• Sportrock

7 Simple Rules for Climbing Gym Dates

Updated: Mar 3

bouldering date

If you’ve been on the dating scene for a while, you’ve probably experienced the same dates a thousand times. Coffee, movies, dinner, drinks—these are all pretty cliché dates when you’re getting to know somebody. 


While we’re certainly not discrediting these classic dates, you do need to separate yourself from the pack and come up with something new. A climbing gym date is a perfect option for mixing up your dating game and standing out from the crowd of other potential suitors.

Climbing is a fun and exciting experience for most people, and if your date has never been to a climbing gym before this will be an incredibly memorable event for them. For climbers, a bouldering date is a great way to showcase athleticism in your natural environment. For non-climbers, a gym date is a fantastic way to goof around and try something new, all while getting to know your new romantic interest. Regardless of your motivations or experience level, there are a few things for you to consider before taking your new love to a climbing gym.

Below, we’ve listed some tips and tricks to make your gym climbing date go as smoothly as possible:

bouldering date

No First Dates

While it can be tempting to make your first date a climbing date, we don’t necessarily recommend it. Unless you have a previous history with your partner, and you know that they’re an athletic/adventurous person, there’s too much that can go wrong on a climbing date. For example, you might discover they have a pre-existing hand injury that prevents them from climbing, or they might suffer from an insurmountable fear of heights that keeps them on the ground. The point is, if you’re meeting someone for the first time you should pick something a little more cautious than gym climbing, but if your first or second date goes well definitely consider a gym climb.

Bring Spare Clothes

bouldering date of couple

You’re going to need to wear athletic clothes for your climbing gym session, and it’s safe to assume you’re probably going to be a bit sweaty after you climb. It’s always smart to pack a fresh set of clothes. That being said you don’t want to get carried away here, you don’t want your date waiting around while you’re carefully grooming yourself in the locker room. Just bring something to quickly change into so that you can transition to the next part of your date.

Don’t be a Hero

If you usually climb 5.10, now is not the time to go after a 5.12. The climbing gym date is supposed to be fun. It’s not supposed to be a super-hardcore gym session where you attempt the most intense climbs of your life to impress your new love interest. Don’t let your ego dictate your actions, keep it simple and easy. Plus, it’s hard to have a conversation with your date if you’re exhausted after red-pointing a route.

Why So Serious?

A climbing gym date is not the time to be too serious (that’s any date really). Your love interest is going to appreciate it if you forgo bragging about your superb climbing skills. You’re probably not Chris Sharma, and if you are… well… you probably don’t need any tips. If you fall off a route, laugh! Don’t talk about how you should have/would have/could have climbed it on a different day.

Take a Belaying Class Together

bouldering date

This one is highly recommended because 1) it’s the safe decision, 2) it will make your date more comfortable with the idea of climbing on top-rope, and 3) it will prepare you for an easy but memorable activity. Belay classes don’t take very long, and there’s potential to improve your date experience. Plus, even if the date doesn’t go well and you never speak again, you will have both learned something!

Use Encouraging Words

Now is the time to be an optimistic and encouraging person that’s fun to be around! No one wants to climb/date a wet-blanket. It doesn’t matter if your date fails/succeeds at any particular climbing route, use the gym climb as an opportunity to demonstrate your uplifting personality.

Have a Post-Gym Plan

When you’re brand new, it’s difficult to climb for longer than an hour. Unless you’re planning on a very short date, you’re going to want to have a plan in place for where to immediately go when you’re done climbing. Maybe even let your date pick that spot to grab drinks/coffee/food after you climb!

Dating and Climbing Should be Fun

Climbing is a fantastic way to plan a fun, spontaneous, and adventurous date. Remember, dating is all about standing out from the pack – so skip dinner and a movie and use gym climbing to mix up your dating game. There’s no better environment to have a light-hearted date and showcase your encouraging/optimistic personality. Just be sure to pack a spare set of clothes and have a plan in place for where to go after the gym. The gym might be your starting point, but who knows where the date will take you!