New To Climbing?

Never climbed before? Well the Whistler Core Climbing and Fitness Centre is the best place to learn! Here at the Core we believe that everyone is a climber! We know that every single one of you has climbed something, somewhere, at some stage in your life. Maybe it was a stool to hang a picture, maybe it was a tree to get a stuck Frisbee, maybe it was a ladder to replace a light bulb. Regardless, if you’ve never been rock climbing before, we can help!

Our 1-hour guided climbing sessions are our most popular program. This program is for people ages 4 and up and can be catered to all ability levels. You climb and our friendly guides do all the safety work – belaying, coaching, motivating and sharing the local Whistler vibe. Sessions are sold in one-hour blocks and price is dependent on the number of people. All levels welcome. Reservations recommended. No experience necessary.

New to climbing, no partner, no problem; you can always purchase a day pass and use any of our three autobelays to climb the walls. Our TrueBlue autobelays have a magnetic braking system and are easy to use. These provide one of the easiest ways to start climbing. If the auto belays didn’t tire you out enough you can always combine this with some bouldering.

Bouldering is one of the best and easiest ways to get stronger and improve your climbing: no ropes, no harnesses, no partner, no problem! All the fun of climbing, easy to access, and a supportive climbing community.

We encourage all new climbers to take our Introductory Climbing lesson.

For additional options check out our Climbing Classes and 1-hour Guided Climbing!

Answers to your questions


-What's this about a waiver?

All participants need to fill out a waiver. The waiver is the most important piece of information. Minors must have a minor's waiver filled out by a parent or legal guardian. If the parent or legal guardian is unable to accompany the child, we must receive a photocopy of the signing parent/legal guardian's photo ID.

+I've never done this before! What do I need to know?

Check out our New to Climbing above. Please call us if you have any questions.

+It's my first time climbing, what should I wear?

Welcome! Wear comfortable, loose clothing.We rent all the equpiment needed for climbing. Helmets are always available free of charge. In addition, each facility is equipped with lockers, showers and restrooms. Large or small towels are available for rent.

+Do I need to know how to belay?

As described in New To Climbing, there are two types of climbing: roped climbing, which as the name indicates, requires the use of a rope and a person who can manage the rope, and climbing using our auto belays or bouldering. Using the autobelays and bouldering does not require any previous knowledge, and our staff are more than willing to provide a 5-10 minute orientation about bouldering and using the autobelays.

+I think I'd rather climb the roped walls. How do I do that?

If you have not belayed before, you'll need to reserve a spot in our Belay Lessons or Introductory Climbing Course, which teach you to manage the ropes! These classes are offered at our Locals Night on Tuesdays from 7-9pm or can be booked privately. Either way reservations are recommended. To reserve for Locals night click here.

+What if I know how to belay?

That's great! We do require a Whistler Core belay check which can happen anytime our guides are available during our business hours. If you are coming with a group of people and plan on belaying for them, we would highly recommend coming in on an earlier day to ensure you can belay for your friends.

+Are the Gri Gri’s anchored to the floor?

No. Our Gri Gri’s are not anchored to the floor. We believe it is safer and more realistic for climbers to belay from their harness

+Is there someone available on your staff who can belay for us when we stop by?

Our most popular program is a 1-hour Guided Climbing session. You climb and our friendly guides do all the safety work – belaying, coaching, motivating and sharing the local Whistler vibe. Sessions are sold in one-hour blocks and price is dependent on the number of people. All levels welcome. Reservations recommended. No experience necessary. Please click here for more pricing information and to make a reservation.

+Can I drop off my child for a couple hours?

If the kids are 14 years and older parents can drop them off but the parents are still responsible for their child's safety. We do not recommend this and are not responsible for watching your child. A preferred choice would be sign the kids up for one of our 1-hour guided climbing sessions where the instructor will provide coaching and supervision.

Very Important! Don't forget to every minor needs a completed child's waiver!

+I took the belay lesson, but now what do I do?

You now have the skills to come back to our facility and climb, but first you need to do a belay check. This is a short test that reviews your belay skills. The belay checks are available anytime our guides are available during business hours free of charge.

+I don’t have a partner – do I need one?

No problem! You can easily climb on your own at the Core. You can use 1 of 3 auto belays or go bouldering. Climbing is a very social activity – you will meet people to climb with in no time!

+How old do I need to be?

Anyone can boulder or use the auto belays. Youth 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult can climb on a rope when accompanied by a qualified adult. Youth aged 14 to 17 may climb on their own but must have a parent or guardian to sign the waiver in person. Those over 18 may sign their own waiver.

+I don’t know how to belay – do I need to?

No, there is a padded bouldering area where you can climb without ropes, auto belays and guided climbing link. On your first visit we will show you how to manage risk while climbing and falling during our Fall Assessment and Orientation, so you can get started right away!

+Do other gym belay tests count?

No, sorry. All climbers new to the Core will be checked for belay skills, regardless of experience. There is no charge, however this check is not a lesson.

+I don’t have equipment- what do I need?

All you need is climbing shoes and a chalk bag for bouldering as well as a harness to use the auto belays or roped climbing and finally a belay device to do your own belaying. If you don’t have your own, you can rent it all from us!

+I am afraid of heights – will this be a problem?

No problem whatsoever. At the Core you can always choose how high you go, and how you want to get down! Our beginner areas help keep you learning and exploring safely!

+I heard bouldering is for expert climbers only – is this true?

Absolutely not! Bouldering is for everyone; especially for beginners! Most gyms design their bouldering for the experts, with very steeply overhanging terrain, but at the Whistler Core, we offer novices enough easier and more vertical terrain for everyone to get started on. The Hive is friendly, non-competitive, and supportive – that’s how we climb!

+Is bouldering a good way to get in shape?

Yes, as is all climbing! Bouldering is often considered a specialized form of climbing with a high degree of difficulty. However, this is generally determined by the outdoor rock’s natural features, and at the Whistler Core, we have improved on nature to offer a fun and challenging environment for both seasoned vets and first-timers to stay fit and active!

+How does the grading system work?

As typical will most gyms; we have roped route climbing grades and bouldering grades.

Be open minded when interpreting the grading system; they are subjective grades and dependent on a variety of variables. Although the grades should give you a pretty good idea about which climbs are harder than others, don’t ever be deterred about falling on a certain climb and then trying something harder. Try everything that looks like fun. Don’t get hung up on the grades; just use them as a guide.

We try to have 2-grades on all our climbs; a tracking and open feet grade. Tracking means you can only use the taped holds for feet and hands while the open feet means you can use any holds for your feet, generally making the climb easier and more intuitive with how you move your feet.

Bouldering grades go from V1 - V16.

When you’re climbing roped routes the scale differs. Instead of seeing a “V?" you’re going to see a 5 point something. Normally in climbing gyms the 5.5 will be a beginner level climb. Now that’s kind of where the grading starts. This system is known as the Yosemite decimal system. It started in Yosemite, California. Moving from 5.5 up to about 5.9 is where you’ll have just a single number – 5.5, up to 5.9. At 5.10 climbs often start to integrate a letter as well. So you will have 5.10A, B, C, and D meaning that there are some subtle differences in whether or not it’s an easier 5.10- or maybe a more challenging 5.10+. Continuing on up the spectrum those numbers go up to 5.15 – for now.

If you are visiting from another country please see the international grade conversion chart.

But once again just climb and have fun!