Facility Background

The current climbing wall at SOU was designed and built in 2018 by former student Dustin Buckthal, CEO and Co-owner of Vertical Solutions (VS). Dustin now heads multiple climbing industry businesses, focusing on products like flooring and holds, training and physical therapy, and creating and operating gyms.

The Climbing Center is 44’ tall and currently, the tallest wall from Eugene to Sacramento. VS used a patented Multi-Layer Modular geometric, hardwood panel system. This three-layer ARC system meets Climbing Wall Association Standards. We offer top-roping, bouldering, lead climbing and climbing fitness as well as many event programming in our center. Academic instructional climbing courses are also offered through the university.

Purpose of the Outdoor Program Climbing Center

  • To provide an inclusive and safe environment for SOU students, faculty and staff to engage in physical recreation and fitness.
  • To aid in the instruction and development of climbing specific skills and facilitation among the SOU community.
  • To provide everyone with opportunities of adventure in supportive growth of a community of climbers.

Hours of Operation  

Monday - Thursday 4:00p - 9:30p
Friday 3:30p - 6:00p
Saturday Closed
Sunday 7:00p - 9:30p

Guidelines Statement 

  • Loose chalk is not permitted at the SOU climbing wall.
  • Climbers must check-in at the OP Desk and obtain the appropriate climbing pass (Bouldering, Top-Rope Belay or Lead Climb and Belay) before and after each visit to the climbing wall.
  • Climbing passes must be worn by the climber issued to and visible at all times.
  •  The figure 8 follow-through cleanly dressed with 6” to 8” tail is the only accepted tie-in knot outside of academic courses being taught.
  •  Climbers should; tuck in loose clothing, tie back long hair, empty pockets, remove jewelry, gum, and candy before climbing.
  •  Shoes are required when climbing. No Five Finger Style shoes.
  •  In order to reduce the risk of a hazardous swing stay on route.
  •  While on lead, climbers must clip all available protection – skipping clips is not permitted.
  •  Never climb above or below other climbers.
  •  All belaying must be conducted from a standing position.
  •  Keep fingers, hands, and body parts clear of all hardware (including quicklinks, quickdraws, carabineers, and bolts).
  •  Climbers may be re-assessed at any point if they fail to adhere to belay assessment requirements. Staff can ask for a retest at their discretion.
  •  Failure to adhere to Climbing Center guidelines addressed in this policy statement may result in loss of SRC privileges.


Currently, our Climbing Center is only open to registered students. Shortly, we will open to Faculty, Staff, Dependents and Minors. 


We are pleased to offer Top-Rope Belay Clinics, Lead Belay and Climbing Clinics, and an annual Route-Setting Clinic. Please sign up in advance on SOU Connect.

Frequently Asked Questions?

I’ve never climbed before. Will there be someone to show me how? We accomodate all abilities, even if you’ve never climbed before. Our friendly staff will help show you how to put your harness on correctly and how to use our equipment.

Are there classes for beginners? Rock 1 is offered through the Outdoor Adventure Leadership Degree. They also run a Rock 2 and Rock 3 course throughout the year. Keep an eye out on SOU connect for Climbing Center specific events coming up!

Is there a minimum age for climbers? We cannot currently accomodate for anyone under 17. Look for new policies in the Summer!

Do I need my own gear? We rent everything you will need! Our staff will help outfit you with harness and shoes.

Can I wear my own shoes? As long as they’re closed-toed (no Five-Fingers), absolutely!

What should I wear? Comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict movement but isn’t loose enough to get caught.

Should I wear socks with my [rental] shoes? Up to you! Our shoes are disinfected between each use.

Do I need a partner? Nope! We have offer bouldering and occasionally our staff can belay if they aren't too busy checking people in.

How much will this cost? Completely free with your registration at the SRC desk! All of the gear is free to rent as well!

How do I sign up for a belay clinic or lead clinic? Come to the front desk and sign up with our staff. You will be charged $5 to your student account for the clinic.

Do I need to take a clinic to take the assessement? We strongly encourage taking a clinic to either refresh your skills or solidy them. However, if you are an experienced top rope or lead belayer, you are welcome to take the test with our knowledgeable staff. Whether you pass is always up their discression. If a staff member does not pass you, they will direct you to a clinic.SOU CC Yellow LG