Intro to Gym Climbing / Belay Certification Class
“Intro to Gym Climbing” classes are held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7-9pm, and Saturday afternoons from 1-3pm. This group class is the entry portal to the world of indoor climbing at the Alaska Rock Gym. Minimum age for participation is 14 years. The curriculum includes an orientation to the routes on the wall, basic climbing movement, gym etiquette, belay skills and a bouldering orientation. At the end of the class, most participants are belay certified and able to boulder, climb and top-rope belay in the gym. On line registration and payment in advance of the date of the class is recommended, as is executing and submitting the Alaska Rock Gym liability waiver. Getting the waiver done in advance really speeds things up on the day of the class!
Private “Intro to Gym Climbing” classes are also available upon request. Minimum age for participation is 14 years. Reservations must be made at least 4 days in advance, and groups of up to 16 can be accommodated. Please call the front desk for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. Can anyone learn to climb?
Yes! Anyone - young or old, in shape or out, thin or not so thin - can get on the walls and experience the physical challenge and mental stimulation of working out the “problem” found in the arrangement of holds on the wall. The Alaska Rock Gym has terrain from less than vertical to overhanging, giving virtually everyone an opportunity to “climb the walls “. We offer our “Intro to Gym Climbing” class on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – a great way to become familiar with the gym and indoor climbing.
- 2. What if I'm afraid of heights?
The Alaska Rock Gym offers two types of climbing: roped climbing on the taller walls, and bouldering, which is climbing on low walls in an un-roped fashion. Bouldering, while offering the same experience of working out the “problem” of the arrangement of the holds, allows the climber to remain low – only climbing to a height within his comfort zone. If height is an issue, bouldering is a great way to get started climbing. It requires no belayer and can be engaged in after just a short orientation.
- 3. What is belaying?
Roped climbing requires two people; a climber, who ascends the wall, and a belayer. The belayer manages the rope protecting the climber from a fall. Belaying involves learning a sequence of tasks, including a climber/belayer cross-check, taking up slack, catching a potential fall, and lowering the climber after she reaches the top of the climb. Our “Intro to Gym Climbing” class includes teaching the participants how to belay and certifying them as top rope belayers in the gym.
- 4. Can I bring my kids?
Climbing is a great family activity, and kids as young as two years old can prove to be agile and adept climbers. Children are always welcome at the Alaska Rock Gym! Once parents have been oriented to the gym and passed the belay certification, they can climb and belay their kids any time. Kids must be 14 years or older to earn their own belay certification, and all children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a supervising adult.