Bouldering 101: Getting Started

Bouldering 101: Getting Started

May 17, 2017

By Kacy Wilson

Looking for fun things to do in Mississauga? Join us for a day of bouldering at Up The Bloc.

Bouldering is a dynamic style of indoor climbing that sets you free from ropes and harnesses. It’s the perfect way to try climbing for the first time because it requires very little equipment and you can get started right after your safety orientation. Bouldering is a great activity to enjoy with friends but you don’t need a partner to get started. In addition to the physical challenge, the mental challenge of solving each boulder problem will keep you coming back for more.

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What to Bring

On your first visit, we recommend wearing comfortable athletic wear and bringing ankle socks to wear in your rental shoes. Bring a reusable water bottle and fill it with fresh filtered water from our fountain. Our facilities has change rooms, cubbies, washrooms and a shower. You’re welcome to bring a snack or purchase snacks and sports drinks from our front desk.

When You Arrive

When you arrive, you’ll be asked to sign a waiver. You can save time by signing your waiver online here.

Walk-ins are welcome and no reservations are required. When you arrive, you can choose a pass or membership option that suits your needs. You can even purchase your pass online before you arrive. If you sign your waiver and buy your pass online, you just need to check-in upon arrival.

Get a Head Start

For beginners looking to get a head start, we offer Bouldering 101 classes.
Our Bouldering 101 class is the perfect way to get the most out of your first day of climbing. Each lesson includes 2 hours of guidance with an instructor. You’ll learn a variety of techniques including footwork, hand placement, body positioning and efficient movement. You will also learn route-reading techniques and other helpful tips to get to the top. Bouldering 101 lessons can be booked online here.

Shoe Fitting & Safety Orientation

Once you are setup in our system, our staff will help fit you with a pair of Butora rental shoes. In general, we recommend starting with your street shoe size and then adjusting as needed.

After completing your shoe fitting, you’ll be guided through our safety orientation. The purpose of the orientation is to teach you proper falling technique while bouldering. Upon completing the safety orientation, you’re ready to get started!

The Basics

Bouldering at Up The Bloc is organized into a series of circuits ranging from beginner to elite. The levels are as follows:

Level 1: White
Level 2: Yellow
Level 3: Orange
Level 4: Green
Level 5: Blue
Level 6: Purple
Level 7: Red
Level 8: Black
Level 9: Pink

Each circuit has 8-10 boulder problems that provide a unique set of challenges from technical slab climbing to powerful and gymnastic overhanging climbs. Each problem is marked with a start and top tag. Begin at the taped start moving through the same colour holds to the finishing ‘Top’ tag.

We encourage new climbers to start with the yellow circuit and try as many problems as possible on your first day. You can challenge yourself by trying to complete an entire circuit of the same colour before moving up to the next level.

If you have questions about your first day, call us at 905.272.2562 or write us at and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Instagram.

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