If you've never climbed before, YES, it's OK to join us. If you are new to the group, try and get to the gym early. If you get there late, that's OK too, but the group will already be dispersed and climbing so you'll have to look for the Event Host.
For those who are new to climbing: SportRock's "Basic Skills" class (https://alexandria.sportrock.com/beginner-classes/) is the best way to learn the basics of top-rope climbing, namely how to "belay" another climber. It's only $4 more than gear rental. The class starts at 7pm and usually takes 2 hours. After your class is over, you can climb with us if you're not too tired.
If you don't know how to belay and don't take the class, you are still welcome to come climb with us. We'll belay you at your first one or two events.
For experienced climbers: If you know how to belay but haven't been belay-checked at a Sportrock gym, ask one of the staff members to test you when you first arrive. There's no charge for taking the belay test. If you fail the test, we can still belay you and you can take the test again the next time you visit the gym (if you fail a second time, then you should take the Basic Skills class).
Directions & Parking: The gym is a short walk from the Van Dorn metro station. The Sportrock spaces are labeled. On weeknights and weekends, there is also overflow parking available in the Carrier HVAC parking lot just past the Sportrock building.
Cost: Tell the gym staff that you are with the climbing Meetup group and they will discount the day pass price to $16 (the normal cost for a day pass is $20). You will also need to rent climbing shoes and a harness ($10 for both) if you don't have your own gear. For $4 more ($30), beginners can take SportRock's "Basic Skills" class (https://alexandria.sportrock.com/beginner-classes/) which also includes gear rental and an all-day gym pass.