The Outdoor Pursuits Indoor climbing wall is located in the lobby of the Charles J. Ping Student Recreation Center. The wall is double sided and 36 feet tall by 13 feet wide, offering approximately 936 square feet of climbing area. The climbing wall is a state-of-the art design that combines integrate synthetic rock with more than 400 potential hand and foot holds.
Climbing Wall Hours
Monday - Thursday: 4 - 10 p.m.
Fall 2015 Belay Clinics:
Additional Times can be available upon request.
Register in advance at the climbing wall desk during open hours. Cost is $5 / person and requires at least two registered participants to run.
Fall 2015 Lead Climbing Clinics: Mon. & Thurs. 8-10 PM
Climbing Shoe Rental
We rent climbing shoes in a range of sizes. Improve your balance, improve grip, and have a better climbing experience by using the proper footwear for the sport of rock climbing. Rental fee is $2/ use or you can also purchase a semester pass for $20. Ask the climbing wall staff for details!
All members/guests of the Charles J. Ping Student Recreation Center are encouraged to try climbing the wall. A staff member will introduce a first time climber to the equipment and basic techniques of climbing. After this one-time introduction, the individual is required to acquire belay certification to continue climbing at the Wall.
Belay Certification is acquired by passing a belay test and progressing through Outdoor Pursuits established belay certification process. Prior to taking the belay test, inexperienced climbers are encouraged to register for a belay clinic offered at the Outdoor Pursuits Climbing Wall. Belay clinics provide quality instruction to participants on the slip-slap-slide method of belaying, as well as anchoring, knot tying, and safety techniques. Registration may be completed at the Outdoor Pursuits Climbing Wall Desk. Belay Clinic participants must be 18 years of age or older to attend a belay clinic and obtain a belay card. The cost is $5.00 and equipment is provided.
Belay Certification Process
- Register and participate in a belay clinic or take the advanced belay test administered by Outdoor Pursuits Climbing Wall Staff. Belay Clinic registration is done at the Outdoor Pursuits Climbing Wall Desk--first come, first serve.
- Return within 10 days of belay clinic attendance and pass the belay test administered by Outdoor Pursuits Climbing Wall Staff.
- Present Beginner Belay card the next 10 times you belay at the wall. If proper technique is demonstrated, a card punch will be completed at each visit. Only one punch is allowed per day.
- A Certified Belay card will be issued after the completion of 10 card punches.
Learn to Climb Clinic
If you are new to climbing or just want some pointers to improve your skills, then this clinic is for you! We’ll get you on the wall with the instruction and advice of our expert staff. Begin a vertical journey that can be simply a hobby or a lifelong passion.
In Learn To Climb we cover basic terminology and movement. We move on to talking about how to become an efficient climber to end those days of getting burnt after two or three climbs. Climbing efficiently will make you stronger and help prevent injuries related to climbing.
There is a $5 dollar registration fee for each clinic. We recommend that you attend all three clinics, but if you need to miss a week let us know. Sign up at the climbing wall during open hours, call 597-1484, or email Brendan Rossi firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Bouldering & Policies
Bouldering is an excellent way to improve climbing strength and technique. Bouldering is suggested as a way to warm-up and stretch before climbing. The use of ropes is not required for bouldering; the climber traverses from side to side, instead of up the wall. It is recommended that a spotter be used while bouldering. Climbers must check in with climbing wall staff.
• Climbers must check in with climbing wall staff.
• Only one climber per side may boulder at a time.
• If the rope is in use, the climber must reach the 5th panel before bouldering may begin.
• Climber's feet must stay below the third panel.
• Individuals bouldering must "free up" the wall to waiting climbers after 10 minutes.
Lead Climbing at the Climbing Wall
Lead climbing offers a further challenge for the aspiring climber and can be defined as free climbing with the use of fixed (bolted) or climber-placed (traditional) points of protection set as anchors along a route. Lead climbing using fixed bolts is commonly called "sport climbing" and is the kind of lead climbing we can do at the Climbing Wall.
With proper knowledge, training, and practice, the risks of lead climbing can be responsibly managed. The Outdoor Pursuits lead climbing program's objective is to provide aspiring climbers with the knowledge and technical ability to broaden their climbing experience within a safe learning environment. Fortunately, the atmosphere of our Climbing Wall allows for a controlled lead-climbing experience, safe from many of the dangers found outdoors. Our bolt hangers are through-bolted to a metal framework, our bolts are placed close together, and one side of our wall (B side) is very overhung so falls end in midair instead of into the wall.
In order to be Lead certified and participate in lead night at the climbing wall, climbers are required to participate in a lead clinic and pass the lead climbing test.
Lead Climbing Clinic and Test
Outdoor Pursuits offers lead clinics to teach climbers the necessary techniques in order to lead on the Climbing Wall. Everyone wishing to lead climb at the Climbing Wall must take this clinic. Lead clinics teach the essentials of lead climbing and lead belaying. All aspiring lead climbers are required to meet two prerequisites before registering for a lead clinic. The climber must be a certified belayer and be able to climb a new route of 5.9 grade on top-rope. The climber will need to complete this climb without falling on the first attempt without the aid of preview, rehearsal, or beta (information) from other climbers. A lead route completed in this manner is said to have been "on sight flashed" (even though this will be top roped). A new route for this purpose will be set immediately before each clinic. This criteria is in place because safe lead climbing demands a certain level of physical and technical ability.
Lead clinics are run a little differently than other clinics at the Climbing Wall. Climbers wanting to set up a lead clinic have to contact the lead Instructor. You can get the Instructor's phone number and work schedule from the Climbing Wall desk. The Instructor will check proof of belay certification and will set up a time for the "5.9 trial" mentioned above. After passing the prerequisites, the climber will set up a time and register at the Outdoor Pursuits Climbing Wall Desk with the lead Instructor. The fee for the clinic is $10.00. Lead clinics will last approximately two hours, but enough time will be allotted for everyone present to be comfortable in their abilities. The clinic will progress from introductions, into belay and climbing techniques, into mock leads, and finally ending with actual lead climbs. Mock leads consist of the climber simulating a lead with a second rope while actually still on top rope.
Upon completion of the clinic, the climber will need to set up a time to take the lead test. Lead tests will be given within a few days of the completion of a lead clinic. The lead test consists of both a written and practical portion. The written portion will test knowledge of terms, theories, and policies. The practical section will test techniques of belaying and climbing on lead. After successfully passing the lead test, the climber will have earned a lead belay card that entitles him or her to lead climb during any lead session at the wall.