Types of Climbing
There are two main types of climbing in which people participate at the wall.
Bouldering is climbing horizontally and vertically underneath the yellow twelve foot line without being attached to a rope. Bouldering allows the individual to climb without a partner or the confinement of a rope so they are free to move easily in all directions. Bouldering problems (taped climbing paths) are set on a weekly basis and holds are moved around to offer variations in the climbing terrain for individual just learning to boulder as well as seasoned veterans. In order to boulder at the WVU wall, patrons need to read and understand the rules of the wall. Bouldering can occur any time the SRC is open.
Rope Climbing involves at least two people. One person is the belayer and one the climber. The climber ties themselves into the rope and climbs vertically up the wall. The belayer holds the rope and catches the climber in case of a fall as well as lowers them to the ground. Vertical taped routes are set on a monthly to bimonthly basis. Hours for rope climbing are 4p-10p Monday through Friday during the spring and fall semesters and 4p-8p Tuesday and Thursday during the summer semesters. Roped climbing is closed during home football games, holidays and break periods.
To climb on a rope there are several options. A member of the climbing wall staff can give you a try-climb if you have never climbed at the climbing wall before. A try-climb is a one time try of climbing on a rope to see if you are interested in the sport and want to take the next step. There is no fee involved in try-climbing but try-climbing is limited if there is not enough staff present or the climbing wall is too busy.
To climb on rope frequently a participant has two options. First, find a person who is a WVU Climbing Wall Belayer (has passed the belay safety test) to belay you. The belayer and yourself could come in to climb any day that the climbing wall is open to top roping. Individuals who have experience belaying can take a belay test to become a WVU belayer and would then be able to belay at the Climbing wall. The belay test is free.
For a novice climber who wants to gain the basic skills, there is a belay class offered at the climbing wall. This class teaches people to belay so that they can belay other individuals up the climbing wall. Upon completion of the belay class a person must complete 5 probationary belays which are practice sessions to refine the class learned belay skills. Upon completion of the practice sessions a test is administered to the individual. Commonly, belayers pair up so that one can climb while the other belays and then they trade so they both can climb. The belay class involves a fee of $10.
Children climbing at the wall
Children can climb at the climbing wall. First and foremost children at the climbing wall must be constantly monitored. The climbing wall is not an appropriate place for a parent or guardian to drop a child and go to another part of the building (building policy states that all children age 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult). Parents must stay and closely supervise their children while they are at the climbing wall. Children can boulder on the bottom part of the wall or the bouldering cave while a parent spots them. It is important that children do not walk underneath other people who are bouldering. If a parent is a WVU Climbing Wall belayer they can belay their children when the ropes are down.
If you or your kids are interested in utilizing the wall, but have not had the time to take our belay class, this program is for you. Belayers will be present to work with you to climb the wall.
Fridays from 4 to 8pm of the Spring and Fall Semesters.
- SRC member—free.
- Non-member—$10 entrance fee for a guest pass to the SRC.
Participants can only use their own harness and shoes at the climbing wall. Participants must use the climbing wall’s belay devices and ropes for climbing.
Climbing harnesses, helmets and shoes are available to climbers free of charge. They may be picked up at the climbing wall desk when you sign in. For those people who want shoes for bouldering hours when the climbing wall desk is not staffed, you can also check out shoes at the equipment issue cage.