ASCEND's youth programs are designed to grow strong minds and bodies in Pittsburgh's youth. No matter a child's age or level of experience, we've got a program for you - see below to learn more! To get inspired, follow us on Instagram.

Interested in more that just youth programming? View the ALL ASCEND Events and Classes Calendar.


Youth Rules and Tips: Kids LOVE and EXCEL at climbing, especially bouldering. Unfortunately, they sometimes view it as a jungle gym when in reality it is quite the opposite! We want kids to have fun, but our guests' safety is our top-priority. This is why we will strictly enforce the *DIRECT SUPERVISION of any kids 13 and under. While supervising, please remember the following rules. Please help us take safety seriously.

  • No running on or off the pads, but especially on the pads.
  • Pads are only for climbing and falling on. Do not jump around, chase anyone, or perform gymnastics.
  • Approach the intended climb from directly in front of the start. Do not walk on the pads to your next climb. Simply said, get on, climb, then get off.
  • Give other climbers at least 15 feet of space and only one climber per route.
  • The downclimb is only for getting off of the orange top out boulder.
  • Keep chalk socks inside chalk bags. Never throw chalk socks or anything else.
  • Fitness, cardio, and training areas are off limits for those 13 and under.
  • NEVER walk underneath a climber. This could result in injury or death and is the most important thing that you will read on this entire website!

If these rules are not followed, we reserve the right to ask you to leave.

Rules?! There are no rules in climbing, right? Well kind of. So here are ASCEND's:

  • Food, beverages, and sharp objects must stay off the bouldering pads.
  • Street shoes and bare feet are not permitted on climbing walls.
  • Shirts are required - we promise to keep it cool.
  • Sober climbing is the best climbing - do not climb while intoxicated.
  • All climbers and visitors must complete a liability waiver before entering ASCEND.
  • Climbers 13 and under must be directly supervised by an adult.
  • You must be at least 14 to be in the fitness and training areas or to take a regularly scheduled climbing, fitness, or yoga class.
  • There is only one wall you can end up on the top of: the top-out wall!
  • Belaying requires approval from ASCEND staff.
  • Climbing shoes are not permitted in the bathrooms. Gross!
  • Climbing flooring is for falling - not walking, sitting or horsing around.
  • Use caution when using the climbing walls and fitness equipment - this is not a jungle gym!

Etiquette schmettiquette! But seriously, let's keep everyone happy and healthy.

  • This is a safe space. Everyone deserves respect and compassion.
  • Pay attention! Other climbers may be above you or waiting to climb behind you.
  • Only spot when asked and/or trained to do so.
  • Politely ask before telling someone how to climb - figuring out the beta is half the challenge!
  • Gender does not determine skill or strength. Don't assume.
  • Keep your wet and muddy shoes away from the climbing areas.
  • Chalk belongs in your bag and on your hands.
  • Clean up after yourself - put away fitness equipment - wipe down machines.

Please keep in mind: Failure to adhere to the Rules & Etiquette of ASCEND can lead to the suspension of climbing and facility access privileges.

Youth 101

YOUTH CLIMBING 101: A 4-week session designed to introduce a child to the sport of indoor climbing. An instructor will cover basic gym safety, etiquette, bouldering, auto-belay climbing, technique, lingo, and more! Kids aged 6-13 are welcome to join this introductory course, developed to give the confidence needed to have fun, be safe, and make friends in the gym! If a child is interested in joining the A-Team, this is the place to start!

Duration: Sessions begin on the first Saturday each month. 10a-11:30a (attending all classes is strongly recommended).

Price: $80 per month (rental gear included on session days)



Become a part of the A-TEAM by joining the ASCEND Youth Team! Designed for children and teens of all abilities, coaches will foster a positive, inclusive community that supports recreational and competitive climbers as they strive to meet their own personal goals. Participants will learn climbing specific skills as well as teamwork, problem solving, and developmentally appropriate body awareness. Coaches will work directly with each team member to identify and progress toward individual goals whether that be to enjoy climbing with friends or to climb competitively. Our climbing team is a fun place to explore limits, gain confidence, and learn life-long skills. Kids love to climb and we have the options to meet the needs of your young climber.


