The Student Recreation Center boasts a 35-foot climbing wall with 2275 square feet of climbing area. The wall features numerous top ropes, five auto belays, and quickdraws for lead climbing. Painted across the wall is a dotted black line that marks the bouldering height. We have a climber training area set up around the wall. This includes a campus board, peg board, weights, and climber-tailored pull up “bars.” Climbing is fun, challenging, and offers opportunities for exercise, camaraderie, and self-discovery. Our staff members love climbing and want you to love it too! We provide all safety gear, climbing shoes, and information that are needed for you to have a safe and enjoyable time on our wall. Bring your own chalk. Free beginner climbing orientations are available every day of the week to teach the novice climber proper knots and belay technique.
If you are interested in working at the climbing wall, please refer to our Outdoor Adventure Jobs.
Please see our hours of operation. Hours are subject to change during breaks and holidays.
The climbing wall is free for all currently enrolled students and members of the Student Recreation Center.
You may purchase a SRC membership if you are a faculty/staff, alumni, retiree, or affiliate of USA, or a spouse/dependent of those. Please see our membership page for more information.
We are not open to the public. Current students and SRC members may bring guests; please see our current guest policy.
The climbing wall is open to ages 6+. Children must be at least 6 years old to climb; our climbing shoes start at kids’ size 2. All members and guests who are between the ages of 6-15 are restricted to the facility dependent hours. The parent/guardian must be present at the wall when dependents age 6-15 are climbing.
Everyone is required to sign a liability waiver to climb the wall. This waiver is good for one year. All students, members, and guests age 19+ can sign their own waiver. All students, members, and guests under age 19 (the age of majority in Alabama) must have a parent/guardian sign their waiver. If you are under the age of 19, please download this waiver, have your parent/guardian sign it, and bring it with you to the climbing wall.
Register for all climbing instructional courses via the Campus Recreation Portal.
Top Rope Belay Course: This free course is intended for members who want to learn top rope belay techniques and commands, utilize climbing equipment properly, and learn knots for top rope climbing.
Top Rope Belay Skills Verification: This skills test is offered any time during the normal hours of operation when an instructor is present. Climbers must demonstrate proper belay techniques, knots, climbing commands, and equipment usage to be considered belay skills verified. The skills test can be done 24 hours after taking the top rope belay course. If you are an experienced climber, you may test out at any time. Climbers must renew verification each year.
Lead Climbing Course: Lead climbing is intended for climbers who want to advance their knowledge. During this course, climbers will learn fundamental lead skills including clipping techniques, falling on lead, lead belaying, and lead commands. Due to the technical nature of the course, climbers must be able to comfortably climb a 5.9 prior to taking the course. Climbers must be top rope belay verified at the USA Climbing Wall prior to enrolling in this course.
Lead Climbing Skills Verification: This skills test is offered at scheduled times following the lead climbing course. If you cannot make one of the scheduled times, please visit the climbing wall desk to schedule a session. To be considered lead climbing verified, climbers must demonstrate proper knots, belay techniques, use of quick draws, clipping methods, and climbing commands. If you are an experienced climber, you may take the lead climbing skills verification without taking the course; you must still meet all prerequisites and schedule a verification session.
Mount Everest, located on the Nepal-China (Tibet) border, is the tallest mountain in the world, measuring in at 29,029 feet above sea level. More than 4,000 people have climbed Everest, and about 800 people attempt to climb it each year. The mountain has claimed over 300 lives. While there is no real technical difficulty in the climb, altitude sickness and severe weather conditions cause inherent dangers. The cost to climb Everest can range from $25-75k as well as requiring around two months of a climber’s life. The Outdoor Adventures staff would like to propose a much safer and less expensive alternative to the actual climb. Every time you climb to the top of the wall, record the number of climbs in our Everest Challenge. The challenge starts at base camp elevation of 17,700 feet. 324 climbs represent the required 11,329 feet to the summit.
Completing the challenge within one semester will earn you a free Everest t-shirt as supply allows. There is no cost to anyone who wishes to participate. The climbing challenge will begin the first day of classes and run through the last day of finals of each semester. You may enter at any time, though the later you enter, the fewer number of days you have to complete the challenge. If you have already completed the Everest challenge, we have a new challenge for you! Check it out under “Rules” on your checklist.
- 324 climbs to the top
- Time requirement: one semester
- Your last climb must be one grade harder than anything you have completed and must be witnessed by an employee. (Example: You have climbed a 5.7 at some time before. You must climb a 5.8 as your final climb of the challenge.)
SECOND EVEREST CHALLENGE: If you have completed the Everest Challenge before, you have new rules! Your first 323 climbs must be at the grade which you completed your last Everest. Your 324th climb must still be one grade harder than anything you have climbed at the end of the challenge. Your last climb must still be witnessed by an employee.
The climbing wall is available to rent outside of its regular hours for your birthday party or group event. Children's parties and events can accommodate 16 guests in the wall at a time; the ping-pong tables and Multipurpose Court are available for party guests in excess of 16 who are waiting to climb.
Parties are two hours. Cost is $225/party for current students and members of the SRC. Cost is $300/party for USA employees who are not members of the SRC. To organize your party reservation, please complete the Campus Recreation Party Rental Form.
You may arrive 30 minutes before your birthday party/event to set up. All food will be served on the back deck or the Multipurpose Court; no food is allowed in the climbing wall. During inclement weather, we will provide tables indoors. Guests may not use any other area of the Student Recreation Center. You may cancel your event within 48 hours of the start time for a full refund. To cancel, email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Cancellations made less than 48 hours before the event will not be refunded. All children present must be at least 6 years old and have a waiver signed by a parent/guardian. Please download this event waiver, complete one for each person in the group, and bring the day of your event.
Student organizations and academic departments may also rent the climbing wall and are not limited to weekends. Please complete the Campus Recreation Facility Rental Form.
Per university policy, to rent event space at the University of South Alabama, Non-USA person(s) or group(s) must secure formal sponsorship from an active, recognized USA student organization or a USA academic or administrative department.