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Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a Challenge Course?

A challenge course is a series of obstacles constructed of rope, cable, wood, or simple portable items such as stuffed toys, hula hoops, or tarps. The challenge course is designed to help groups work more effectively together by solving the obstacles and problems chosen by the challenge course facilitator. Both mental and physical challenges are selected based on the goals and abilities of the group.

What is the difference between the Low and High Ropes Courses?

The low course encourages the entire group to participate in solving problems, while the high course allows for individual achievement and the support of peers to complete the challenges. Low courses are generally completed at ground level or a few feet off of the ground, and safety spotting is provided by the participants. High courses are constructed 30 or more feet off of the ground, and require special safety equipment to complete.

Where is the Challenge Course located?

The challenge course is located at the Ridges on Piggery Lane. Challenge course workshop activities can also be moved indoors if needed.

Is the Challenge Course safe?

Yes. Both the low and high ropes courses are staffed by trained facilitators, and challenge courses have an excellent safety record. The courses and all equipment are inspected on a monthly basis by our staff, and annually by an outside inspector. Statistically, there is a greater risk of being injured in an automobile than by participating in a challenge program.

Do I need to be a super athlete to participate?

No. The low challenge course is primarily made up activities that require a low level of movement or fast walking. The low course activities that require more physical ability are selectively used based on the specific goals of the group.

What about the high ropes course? I'm afraid of heights!

While generally more physical than the low challenge course, the high challenge course uses 'Universal Design' construction to provide a range of options that allow participants to choose a level of involvement that they feel comfortable with. Of course, part of the purpose of the challenge course is to push your abilities, so some extra effort can be beneficial!

What if I don't feel comfortable participating in a particular activity?

The Challenge Program philosophy regarding participation is "challenge by choice". We provide you with all of the information you need to decide if you want to participate in a given activity. Even if you choose not to participate in a specific activity, we encourage participation in any meaningful way; however, complete non-participation is discouraged as it detracts from the experience for the entire group.

Who can participate in the challenge program?

The Challenge Program is open to all university students, faculty and staff, and non-university groups on a year-round reservation only basis.

For more information, please contact:
Dan Vorisek, Directer of Outdoor Pursuits
Campus Recreation
Ping Recreation Center
South Green Drive
Athens, Ohio 45701

Phone: (740)597-1485
Fax: (740)593-9903
Email: vorisek@ohio.edu