Welcome to Denver’s human- and dog-friendliest climbing gym
We’re so happy you’re here! See below for everything you might like to know about getting started at the DBC.
If advance preparation isn’t really your style you can 100% just show up. As long as it’s during business hours we’ll get you taken care of. But if you’re looking for an overview of how our gyms work and what to expect when visiting, read on!
Have you filled out a waiver yet? It’s a necessary formality in our litigious society, and only takes a few minutes. If you complete it online before you arrive then you don’t have to bother with it at the gym.
Your climbing background
If you’ve never climbed before or have little recent gym experience, read on as we cover some of the fundamentals. If you’re already knowledgeable about indoor climbing, feel free to skip ahead.
Newer climber FAQ
Do I need experience or training to climb at the DBC?
Nope! With the information available on this site and some pointers from our friendly front-desk staff, you’ll be more than prepared for your first session. If you’re interested in more in-depth guidance, we also offer private instruction with our expert coaches who can help you identify and pursue your goals in climbing.
What about equipment?
The type of climbing we offer (see next question) requires very little. Specialized shoes are helpful for making effective use of footholds and chalk improves your grip. We provide both on-site, so functional attire is really all you need on your first day! We recommend athletic-wear that allows you a full range of motion.
What is bouldering?
Bouldering is a discipline of climbing performed without ropes. It can be done solo without a partner, although many people enjoy the social element of bouldering in a group. The DBC is a bouldering-only gym. Our walls stop at a height from which you can fall safely onto the padded flooring below. A little more on safety in the next question. Bouldering is the fundamental building block of all free-climbing.
Is it safe?
Climbing is inherently dangerous, but proper safety precautions help reduce risk. Injuries are rare. The main thing to keep in mind is that without ropes, every fall is a fall to the ground. Try to stay loose and absorb impact with your legs, completing the fall on your backside if necessary. The goal is to reduce impact on vulnerable joints, so feel free to climb down as well before dropping off the wall. When not climbing, be aware of your surroundings and make sure you are clear of any area where a climber could swing or land. Our staff can demonstrate falling technique for you at the gym and answer any questions you may have.
What is a boulder problem?
At the DBC, a boulder problem is a color-coded set of climbing holds installed by our setters with a specific difficulty and array of movements in mind. To choose your boulder, look for holds with laminated tags on them within reach of the ground. These are start holds, and each boulder problem will have one or two. You’ll see a letter on the tag indicating difficulty (“E” is the easiest, more on grades below), and if there is a second start hold it will be labeled “Start”. Looking up, you should be able to spot another hold with a “Finish” tag. If there is none, the climb finishes on top of the wall (North Gym only). The goal is to pull onto the wall using only the start hold(s) and same-colored foot holds and then climb through to grab the finish hold with both hands without touching any other colors.
How much does it cost?
We go to great lengths to keep our prices as low as we can! Here’s the cost for day passes, punch passes and rentals and memberships too if you want to take a look at those. If you end up climbing with us a lot (which would be dope!) membership is a great value.
I’m curious about 24hr access and PIF vs. M2M options and memberships in general where do I turn for answers?
Peruse our shiny new Membership FAQ!
Can you tell me more about your facilities?
We are a bouldering-only gym, so no ropes, harnesses or belaying, just pure climbing movement! You can learn more about our three gyms on the individual pages for North, South and Central. Aside from our quality boulder problems, reset weekly at each gym, we have Moonboards, hangboards and campus boards, free yoga classes at our North and South Gym studios, weights and cardio equipment, snacks, coffee, workspaces with WiFi. Basically we’ve got what you need, plus some fun extras like massage and Bob Ross Night.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes, provided that your pup is able to handle the gym environment. Pets must be leashed at all times and under their owners’ control. Please, if your dog is not house-trained, not socialized, or otherwise not ready to sit for an extended period in a public place, wait until they are before bringing them to the DBC. A dog in an inappropriate environment is a lose-lose for everyone, including the dog.
E M H? How hard are these boulders?
E stands for easy, M for medium and H for hard. Our grading scale starts with E, followed by E+, M-, M etc. all the way through to H+. It’s our version of a circuit grading system. By separating boulder problems into fewer categories, we aim to deemphasize imprecise estimates of difficulty and promote positive climbing experiences. Moves feel different to different climbers, or even to the same climber under different circumstances. If you’re not sure whether a boulder is within your abilities, hop on it and find out!
For those familiar with the V-Scale, here’s a rough conversion chart to get you situated:
|DBC Grade||Approximate V-Scale Equivalent|
|E||V0+ to V2|
|E+||V2+ to V3|
|M-||V3+ to V4|
|M||V4+ to V6|
|M+||V6+ to V8|
|H-||V8+ to V9|
|H||V9+ to V10|
|H+||V11 and up|