How Expensive is Rock Climbing?

How Expensive is Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a great fitness activity, and it can create strong social connections between climbers. Even though rock climbing had been around since the dawn of time, there are still a lot of new people looking to get started. But they are concerned about the cost.  How expensive is rock climbing? 

Rock climbing can be expensive, ranging up to $2000 or $3000 for the elite climbers.  The novice climber would spend around $400 for an average set of gear.  Where beginners can head to a gym and only have to pay $15 per session, plus optional rental equipment.

Let’s dive into the costs more to give you a better understanding of the different items.


Cost of Rock Climbing

It’s important to understand that there are several ways to go rock climbing.  So we will go through each option in detail.

At an indoor climbing gym, a single day pass, including rental climbing equipment, costs between $20 to $30, but for a session without gear rental costs between $10 to $15, making it a more modest option for beginners, not having to spend hundreds of dollars.

For outdoor climbing, these do not come with daily-use fees for the different locations, though an additional set of gear is required. Beginners who opt-in buying all-new climbing gear, this can cost them up to $400, investing in this activity is more expensive because of the various equipment needed, making this a more expensive option.

For extremists or climbing enthusiasts who crave more adventure and want to tackle higher peaks.  The expenses are significantly more expensive. Just a high-end technical clothing system needed for these dangerous conditions can cost up to $2,000 to $3,000 and with the addition of the other gear required. Outdoor climbing for extremists is considered to be one of the most expensive sports ever.

Overall, climbing can be an expensive sport to invest in if a person opts for outdoor climbing.  The budget-friendly option for climbing is indoor climbing gyms.

We have highlighted a complete breakdown of these costs for outdoor Rock Climbing and indoor rock climbing and our recommendations for getting the most for the money spent.


How Much Does Outdoor Climbing Cost?

For outdoor climbing, most climbing areas (crags) are free for public use.  The only cost the climber will tend are for the equipment needed, since it is vital to ensure the climber’s safety.

A complete kit needed for outdoor climbing can cost up to $400 in total, but if individuals already have old and sturdy gears, they can use those also to reduce expenses. It is relatively more expensive than indoor climbing.
Outdoor Lead Climbing

For outdoor lead climbing, the average cost is around $420. This cost includes the following:

This cost makes outdoor climbing significantly more expensive than bouldering since this activity requires more equipment.

Compared to indoor climbing, expenses on outdoor climbing are solely on the gear needed for the activity, making the overall average cost of outdoor climbing more expensive than its counterpart.

Outdoor climbing is recommended for avid climbers or those who want to partake in more significant obstacles. However, it is relatively expensive, make sure to save up money before starting your climbing endeavors.


Outdoor Bouldering

For bouldering you could spend up to $400, this includes:

This expense makes it a bit cheaper compared to lead climbing since this activity does not require ropes and other equipment needed for lead climbing.

But let’s be honest, you could go bouldering for free if you are just trying rock climbing.  The items above will allow you to climb higher and overall have a better experience.  But as long as you don’t climb too high (crash pad) and are ok not having the best grip (climbing shoes and chalk), it would be free.  We just suggest going with an experienced climber to stay safe.


How Much Does Indoor Climbing Cost?

Depending on the location and where the person is climbing, a daily indoor climbing gym pass can range from anywhere between $10 to $40. But these gyms also offer monthly, annual, or multiple entry passes, and some gyms offer memberships that last for months or years, so if you are an avid climber, it is advised to take advantage of this offer.


Indoor Climbing Memberships

Gyms can offer everything from a 2-week pass to an annual pass. But the average cost for a basic monthly membership can cost anywhere between $50 to $70.

Monthly memberships are ideal for those who are planning on climbing at least once a week. These memberships come with perks such as discounts on gears, free day passes for guests, and more.


Indoor Climbing Gym Rental Gear

It is recommended to rent climbing gear for first-timers, and gradually purchase your equipment if you find yourself doing the sport frequently and develop a keen interest in it.

For indoor climbing,

  • Shoes – Rock climbing shoes are mandatory as these help individuals in climbing, renting shoes can cost between $4 to $5.
  • Harness – Renting a harness can cost up to $5.
  • Climbing Chalk and Chalk Bag – A chalk costs between $1 to $2, and most gyms offer complimentary chalk bag rental or even provide it for free.

Renting gear at indoor climbing gyms is recommended for beginners since it is a cheaper option compared to buying your equipment. However, if individuals plan on doing climbing more often, it is ideal to purchase personal climbing gear.


What Rock Climbing Gear Do I Need For Indoor Climbing?

There are many different types of indoor climbing, the kind of gear a person needs will depend on the type of indoor climbing they intend to partake in.

Here is a list of what you could spend, but a lot of gyms will provide the climbing gear you need except shoes and sometimes chalk.

The gear needed for indoor climbing is less than outdoor climbing, thus making the required expenses for this activity cheaper.  Indoor bouldering is also an option.

Life Insurance Rate

For climbers who take up the sport as a hobby, it is considered as not very risky, making their life insurance rates unaffected. A 20-year term policy of $1 million would cost a climber $68 per month.

However, for extremists, it is estimated that a 20-year term policy of the same amount would cost a climber up to $780 per month.

Rock Climbing Cost Summary

Beginners are recommended to try indoor climbing first to get the gist of the sport while saving money, gym memberships averaging around $50, and indoor climbing kits can cost up to $150, leaving indoor climbing costs up to $200 and more.

Climbing gear for outdoor climbing averages around $400. So, how expensive is climbing? Climbing is a relatively expensive sport compared to other sports, since this activity requires a lot of equipment, making the average expenses for beginners who want to get in to rock climbing, $350.

But for enthusiasts, rock climbing expenses can reach up to $3000, making it one of the most expensive sports out there.

Lee G.

I love the outdoors! Everything from hiking, climbing, rappelling, and caving.

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