Climb On!!

Climbing is both a physical and mental challenge. It will work every single muscle in your body and force you to focus like you never have before. The process of climbing and reaching the summit is an exhilarating experience. Climbing is also a great opportunity to conquer your fears and enjoy the great outdoors in a whole new way.

Check out some photos and stories from a sampling of our trips here.

Explorers Club Climbing Chair

catherine Pavlov (


I'm a PhD student in the Mechanical Engineering department, where I teach planetary exploration rovers to play with dirt. Climbing excites me for a lot of reasons, but especially because a) it's a puzzle! and b) it's a great way to get on top of tall things. I'm a new trad leader, and hope to take the club on multipitch trad trips soon. I tried ice climbing for the first time last year and was hooked. Hit me up if you ever need a catch!

We're interested in having a Co-Chair for climbing - if you are an experienced trad leader with interest in student leadership, shoot me an email!

CMU Climbing team Officer

Erika Giuse (


I started climbing seriously the summer before college, and I was absolutely hooked from the beginning! It’s a great stress reliever, workout, and way to socialize with friends. I mostly have experience with indoor climbing and currently lead the CMU Climbing Team. We welcome students of all skill levels and practice several times a week at Ascend. We will also be attending both local and collegiate competitions throughout the year. If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Instagram: @cmuclimbingteam





Ascend - Ascend opened in March 2017 in South Side Flats and sports Walltopia walls for lots of bouldering, top roping, and auto belaying. Bring your student ID or CMU Explorers membership card for discounts on day passes and Basic Membership! 

Getting there by bus - Hop on a south bound 54 at Forbes and Craig and get off at the stop at East Carson St and S 22nd St

The Climbing Wall - Another local gym! It is located on Penn Ave about three miles from campus. Bouldering, top roping, and leading are all possible here. Bring your Explores Club membership card or CMU student ID to get discounted entrance fee ($10) and membership.

Getting There By Bus - To get to the gym from campus you can take any 67 bus from Forbes and Morewood stop. It will drop you off right at the gym. When coming back a 67 or the 71C will both work. The 71C will take you to 5th and Neville which about three blocks from campus, and runs much later at night.


These are some of the more common areas we go for day trips. There are many other areas around especially around Morgantown West Virginia.

Guidebook - Mountain Project
Location- Connellsville
Distance - One hour
Type of Climbing - Mostly short sport/top rope, one or two trad routes.
Notes - Please see Mountain Project for up-to-date info on access - this crag has restrictions on parking as the approach trail is near a lot of houses. 

Coopers Rock
Guidebook - Coopers Rock Bouldering Guide by Dan Brayack and Tim Keenan
Location - Outside of Morgantown West Virginia
Distance - One and a half hours
Type of Climbing - Bouldering and some short top roping
Notes - There is a gate at the entrance to Coopers which is closed from Thanksgiving until April 1st. You can still climb but it adds about two miles of walking down the road to get to where you normally park.

McConnell's Mill
Guidebook -  Classic Rock Climbs No. 26 McConnell's Mill State Park, Pennsylvania by Bob Value
Location - Slippery Rock, PA
Distance - About 1 hour driving
Type of Climbing - Mostly top rope, a couple routes can be lead



New River Gorge
Guidebook - New River Rock, by Mike Williams
Location - Fayetteville, West Virginia
Distance - Three and a half hours
Type of Climbing - Single pitch sport and traditional climbing

Seneca Rocks
Guidebook - Seneca Rocks: A Climber Guide by Tony Barnes
Location - Seneca Rocks, West Virginia
Distance - Three and half hours
Type of Climbing - Multi-pitch traditional climbing


Red River Gorge
Guidebook - Red River Gorge Rock Climbs by Ray Ellington
Location - Slade, Kentucky
Distance - Six and a half hours
Type of Climbing - Single pitch sport and traditional

The Gunks
Guidebook - Gunks Guide by Todd Swain
Location - New Paltz, New York
Distance - Seven hours
Type of Climbing - Multi-pitch traditional climbing


Climbing is a very gear intensive sport but don't worry you can borrow everything you need from the club. If you are starting to get into it you might want to buy your own gear. The basic gear you need is:

  • Rock climbing shoes

  • A harness

  • A belay device

  • 2 locking carabineers

  • A Chalk bag