A-Team Rec - Two hours of coached climbing in a positive, non-competitive environment where kids can boulder, climb the top-rope wall, play games, challenge themselves, build strength, and make friends while under the supervision of caring and experienced staff. Note: Youth Climbing 101 is required if lacking previous gym experience.

  • Ages: 6-17 (or 18 if still in HS)
  • Duration: One session each week.* Register for either Tuesday or Thursday evenings from 5p-7p (choose 1).
  • Includes: One climbing session each week with 2-hours of small group coaching and instruction, rental gear on team days, ASCEND A-Team shirt, 30% off Evolv climbing shoes (team sponsor!), 25% off ASCEND hosted competitions
  • Price: $80 for monthly recurring team EFT agreement - register at front desk
    • $25 per drop-in session - REGISTER HERE

A-Team Intermediate - Two hours of coached climbing in a focused, competitive environment where kids can improve their climbing technique through drills and individualized coaching, build strength through fitness training, and prepare to compete in climbing competitions. Note: Youth Climbing 101 is required if lacking previous gym experience.

  • Ages: 8-17 (or 18 if still in HS)
  • Duration: Two sessions each week.* Register for either Wednesday or Friday evenings from 5p-7p and/or Sundays from 9a-11a (choose 2).
  • Includes: Two climbing sessions each week with 2-hours of small group coaching and instruction, ASCEND Membership with unlimited climbing, rental gear on team days, ASCEND A-Team shirt, 30% off Evolv climbing shoes (team sponsor!), 25% off ASCEND hosted competitions
  • Price: Requires a membership ($54 or $40 per month - see membership rates for more information) plus $80 per month for A-Team sessions.


*Special events, competitions, and holidays may impact some sessions resulting in cancellation or rescheduling. Some months may have fewer than 4-weeks worth of sessions while others may have have more. We will do our best to be fair and equitable and provide advance notice for any schedule changes. Thank you in advance for your understanding!

If you have any questions, suggestions, interest in joining the team, interest in competitive level training, or for more information, please email [email protected].

Summer Camps

ASCEND Pittsburgh's summer camps are designed to grow strong minds and bodies in our city’s youth. Caring, experienced ASCEND counselors will guide children through fun and developmentally appropriate activities, such as bouldering, top-rope climbing, yoga, slacklining, and more!

Recommended Ages: 6 - 16

Pricing: Half Day = $250 | Full Day = $410

  • Early Bird Pricing - valid now through March 10, 2019 - $25 off each: Promo code = CAMP2019-EARLYBIRD
  • Sibling Discount - valid for two or more siblings - $15 off each: Promo code = CAMP2019-SIBLING
    • Discounts cannot be stacked.
    • Sibling discounts will be reviewed.

Duration: Week-long, Monday through Friday sessions: Half Day 9a – 12p | Full Day 9a - 3p

Included: Climbing instruction, rental gear, ASCEND merchandise, good times

Not included: Transportation, membership, lunch and snacks (okay to bring in), bad times

Availability: Each session is limited to 25 participants


Outdoor Climbing Outings:

Did your child love summer camp? Do they want to try climbing outdoors? ASCEND guides are PUMPED to take approved summer campers to McConnells Mill State Park for a day of climbing fun! Campers who demonstrate the appropriate saftey knowledge and competency skills will be eligible. Outdoor climbing sessions are not included in the cost of summer camp and will be an extra fee of $95. There will be limited capacity.

Tentative dates include: July 1, July 2, July 22, July 23, August 12, August 13

Registered summer camp participants will receive more information in early June, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please email [email protected].


Where can I park?

  • Free parking is available in two off-street lots, one located directly adjacent to ASCEND and another at the corner of Jane and 23rd Streets (the “Rite Aid lot”). Street parking is also available near the facility. Click HERE for more parking info.

How do I drop off/pick up my child?

  • For half and full day camp, drop off is at 9:00a. Simply find a parking spot and walk your child up to our front desk. 
  • For half day camp, pick up is at 12p and for full day camp, pick up is at 3p. Simply park, walk into our facility and sign your child out. We will release a child only to the person who dropped them off in the morning or someone directly authorized by a parent or guardian.

Will you serve food or snacks?

