Climbing Wall Policies

  1. Before climbing on the wall
    • Climbing is permitted only when an indoor climbing wall supervisor or some other qualified person designated by the Director of Campus Recreation (i.e. class instructor) is working and on duty.
    • Only those who have completed a CU Belay Certification Course or a belay check may belay others.
    • Everyone using the wall (climbers and belayers) must check in at the Equipment Room and present their University ID card before entering the climbing wall area. A CU Climbing Wall Release Waiver must be on file.
    • Clothing must be safe and modest.
    • Children must be at least 10 years old to climb the wall.
    • Children must be at least 16 years of age to become belay certified and belay others on the wall.
    • Children must be at least 16 years of age to use the wall without a parent or guardian with them.
    • All minors (under the age of 18) must have a CU Indoor Climbing Wall Release Waiver Form on file signed by both the child and a parent or guardian before being permitted to use the wall.
  2. Equipment
    • All climbers and belayers must either use equipment provided by the Campus Recreation Program or other quality equipment approved by a climbing wall supervisor.
    • Harness buckles must be Doubled Backed at the waist and at the leg loops when worn by the climber and the belayer. Tied seats (Swiss Seats) are prohibited.
    • Climbing helmets are available at the equipment room for those who desire to use one.
    • Climbing shoes will be made available to those who use our wall. Climbers using the University's shoes must wear socks with them.
    • Chalk and chalk bags may be checked out of the equipment room and used at the wall. Please use only when needed and be careful not to spill on the floor.
    • Ropes: Be very careful not to step on them!
    • Hand hold adjustments or rearrangements are not permitted except by staff members. Routes will be changed periodically by either the Director or by climbing wall supervisors. Suggestions may be directed to them for changes.
    • Participants are responsible for the equipment signed out to them. If lost or damaged, they will be charged a replacement cost.
    • Climbing Wall Supervisors have the right and responsibility to stop participants from climbing or belaying if they do not abide by these rules or if equipment does not fit properly.
  3. Bouldering
    • Bouldering is climbing low to the ground without the use of ropes. It is an excellent way to improve climbing strength and technique and a good way to warm up before a top rope climb.
    • A person who is bouldering should be spotted by another person.
    • The hands of a person bouldering should never reach the panel wall system (13 feet). Beginners should stay below the first set of wall anchors (10 feet).
    • Bouldering should not be done within 15 feet of a climber above. Top roped climbers have priority.
    • Try to climb down when on the wall and not jump down to minimize the risk of injury.
  4. Belaying
    • Climbers should provide their own belayer when possible.
    • The belayer must clip into the provided belay device (gri gri) with the provided locking carabiner which is attached to the floor anchor.
    • Other belay devices are not permitted unless approved by the Director or a wall suerpvisor.
    • Belayers should keep their brake hand always on the rope and eyes always on the climber.
    • Belayers are responsible to provide a smooth and controlled descent when lowering a climber.
  5. Climbing
    • Proper climbing procedures must be followed. Knots, harnesses and tie-ins must be checked by the supervisor on duty before the first climb each session.
    • Figure 8 follow-through knots are to be used to tie in climbers with at least a 6 to 8" tail.
    • Proper climbing/belaying commands are to be used (On Belay > Belay On, Climbing > Climb On).
    • Climbers and belayers should check each other's harness (doubled-backed), knots, belay device and anchor before every climb.
    • Do NOT use hangers for holds; you could seriously damage your fingers if you fall.
    • Care should be given when climbers use adjacent routes, both climbing up and coming down.
    • Climbers need to be careful not to climb too fast for their belayer. If the belayer is not able to keep up and keep the slack in the rope to a minimum, he/she should communicate to the climber to slow down.
    • Climbers need to stay below and in-line with their belay anchor to avoid a pendulum swing during a fall.
    • Do not climb directly above or below other climbers on the wall.
    • Climbers should never climb over, behind or around the side of the wall structure.
    • Lead climbing is a more advanced form of climbing with greater risks of injury and should not be done without the approval of the Director (Mark Mathews) or the Trainer/Advisor (Dr. G).
  6. Climbing Instruction
    • No one may use our climbing wall facility to instruct others for pay except through either the Department of Campus Recreation or the Exercise and Sport Science Classes.
    • Belay Certification Classes and other organized lessons or classes have priority on the wall. Other climbers should cooperate with supervisors and instructors.
  7. Conduct
    • Observe and practice safe climbing techniques. Dangerous or unsafe behavior will result in suspension of climbing privileges.
    • Wall Supervisors have the right and the responsibility to deny access to the wall for any individuals whom they consider a safety risk to themselves or to others.
    • Respect other climbers and belayers around you and make it a point to share the facility.
    • Problems such as accidents, loose holds, damaged equipment, or unsafe climbing must be reported to the on-duty climbing wall supervisor as soon as possible.
    • Food and drink are not allowed in the designated climbing area (black mat and belay stations) except for water.
    • Modesty must be observed at all times.
    • Observers, non-climbers and climbing gear are not to be on the landing surface (black mat).
    • Participants should climb with caution and at their own risk!
    • Indoor climbers should understand that climbing on an indoor wall is very different than climbing outside on real rock cliffs and that additional training and experience is needed to safely make the transition to outdoor climbing.