Joe Palmer '84 Fund

We are very pleased to report that a number of members of the Class of '84 have instituted a special fund in memory of Joe Palmer '84. Joe was one of the keystones of OA's climbing program in the eighties and helped to build the first climbing wall. He died in a climbing accident in Yosemite in 1985. Joe's family and friends have created a special memorial fund to honor Joe, his contributions to OA, and his love of climbing. The goal of the Joe Palmer Fund is to create a permanent endowment to fund the Climbing Wall and Climbing Program at Princeton. For information on gifts to the Palmer Fund contact Rick Curtis (rcurtis(a)

Wednesday June 19, 2024  

New Outdoor Action Climbing Wall

Climbing at Princeton University is alive and well.  For more than two decades, the OA climbing wall has been the home and the focal point for climbing at Princeton. Thousands of Princeton students, faculty, and staff have discovered the joy of climbing for the first time or expanded their skills by being a part of this special tightknit community.

Twenty-four years after a group of dedicated Princeton students built the very first climbing wall in a corner of the old Armory building, the Outdoor Action program is pleased to announce that Princeton will be building a new state-of-the-art climbing wall at the new football stadium. This next chapter promises to take climbing to a whole new level. The new wall designed and built by Entre Prise will be a fantastic resource.  Overhangs, roofs, bulges, slabs and cracks will entertain and training a whole new generation of Princetonians.

The very first section of the wall built in 1983 was a classic wooden vertical structure.  There were no commercially available climbing holds at the time so we used wooden holds, machined holds out of aluminum, and glued on rocks that had been cut in half with the diamond saw at the geology lab. A new overhanging section designed by famed Gunks climber Mike Freeman was added in 1989 and a portion of the original wall was rebuilt in 1997.

The new Climbing Wall was built in September 2007 by Entre Prises, one of the premiere climbing wall design companies in the world. The new Wall is 32 feet tall and 66 feet across and incorporate numerous climbing features including overhangs, a roof, cracks and a slab.

Photos of the New Wall