Participation in Y Programs

As a mission based organization, the Y is more than a collection of programs. We are an organization with a purpose which believes that being a part of a supportive, caring community is essential to good health and well-being. Y membership is our best resource to create and support caring, connected and inclusive communities. That’s why we’re doubling down on Y membership as the unifying hub of Y community life. 

Beginning January 1, 2023, access to Y programs, such as Y Rock Wall Classes and Leagues, will be a benefit of Y membership. You must be a Y member at the time of registration to participate.



Use of our rock walls are part of your Y membership. Standing anywhere from 24-40 feet high, our rock walls are a fun and unique way to challenge yourself and reach new heights in your health and wellness!

We offer recreational use of our rock walls as well as rock wall classes and teams (see below). For safety, our walls are supervised by a Y associate belayer who is responsible for controlling the safety rope for each climber. Our rock walls cannot be used without a Y associate belayer on duty.

Six Y centers have rock walls that are available to all Y members:

  • The Dancel Y in Ellicott City
  • The Greater Annapolis Y in Arnold
  • The Orokawa Y in Towson
  • The Ward Y in Abingdon
  • The Weinberg Y in Waverly
  • The Y in Catonsville

To see Y center open climb rock wall hours, click the appropriate center name on this page. You must be age 5+ to use the rock walls.



Rock Climbing 1 (ages 5 & up)

This introductory rock climbing class teaches climbers basic parameters, vocabulary, and nomenclature in the climbing world. Climbers will learn basic knots and begin a short workout regimen designed to increase climbing strength and endurance to reduce the chance of injury. To move to the next level, climbers must pass a skills test.

Rock Climbing 2 (ages 5 & up)

Climbers must pass Rock Climbing 1 or pass the skills test for Rock Climbing 2.

In Rock Climbing 2, climbers will learn the basics of sequencing, basic climbing techniques, continue to develop balance, and start climbing routes (versus "rainbowing" - using any available pieces).

Skills Test for Rock Climbing 2: Five rainbow climbs to the top of the wall in six minutes; figure eight knot; figure eight follow through; climbing commands; basic nomenclature. Climbers must be able to execute 10 legitimate push ups, and demonstrate a successful wall walk.

Find a Class



Advanced Climbing Team (ages 5 & up)

The Y's advanced climbing team is a group of rock wall climbing enthusiasts and practitioners who enjoy a challenge! Safety is our primary focus as we work to grow our climbing ability. Team activities include practices twice a week, an open climb session once a week, climbing competitions at the Y, and an outdoor climbing trip once a year. For safety, you must be able to demonstrate a certain level of knowledge and ability in order to participate on the advanced climbing team.

Find a Climbing Team


Advanced Climbing Team Tryouts (ages 5 & up)

Tryout for the Y's advanced rock climbing team! Tryouts will take place at our indoor rock walls and will test physical strength, endurance, and climbing knowledge and ability. For specific requirements or help preparing for tryouts, please see a rock wall associate at the Y. Contact a Y family center for more information.