Climbing Wall FAQ’s

Fitness Questions

Why should I include climbing as part of my fitness program?According to Eric J. Horst, in his Training for Climbing book, rock climbing is unique among sports in that it requires a near-equal balance of mental, technical, and physical ability.  So it provides a good all-around work out.
Doesn’t rock climbing just target the arm muscles?In addition to offering an anaerobic and aerobic workout, rock climbing exercises almost every muscle group, according to Michelle Hurni, former   president of the Colorado-based American Sport Climbers Federation (ASCF).
Can’t I get the same workout just doing pull-ups?Pull-ups strictly focus on arm muscles.  Rock climbing two or more times a week improves your strength, muscular and cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, mental toughness and balance.

General Questions

Why do you wear those funny shoes?The shoes allow for greater flexibility than street shoes.  The climbing shoes are very close fitting and have rubber around the soles for much greater traction.
Can I climb in my sneakers / basketball / hiking shoes?We really encourage climbers to wear the climbing shoes. This will make for a much better and successful climb. However if you wish you may climb in your sneakers, basketball, or hiking shoes.  No flipflops or open toed shoes are allowed while climbing.
What’s the colored tape?The colored tapes mark a specific route. The routes vary in degree of difficulty.  In general, the bigger the hold, the easier the route. But, what may be easy for one person may be quite challenging for another.
Who sets the routes?Our staff is responsible for setting routes.
Will the routes change?Yes, the routes will change to keep the climbing experience new and fresh. Our staff will be changing the routes about every 6-12 months.  So, if there is a specific route or move you want to try, talk with our climb staff.
Do I have to climb on the marked route?No, you do not have to climb on the marked routes.  Feel free to use holds that make sense to you.  The reason why the routes are marked is so that you can practice different types of moves and combinations of moves.

Safety Questions

Has anyone been injured?Yes, there have been injuries.  All have been very minor such as a bruised knee and sore fingertips.  All can be attributed to overexertion, slips, and learning climbing techniques.  It’s important that you make an informed decision about climbing safety.
How do you know the equipment is safe?Our staff inspects the equipment.  The belay devices and harnesses are inspected at every use.  The ropes, holds, anchors and are inspected monthly. If there is any question as to the condition of a piece of equipment, it is removed from the inventory.  All inspections are logged.
How strong is that carabineer?Carabineers or “bineers” are also tested and have great strength.  Our climbing staff has a binder that lists out the detailed specifications of our equipment.
How old do you have to be to climb?The minimum age is 5 years old.  Climbers who are 17 and under must have their parent or guardian sign a waiver.
What kind of training does the climb staff have?Our climb staff has a large variety of expertise in climbing program management, gym climbing, outdoor climbing, and bouldering.  They also go through regular performance evaluations and safety checks.  All have personal climbing and belay experience and are CPR / First Aid qualified.
The climber looks bigger than the belayer.   How can she hold him?Our high school physics teachers would be proud of us when we can answer this question.  There is a lot of physics at work in climbing and the belay system makes a great use of friction, so a smaller belayer is capable of handling a larger climber.

Spire Construction Questions

What is the Spire made of? The Spire has three main components: the steel beam welded infrastructure, the wire mesh and concrete composite surface, and the resin / steel bolts holds.
How is it constructed?The project began with welding together steel beams.  This frame was then covered with a steel mesh. Concrete composite was then applied. Holes for the holds were then added.  Once the concrete settled and the structure was inspected, the top anchors, the two silver hooks at the top of the Spire were added.  Our staff then began to hang the ropes and set the holds.
What are the holds made of?The holds are made of a very strong resin and are bolted to the structure with steel bolts.

Equipment Questions

What is belaying?Belay means “to hold”.  It also refers to a system of devices and techniques that combine to protect a climber from being injured in a fall by locking the rope.  Our climb staff can easily demonstrate this.
What equipment is provided?The entrance fee covers a lot.  In addition to the Spire, the holds, the anchors, the ropes, you will be provided a harness, climbing shoes, a belaying device, and someone to belay you.
I have a harness at home.  Can I use it here?You will have to check that out with our climbing staff. Provided your harness is in good condition and that you followed the manufacturer’s recommendations, it is likely that you may use your personal harness.
Can protection be placed on the Spire?While the Spire has anchors for lead climbing, placing nuts and cams is not allowed. Such hardware will not hold.  It would not be safe for you or other climbers.