Here are some questions that we get asked regularly by new climbers.
Can I just stop in and climb?
The short answer is: yes, but you might not want to.
The rock gym has two areas: the top rope walls which are 30′ high and the boulder walls which are 12′ high. The top rope walls use ropes and require a harness and a belayer [bee-LAY-er] (the person to work the ropes). The shorter bouldering walls do not use ropes, and, therefore, do not require a belayer.
If you’re looking to boulder, you can just pop in and climb whenever. That’s the yes part. Entry and equipment rental cost about $20 per person and you’re welcome to climb until the gym closes. However, bouldering can be challenging and those 30′ walls look really inviting, so …
Most people prefer to top rope for their first foray into climbing. And in order to top rope, you’ll need that belayer. You’ve got a few options when it comes to getting one:
- Bring in a friend who knows how to belay.
- Learn how to belay. We offer a class a few times a week. It is not required that you take our class but we suggest getting professional instruction.
- Hire our staff to belay for your group. If you decide to hire our staff to belay for you, please make a reservation no less than seven days in advance so we can schedule extra staff for your visit.
In effect, unless you have a belayer in your party you’ll be limited to the bouldering walls – and that’s the but you might not want to part.
What’s the age limit?
This question is usually in regards to how young someone can be to climb at the gym. While technically there’s no age limit, kids vary widely. Here’s what we’ve seen over the years:
- Kids 3 and under generally don’t have the motor skills to climb.
- Kids 5 and under generally don’t have the patience to climb, at least for very long.
- Kids 7 and under generally aren’t tall enough to really enjoy bouldering and prefer the ropes (although there’s exceptions in every bunch)
- “Kids” 40 and over generally feel self-conscious about climbing around others – but we know many that do! There’s no upper age limit!
We know that climbing can be an investment in time and money. So in general, we don’t recommend climbing for kids under 5, unless you live very close to the gym.
I’m a beginner, what should I do?
It depends on a few things:
- Are you physically fit?
- Are you climbing alone or with a friend?
- Are you an adult?
- Are you bringing kids?
- How far is your drive to our gym?
If you’re physically fit and pretty close to the gym or coming alone, stop by and check us out. We’ll be happy to show you around and you can climb in the boulder areas.
If you’re a bit farther away, bringing kids, are part of a larger group or know you want to climb the tall walls give us a call to make a reservation.
Where are you? I’m driving up and down Saint Clair and can’t find you.
Yeah, our signage isn’t the best. We have a video that shows you where we’re located, but here’s the skinny:
- We’re between Papp’s Body Shop and Action CarStar
- Our driveway has phone poles on either side and they have reflective tape wrapped around them.
- If you drive between those two phone poles you’re on our driveway, so follow it as it curves to the left and go to the back of the buildings.
Can I make a reservation for later today (or tomorrow)?
Sorry, our staff works other jobs and we need to schedule their help, so reservation must be made seven days in advance.
Can I make a reservation by email?
No, since we need a deposit to make a reservation, we can only take reservations by phone.
Wait, why do you need a deposit?
The deposit is used to pay our staff in the event of no-shows.
Are you open today?
Probably. We’re open seven days a week, but closed on these holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- July 4th
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
Why is the phone always busy?
Many people call with these very same questions and sometimes it can take 20 minutes to answer them all, so the phone can be busy for long periods. And then, since it’s been busy for so long, the phone usually rings the moment we hang up.
I saw you take walk-ins. When are you doing that again?
We have special walk-in times around the Christmas/New Year’s holidays only. Check our website for specifics.
My group is bigger than 15 people. Can we still climb together?
We offer large groups after hours so we don’t interfere with our regular climbers. Call for more details.
Can I learn to belay for my kids even if I don’t want to climb?
Yep, no problem at all.
Do you teach belay classes on any other days?
Yes, for groups of three or more we can work out other times.
Does it cost anything for my grandfather, grandmother, spouse, etc to watch?
No, spectators are free when accompanied by a climber.
Do you sell food or drinks?
No, however, there are a couple of pizza places close by that deliver and we have a water fountain.
Do you take credit cards?
Yep: Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express.