St. Louis Bloomington West County

New Climbers

Our mission is to provide a professional, high quality climbing gym thus providing an enjoyable environment for the community to experience climbing. We promote the growth of the sport with an emphasis on customer service provided by our friendly, knowledgeable staff, and by offering a variety of classes, clinics, and equipment.

Men, women and kids of all ages enjoy rock climbing and are motivated by new challenges every day. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be in top physical condition or have a lot of upper body strength to climb. Rock climbing builds the body's strength over time and is ideal for enhancing muscle tone and increasing flexibility. Besides being a great full-body workout, climbing is also a fun and exciting recreational activity. Come and experience the thrill and exhilaration of a sport that has exploded in popularity!

If you have never climbed before, please continue reading. If you do have climbing experience and know how to belay, jump down to the experienced climbers section.

There are two types of climbing that can be done in an indoor environment: bouldering and roped climbing.
Bouldering is climbing that is done close to the ground without the use of a rope. The climber's hands never reach above eight feet, and climbers can boulder problems (essentially short mini routes) without a partner. Bouldering is excellent for building strength, power and technique and does not require instruction.
Top Roping is the most basic form of roped climbing. The top rope system consists of a rope running up to a set of anchors at the top of the wall and then back down to the bottom. The climber is tied into one end of the rope and the belayer is attached to the other. Using a belay device attached to the harness, the belayer can take in slack, "hold" a climber's fall, and lower the climber back to the ground when they are finished. In order to belay, you must pass a belay test or enroll in our Rock Gym 101 or Family Class. We offer classes for adults, youths, and families. Visit our classes page for information.
Autobelays allow you to climb routes without taking a class or having a belayer. The autobelay takes the slack from the system as the climber goes up and slowly lowers them automatically when they fall or reach the top. A class is not required to use the autobelays, only a short orientation. There are 7 autobelays in the gym.

Experienced Climbers

Climbers who have experience belaying must take a belay test to become belay certified at Upper Limits. The test requires belayers to demonstrate the following skills:
• proper fit and securing of harness
• correct tie-in to the harness with a figure-eight follow-through knot
• double-fisherman's back-up knot
• proficiency in setting up an ATC style belay system
• proper belay technique to take in rope, stop the fall of a climber, and lower the climber back to the ground
• demonstrate safety checks and voice commands
• passing the belay certification is at the discretion of staff

*All participants must sign an Upper Limits liability waiver and rules agreement. Participants under 18 years must have their waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian.

*Climbers 14-years-old or younger must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian at all times.