Frequently Asked Questions
I've never climbed before, can I try climbing?
Absolutely! You can drop in any time during open hours and start climbing. You will be able to spend time bouldering (lower climbing wall, so no ropes necessary) or use any of our three auto-belays. If you would like to get on the ropes, come on a Tuesday night between 7 and 8:30 when we have volunteers who belay for you, all you need to do is rent a harness. If you find yourself enjoying climbing, sign up for a belay lesson and learn how to get on the ropes on your own.
Do I need to book an appointment?
Nope, you are welcome to come drop in and climb any time we are open! If you’d like, you can book a staff member to belay for you for a price of $40/hour, but this is not a necessity. If you would like to book, just contact the front desk and we’ll find a time that works for you.
What is an auto belay?
An Auto-Belay is a great tool to climb on your own. We have 3 auto-belays in the gym that allow you flexibility to climb without having to rely on a partner. No experience necessary.
I used to climb, but its been a few years. Can you give me a quick refresher on belaying?
Because safety is crucial when belaying, a quick refresher is often not enough to be confident that you have committed the skill to long term memory, so we do not offer "quick refreshers". If you are at all hesitant, sign up for a belay lesson. Its only $30, includes rentals and the price of a belay test afterwards. Its better to be fully confident when you have your friends on the other end of the rope!
What is belaying?
Belaying is what the person on the ground is doing to keep the climber safe. They are making sure the rope goes up with the climber so in the event of a fall, the climber is caught by the rope and the counter weight of the belayer.
What do I need to do to be able to belay?
In order to belay in our facility, you must pass a belay test. This is a $5 test that covers putting on a harness, tying a figure eight, setting up a belay device, communication, lowering, and arresting a fall. If you know how to belay, you can take the test. If not, we encourage you to sign up for a belay lesson.
I am belay certified at another facility, can I belay at Trailhead?
All climbing gyms will ask you to do their own belay test and we are no different. You will need to pass a belay test at our facility in order to belay here. You do not need to learn how to belay here, but you do need to pass our belay test.
Do you offer rentals?
Yes, Trailhead offers rentals for harnesses, shoes, chalk bags, and belay devices (both ATC's and GriGri's).
What is bouldering?
Bouldering is climbing without ropes below a set height limit. Because there are no ropes, boulder routes or "problems" often trend side to side and not just straight up and down. Many people enjoy bouldering on its own because it can be done without a partner and the problems can often be challenging on a shorter wall.
Do I have to sign a waiver?
All participants must fill out a waiver before entering the climbing area. Everyone who comes into the gym who is under 18 years of age will need to have a waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. Our waiver can be filled out ahead of time online to save time at the gym.
Can my kids come climbing?
Yes! We have routes for all ages, most kids can start as young as 4. If your child is 3-4, you can always come in and look around and judge for yourself if he or she is ready to get started.
Can I drop my kids off for the day?
Kids 12 years and younger require constant adult supervision and will require an adult to come in to manage the ropes and/or auto belays for them. Depending upon their maturity level we can show kids (13 yrs. and older) how to manage the auto belays on their own. Due to the seriousness of climbing we cannot allow any horseplay or running around in the facility.
What should you wear to go climbing?
We suggest you wear comfortable non-restrictive clothing to climb, and clean non-marking indoor shoes are required to climb here. We do not allow bare-feet or socks, and we recommend tying long hair back to ensure it does not become tangled in equipment. If you plan on renting climbing shoes, we do require you to wear socks in them.