ARC Climbing Wall


The climbing wall is a 35.5-foot tall, state-of-the-art manufactured structure designed to challenge first-timers or seasoned climbers. Routes are changed regularly to maintain a high level of fun and challenge. You don’t need experience, equipment, or a belayer. The staff will outfit you with the necessary gear for a small fee and provide you with a belay.


You will be required to watch the following orientation video and pass the climbing quiz before using the climbing facilities.

Orientation Video

Climbing for All Levels

student climbing rock wall


No ropes or harness Climb to 10-12 ft. Jump down to the thick mat Great for beginners!

Bouldering Video

student climbing during top rope competition

Top Rope

Climber and belayer Uses an anchor system Must be Top Rope Belay Endorsed to belay

Top Rope Video

students pose in front of climbing wall

Lead Climbing

Climber clips rope to quick draws Belayer stays on the ground to prevent climber falls Must be Lead Climbing Endorsed to lead belay and lead climb

Lead Climbing Video

Additional Information


We require all participants to sign a waiver when coming to the climbing wall for the first time. Please sign up for Open Climb on Active Illini to sign the liability waiver. If you do not already have an Active Illini account, please create one in order to sign the waiver.

Sign Up to Open Climb

Rental Fees

The rental center is located at the window just outside the entrance to the climbing wall on the concourse level of the ARC. The following equipment can be rented during your time on the wall.

Equipment One-Time Rental
Climbing Shoes $1
Climbing Harness $1
Shoes and Harness $2


Additional outdoor gear can be rented at the Campus Bike Center.

Belay Tests

Belay certifications do not expire. Staff may revoke belay certifications or ask you to re-test if certified belayers are using improper or unsafe belay technique. If you are already a confident belayer, you can take a drop-in belay test ($15) at the start of your reservation. A qualified belayer will be able to: 

  • Tie in a partner using a figure 8 follow-through knot and a double-fisherman’s stopper knot. 
  • Correctly set up an ATC or Grigri belay device. 
  • Verbalize and identify all safety checks for climber and belayer
  • Catch an announced and an unannounced fall. 
  • Demonstrate correct PBUS belay technique (Pull, Brake, Under, Slide) and lowering technique. 
    • Brake hand must be kept on the rope at all times 
  • Know the climbing commands used at the ARC, and when to use them. 

Patrons who want to learn to belay, who are unsure of any of the above requirements, or who want a refresher should register for our Top-Rope Belay Clinic

Climbing wall staff will administer the test and ensure that all certified individuals are safe, confident belayers. To take the test, ask a climbing wall staff member at the beginning of your reservation! You should bring a friend to act as your climber. Belay certified patrons will receive a belay tag to wear on their harness.

Outdoor Gear Rentals


Equipment, including tents, kayaks, camping gear, and more, can be rented at the Campus Bike Center!

Bouldering Cave

kilter board at the arcAs an extension of the Adventure Rec programming, the Bouldering Cave serves as another climbing option for patrons to use the Kilter Board. The Bouldering Cave is open and available for open recreation whenever the ARC is open.

Kilter Board

The Bouldering Cave, located on the lower level of the ARC next to the Performance Pods, features a Kilter Board. This state-of-the-art, adjustable climbing wall allows patrons to connect with and challenge climbers across the world via the Kilter Board app. Once a specific climb is selected, the board will light up to indicate where to start and end the route. No climbing endorsements or equipment are required to climb on the Kilter Board, however, you must bring your own climbing shoes or rent a pair from the Rental Center or the Member Services desk.

Kilter Board Videos  @kilterboard on Instagram

App Instructions

Allow the app to sync with your phone’s bluetooth.

  1. Download the Kilter Board app
  2. Create a username and password
  3. Add a wall
    1. Select “Kilter Board Original” for wall model
    2. Select “12 x 12 with kickboard” for wall size
    3. Select “Yes” for an adjustable board
    4. Select the current wall angle (found on the control panel)
    5. Select “Bolt Ons” and “Screw Ons” for the hod sets
    6. Name the wall (example: “ARC Kilter Board”)
  4. Select the wall you just created
  5. Select a route using the filters
  6. Sync with the board by pressing the light bulb icon

Color Key

  • Start hold light up in green
  • Hand/foot holds light up in blue
  • Foot only holds light up in yellow
  • Finish hold light up in pink

Bouldering Cave Policies & Procedures

  • Equipment is not permitted to move outside of Bouldering Cave.
  • Workshop and program attendees will take priority in the space.
  • Climbing shoes are required while bouldering.
  • Bouldering crash mats must be used while bouldering.
  • Spotters are strongly recommended at all times while bouldering.
  • Maximum of 1 climber on a wall face at a time in the bouldering cave.
  • Bouldering is permitted on the kilter wall no higher than the top of the frame.
  • Space capacity is 20 patrons. 
  • All personal belongings and bags should be kept off the floors. ​Please store items in lockers or cubbies.
  • Athletic footwear must be worn at all times in this space.


Hangboards are available to be used in the Bouldering Cave. Hangboards are not permitted to be removed from the Bouldering Cave. Anyone who removes the hangboards from the premises will be responsible for covering replacement costs. Hangboards are a form of advanced climbing training. Please know your limits and use them with care.

How to Use  Example Hangboard Workout

Local Outdoor Adventures

Explore the world around you. You don’t have to go far to find adventure.