Is Rock Climbing Expensive?

Is Rock Climbing Expensive

If you are an avid outdoorsman, rock climbing might be something that has crossed your mind. It can look exhilarating and fun when watching movies, but rock climbing is not as easy as it seems, and many different elements go into the sport. This has led to many people asking the question, “Is rock climbing expensive?”

Rock climbing can be expensive. If you are new to the sport, it is worth noting that it will take a lot of time to learn the skills, but the gear is the most expensive part. However, the gear is a once-off purchase, and most of the gear can be used for every expedition. The more you practice the sport, the more affordable it will become.

In the following article, we look at rock climbing as a whole, including what will cost a first-timer to break into the sport and the gear’s cost. If you have ever thought of rock climbing, the following article will indicate how much you will need to save and what you can expect regarding the financial aspects.

Average Cost To Start Rock Climbing

There are a couple of things associated with rock climbing, and you will need to give some attention to these. Whilst researching rock climbing, we have estimated some of the costs that the average climber can expect to pay. If you are new to the sport, here is a breakdown of some of the costs associated with the sport:


When starting, the gear is one of the most important parts of climbing. When you look at the cumulative total of rock climbing, you will find that it can cost you anywhere from $400 to $700. The gear you choose and the gear’s quality will have a huge impact on the overall costs of the sports. Here are some of the gear prices:

  • Helmet – $100
  • Climbing Shoes – $170
  • Harness – $50
  • Chalk – $10
  • Carabineers – $10
  • Belay Device – $35
  • Climbing Rope – $100
  • Climbing Gloves – $50
  • Chalk Bag – $15
  • Chalk Brush – $10

These are some of the entry-level gear you will need. However, it is often a once-off purchase. When looking at climbing shoes, you will notice that they are useful for various climbing purposes. The other gear is also useful for various purposes and should be easy for you to select.

Check Out Our Rock Climbing Gear Guide To Find The Best Gear For You!


The second aspect of rock climbing is the location. You will need to find a suitable location, which can be indoors or outdoors. If you choose to climb at your local gym, you might not need all of this equipment, and the costs should be around $15. However, outdoor climbing requires more safety features and an entrance fee. It can be anywhere from $50 – $200, depending on the location you choose for climbing.

Keep in mind that there are numerous rock-climbing clubs that one can join, and these clubs make it possible to find a rock-climbing location more effectively. Depending on the club, you might need to pay a membership fee. However, you should have free access or a discount when choosing local rock climbing locations.

Alternative Options To Reduce Rock Climbing Costs

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time climbing, there are a few alternatives that you can choose from. These alternatives are for beginners and individuals who are hesitant about making a full-time hobby out of rock climbing. If you want to reduce the costs of rock climbing, you might want to look into some of these alternative options:

Renting Gear

If you don’t want to pay for all the gear, you can visit indoor rock climbing locations. Many of these locations have experts that are willing to rent gear. The costs will vary and range from $20 to $50, depending on your renting gear. However, you might want to consider renting gear from a friend as well.


Unfortunately, bouldering can be just as expensive as rock climbing, and you will need to be careful to ensure you have the right gear. Bouldering can be in the range of $400 in total. However, it is also one of the options to choose when you are buying long-term. You can use this gear for a variety of outdoor purposes.

Indoor Climbing

As mentioned, there is always the option of visiting your local gym to explore rock climbing and see whether it is for you or not. Unfortunately, you will need to bear the costs of the shoes, but the ropes and harnesses can be rented. In general, indoor climbing is very affordable, and you can use it to train. The average cost is around $20 per session.

Free Rock Climbing

Free rock climbing is one of the cheapest alternatives, but it is also one of the most dangerous and not recommended for everyone. Only the best of the best rock climbers should consider free rock climbing. The costs are low in comparison to buying all the intricate gear. However, we recommend considering free rock climbing as a beginner.

Borrowing Gear

If you have a friend that is willing to borrow you some gear, it is a great option to get you started. Even if you can borrow some of the gear, we recommend that you have your climbing shoes. Climbing shoes are like a pair of underwear, and it is something that people are not reluctant to borrow from someone. It is a versatile piece of gear that can be used for hiking as well.

Is Rock Climbing Expensive Summary

Rock climbing should not be expensive if you already have all the gear. However, beginners will need to face the situation and consider buying the gear for their climbing needs. There are tons of rock climbing gear on the market today, which means there is a lot of competition. You must find good gear that can keep you going without breaking the bank.

Need Gear for Your Rock Climbing Trip?

If you are planning a rock climbing adventure, you want to make sure that you have the right gear.  Check out our beginners guide for rock climbing equipment.

Lee G.

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

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