During the early 1970s, Hampshire College constructed one of the first indoor climbing walls. The climbing wall has continued to expand and, through the work of students, a bouldering cave has been added. There are numerous opportunities to advance in climbing as a Hampshire student.
Courses in climbing are offered each semester. During the fall, students can take a course in top rope climbing. This class provides students with a basic understanding of climbing movement, knots, anchors, belay systems, and safety. These classes are ideal for people with little or no experience. Advanced climbers find the course valuable in helping further their technical experience. For climbers wanting to expand their knowledge of lead climbing, a course is offered during the spring semester that focuses on lead climbing skills.
Hampshire also offers many opportunities for students to participate in a variety of climbing adventures. These range from one to two day weekend trips to month-long climbing excursions during the January term period.
Ice climbing is offered through the Outdoors Program. Students can often be seen climbing on the frozen icefalls during New England's cold winters!
Hampshire's climbing program has been very instrumental in shaping and directing the lives of many of its students. Renowned mountaineer and author of Into Thin Air and Into the Wild John Krakauer furthered his climbing education as a Hampshire student.