Climbing wall

Our climbing policies have the intent of establishing safety-focused practices that help minimize risk associated with indoor climbing. All patrons are responsible for knowing and abiding by these policies. Staff reserve the right to ask any patron who creates an unsafe environment to leave. Violation of these policies is subject to disciplinary action or loss of privileges.

Disclaimer: Climbing is dangerous. Climb at your own risk.

Lead climbing

Lead climbing is only permitted during designated hours. All lead climbing policies must be followed, and all lead climbing must be performed in accordance with the technique and procedures taught in the introductory lead climbing class. Any change (modification) in clipping technique and/or belaying as an accommodation for a disability must be approved by the OA Manager.

  • Lead climbing is only permitted during designated times.
  • Lead climbing is not permitted for any patron under the age of 18.
  • Lead climbers must satisfy all current eligibility criteria (see below) and successfully complete the introductory lead climbing class and skills test. We do not accept certifications from any other organization/institution.
  • All patrons who are certified to lead climb must successfully pass a lead climbing skills check at the start of each semester. If the skills check is failed the introductory lead climbing class must be retaken.
  • Only designated clipping lines and/or routes may be used for lead climbing.
  • Every quickdraw on the intended route must be clipped. Climbers are not permitted to skip bolts.
  • Both anchor bolts must be clipped at the top of the climbed route.
  • Grabbing quick draws is not permitted.
  • Grabbing or standing on bolt hangers is not permitted.
  • Only SRWS lead ropes are permitted. No personal ropes are allowed.
  • Only GRIGRI belay devices are permitted for lead belaying.
  • Both the climber and belayer of a lead climbing team must be certified.
  • Lead climbing teams must have staff complete a systems check prior to each climb.
  • Effective communication must be used by the climbing team.
  • Lead belayers must maintain the belay zone and keep it free of distractions and hazards.
  • Lead belayers must maintain correct positioning relative to the wall and the climber at all times.
  • Lead belayers must appropriately manage slack at all times.
  • Lead belayers must maintain control of the brake strand at all times.
  • Lead belayers must lower the climber in a slow and controlled manner.
  • Falling is discouraged. Excessive falling can lead to privileges being revoked.
  • The lead rope must be retrieved by being pulled back down through the quickdraws.
  • The lead rope must be inspected each time it is flaked.


All current eligibility criteria must be met before being able to take the introductory lead climbing class:

  • Be at least 18 years of age or older.
  • Have a current waiver on file at the rock wall.
  • Have a current top rope belay certification at our wall.
  • Have the ability to consistently top rope climb at least 5.9 on the 53 foot wall while demonstrating controlled climbing with no falls or breaks.

Main policy index