Can I come if I've never climbed before?
Yes! New people are very welcome. If you've never been to hard rock before, you should allocate an extra half beforehand to sign on to their system and go through the mandatory safety course with them.
Can I come if I don't have a belay partner?
Yes! This is one of the main reasons for running the group. We'll match you with someone when you get here.
How much does it cost?
As of May, 2013 - for an adult hiring all your gear; $30. This breaks down as entry: $18 ($16 for students), harness hire: $6, and shoe hire: $6.
The canonical prices are at Hard rock pricing page.
Hard rock also options bulk discount options.
I've never been rock climbing before, what should I wear?
Try for clothes that don't hinder movement, and aren't too baggy. Recommended are flexible shorts / leggings. A zip up sweater / jersey / hoody is a good idea if you get cold easily - especially for when you are belaying.
You can hire dedicated rock climbing shoes from the gym for $6. These are highly recommended and will improve your climbing immensely. Trying to climb in sneakers is just frustrating. A spare pair of sock is recommended if hiring shoes.
Jeans are a bad idea, as they are too inflexible. For obvious reasons, skirts and short shorts are right out.
I don't have any equipment, can I still come?
Yes. You can hire a harness and shoes for $6 each from hard rock.
Can I bring my own harness/shoes/chalk?
Yes. To climb at hard rock, you will need a screw-gate carabiner, and a harness with a belay loop.
Where can I buy a harness/shoes/chalk?
Hard rock sells some gear, but it's also worth trying Bogong Equipment and Paddy Pallin - both on Little Bourke street. Further out is Rock Hardware in Bendigo, who are generally slightly cheaper.
It's a really bad idea to buy your first pair of climbing shoes over the Internet. It's practically impossible to get the sizing right without trying them on.
I've found some cheap gear on gumtree/eBay, is it any good?