Totally Boise Blog


How To Start Rock Climbing at The Commons Climbing Gym

Last updated February 24, 2022 by Mariah Hebbeln

New year, new goals. The Commons Climbing Gym in the Boise Bench is welcoming curious novice climbers into their incredible full-service gym. Rock climbing for exercise is a growing trend due to its ability to provide a full-body workout in a short amount of time. 

If you’ve never climbed before in your life, The Commons is your gym! Named for its mission and passion to create an inclusive and welcoming climbing community in the Treasure Valley, the staff, teachers, and fellow climbers here are ready to show you just how easy it is to start climbing. 

What You Need to Climb

Rock climbing is a technical exercise that requires practice, equipment, and patience to perfect. When you are ready to climb in the gym frequently, this is the gear you will need.

Rock Climbing Gear

Shoes - 

Proper climbing shoes are an essential piece of climbing gear. These specialty shoes allow your foot to get the proper grip and traction on the holds and fit your foot differently than most shoes. For your first time climbing, The Commons rents out professional-grade climbing shoes. When climbing becomes more than a hobby, and you find yourself at the gym more than 2 - 3 times a week, it’s time to look into buying your own pair. Ask any of the staff or new climbing friends you make to suggest a brand of shoe to buy. 

Chalk Bag - 

Attached to every climber, or at the bottom of their route is a bag of chalk to help give their hands the friction needed to grip onto holds. Even in the coldest weather, your hands will sweat while you climb, and the chalk is essential for neutralizing that issue. 

Pants - 

The bulk of your upward movement is facilitated by your legs and giving them the room and mobility to move where you want them is crucial. Consider baggy pants, shorts, or a slicker yoga legging. 

Harness - 

When doing top-rope climbing, fall safety is maintained by securing yourself to the rope with a harness. These are rented out by The Commons, but a more serious climber should purchase their own to break-in for best use.


Be prepared to fail. Climbing, even on the extremely professional side, requires a lot of trial and error. This means falling, not completing a route, or building up the muscle's strength and stamina to advance your climbing ability. 

Reach out to the staff or climbers around you for advice and encouragement when you’re facing these problems. They all have been there and can possibly see issues you’re having from the ground. 

The Commons Climbing Gym | Totally Boise 2022 Spring Mag
The Commons Climbing Gym | Totally Boise 2022 Spring Mag

How to Make Climbing Friends at The Commons

Friendships are forged at the Commons Climbing Gym. It’s a natural part of the culture when you start climbing. To help facilitate these connections and relationships, The Commons has constructed the following spaces:

Commons Partner Board

People looking to find a climbing partner will leave a card at the Partner Board, visible at the front entrance of the facility before you fully enter the gym. Here you can browse the different types of climbers, and match them with someone who fits your similar time schedule, climbing ability, and interests. 

The Commoners Facebook Group

In the digital world, you can also connect with fellow climbers and Commons fans on their community Facebook group. Here, The Commons and its members discuss upcoming events, climbing advice, and build group connections. 

Find that group here:

The Commoners Facebook Group

The Commons Climbing Gym | Totally Boise 2022 Spring Mag
The Commons Climbing Gym | Totally Boise 2022 Spring Mag

Perks of Joining The Commons Climbing Gym

Members of the Commons Climbing Gym will agree, there are some seriously awesome perks to joining. Here are their top reasons for joining and staying at The Commons:

  • You only need to climb for an hour. It’s perfect for after work, lunch break, or while kids are at school or daycare activity.
  • Climbing three or four times a week is enough weekly exercise.
  • This is a full-service gym, complete with typical gym equipment, classes, and rock walls, making it a one-stop gym with a variety of activities. 
  • Guaranteed you will make friends and have a great time while you’re there!

Memberships start at as little as $74 a month, or $795 annually per person. Now head to the gym and get started! You can walk in with no gear or experience, and walk out with a newfound sense of confidence and interest. 

Find them at 4795 W Emerald St. or at these online spaces,


Facebook: @commonsclimbing

Instagram: @commonsclimbing




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