  • Kids will have the opportunity to re-energize with a snack break every morning. We will not provide the snacks, so if your child desires food or drink please send something with them every day. Kids are also permitted to buy concessions from our front desk.
  • Full day campers are encouraged to pack a lunch. We will set aside a dedicated lunch time everyday but will not provide food.

Can my child climb after summer camp hours have finished?

  • Kids can climb after camp has ended for that day without having to purchase an additional day pass. That being said, our staff supervision ends at noon for half day campers and 3p for full day; so any children under the age of 14 would need to be directly supervised by a parent or guardian.

What should my child wear?

  • We encourage athletic apparel for climbing, but many climbers are just as happy to climb in jeans. 

Is climbing rental gear included in the price of camp?

  • Yes, any climbing gear a child would need to participate in camp activities will be provided. This includes climbing shoes, chalk bags, and climbing harnesses.

Does my child need to sign a liability waiver?

  • Yes, every participant and visitor must sign a liability waiver in order to enter our facility. Individuals under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign for them. You can do this ahead of time by clicking HERE or in person at the gym.

What is your refund policy?

  • 100% of your deposit will be refunded if you cancel 10 days before your scheduled camp session.
  • 50% of your deposit will be refunded if you cancel 5 days before your scheduled camp session.
  • 0% of your deposit will be refunded if you cancel less than 5 days before your scheduled camp session.

Should I tip the camp staff?

  • Tipping the camp staff is not required. Although if you feel a staff member has positively exceeded your expectations, feel free to express your gratitude however you see fit.

Is it ok to enroll my child if they have never climbed before?

  • Absolutely! Our camps are designed to be accessible to all levels of climbers; from first timers to experienced competitors.

What will a typical summer camp day look like?

  • Every day will include bouldering, top rope climbing, yoga and special activities such as, crate-stacking, slacklining and more. Our highly experienced and trained camp staff will be involved constantly by supervising, teaching, coaching, and encouraging each child.

Do you offer day care before or after camp hours?

  • We do not offer day care before or after camp. Our half day summer camp hours are 9a - 12p and our full day camp hours are 9a - 3p.

My child has special needs. Can they attend camp?

  • We will do everything we can to include children of all abilities. For more specific info please contact [email protected]

If you have any questions, suggestions, or for more information, please email [email protected]  or join the ASCEND Newsletter and social media feeds found below.

Scout Merit Badges

This 4-hour workshop is perfect for Scouts and designed for youth ages 14-18 or for those that are at least a First Class Scout. By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to earn the Climbing Merit Badge for Scouts BSA or the Ultimate Recreation Challenge Badge for Girl Scouts. Climbing harness, climbing shoes, and chalk rentals are all included in the price of this workshop. If you have your own equipment you are welcome to bring it!

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].



ASCEND is proud to pilot a youth scholarship program to help kids in need of financial assistance get into climbing! Bear with us as this program grows, but the goal is simple - to connect those in need with those who want to give. Interested families will apply for financial assistance, donors will pledge the amount they desire, and ASCEND will match up donor pledges with deserving families. There may be more need than donors or more donors than need; but we will do our best to help as many people as we can! If you have any questions, please reach out to our Director of Youth Programming at [email protected].


Child Watch

ASCEND offers limited Child Watch services for parents or legal guardians that remain on site to use our facility. Qualified, adult staff members can be made available to watch children in our specially designed Child Watch room during reserved time slots. Children ages 6 months - 6 years can stay for up to 2 hours per day and guardians must remain on site. ASCEND will provide one staff member per four children. Parents must provide snacks, drinks, diapers, medications, etc.

In order for us to watch your child, YOU MUST MAKE A RESERVATION through our online system at least 24 hours in advance (if it's within 24 hours, please call 412-745-2141 and we will do our best to try to make a short notice accommodation). Time slots are available in 2-hour blocks, 7 days a week from 10a - 6p. Child Watch reservations are NOT refundable.

Pricing: The cost is $10 per child, per 2-hour slot.

Note: If a staff member cannot be made available, the room is available for customers and their children to use, provided that guardian supervision happens at all times. If you have any additional questions, please contact ASCEND at 412-745-2141 or [email protected].