.

    • "Make sure you bring enough quickdraws for this route!"

Redpoint (n., v.) : To free-climb a route sans falls, after any amount of rehearsal (i.e., not on your first try.)

    • "It took me a few tries, but I finally redpointed that route."

Sloper (n.) : A downsloping handhold that relies on skin friction and an open-hand grip. Slopers can prove unusable in poor (hot and/or humid) conditions.

    • "You really gotta just squeeze that sloper till water comes up if you hope to make that move!"

Smear (n., v.) : To apply your entire forefoot (and not just toe) to the rock, often while slab climbing, stemming, or on large, sloping features.

    • "Make sure you get as much of the rubber on to the wall when you smear."

Undercling (n., v.) : Any hold used by turning your palm upside-down, as if receiving alms, and walking the feet up.

    • "Make sure you hit that undercling with your right arm so you keep yourself close to the wall."

How can I contact the climbing wall?

You can contact the Outdoor Adventure and Climbing Wall Coordinator, Jacob McCann, by phone at (308) 865-1549 or by email at mccannjm@unk.edu.

You can also stop in to the office in the Wellness Center Office W120, office room W104.