Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a member to climb at the Rogue Rock Gym?
Nope! While our memberships come with lots of awesome benefits, we offer day passes as well. There are a few options for both, as well as discounts for certain groups and individuals. Information on membership rates and benefits can be found here.
I've never done this before, can I climb?
Yes! For new climbers interested in learning the ropes, our Intro to Indoor Climbing class is the perfect option. You will not only get to climb that day, but you will gain the knowledge and skill to return at any point in the future and climb on your own. Offered on Wednesday and Friday nights, an Intro to Indoor Climbing class is a great way to shake off the work day and makes a unique weekend date with a friend.
Do I have to take a class to climb at the Rogue Rock Gym?
No, but it may be a good idea. Believe it or not, climbing is the easy part – there’s no technical skill required as long as your partner (belayer) is qualified to handle the knot-tying and belay technique for you. These are the fundamental skills our Intro to Indoor Climbing class focuses on, but anyone who can demonstrate the proficiency to pass our Top Rope belay test is welcome to climb/belay without taking the class.
The belayer is your climbing partner who stands on the ground and takes out the slack in the rope as you climb - they keep you from falling to the ground when you let go of the wall. Obviously, belaying is a very important skill and requires some specific training. In addition to understanding belay technique, belayers must also be able to identify and tie climbing knots correctly in order to perform a safety check on their climber.
Do I need a partner?
No! We have six autobelays in the gym that you can use after a five-minute orientation. You can also boulder without a partner and it's a great way to meet friends.
I learned to climb overseas/in the military/decades ago, are my methods acceptable to use here?
That depends. At the Rogue Rock Gym safety is our utmost concern and we take it very seriously. The standards and techniques we teach and require of all participants are those set forth by organizations such as the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) and the Climbing Wall Association (CWA). While other individuals or organizations may have their own way of doing things, anyone who climbs or belays in our facility must adhere to our rigorous safety standards. If you have any questions about acceptable equipment or technique, our staff will be happy to discuss it with you.
My kids want to climb, what can they do?
They can climb our walls instead of yours! We have a variety of youth programs for ages eight and up to challenge your little ones and help build skills such as teamwork, persistence, communication and many others. We also host children’s parties and group climbing events with instructors specially chosen for their ability to provide an encouraging, fun environment. We also offer Climb Times where we manage all the safety equipment and you have all the fun for an hour.
What are those shorter walls? I don’t see any ropes.
That’s bouldering, a form of climbing on steep, short (10-15 feet high) walls with no ropes involved. Because there are no ropes or knots or belaying involved, there's no technical knowledge or previous experience required.
Since bouldering is on shorter walls, is it easier/safer/for kids only?
No! Bouldering is an intense workout that is challenging for both beginners and experts. Even though the walls are shorter, the hand holds can be more difficult to grip or are farther apart, making it a short but intense climbing experience. For comparison, think of roped climbing as distance running and bouldering as a sprint - each challenging in their own way. As far as the risks involved, when you boulder there are not ropes or harnesses in use, so every fall is a ground fall - gravity works. As such, boulderers must be just as vigilant about safety as those on taller walls.
I have an injured ___________, can I climb?
Ask your doctor. As climbers we get a variety of dents and dings along the way and generally find that for minor issues, listening to your body is the best guide. However, the advice of a qualified medical professional is always the way to go.
What should I wear?
You should probably leave the kilt at home, but otherwise almost anything. Like any athletic activity, freedom of movement is most important followed by dressing for the temperature. Although our facility is climate controlled, it can be a little warm on summer days and sometimes cool in winter. Longer shorts or pants tend to be more comfortable under a harness, rather than the ultra-short running variety.
Can I wear my running shoes/flip flops/Vibram FiveFingers/ninja shoes?
To avoid injury we don't allow using "toe shoes," as these do not offer the support or protection needed to safely climb. While climbing at the Rogue Rock Gym, we do require you to use climbing shoes. If you don't have your own climbing shoes, we have those available for rent as well.
Is rental equipment included in your memberships?
Our memberships do not include rental equipment but if you plan on being a frequent renter we have a Rental Punchcard available for $40 (includes full rentals for 10 visits, normally $60).
I’m exhausted. How do people do this for hours at a time?
Practice and proper technique. Climbing uses muscle groups and body movements that don’t often get much work in other activities, even if you’re a top-notch athlete. The more you climb, the better you will climb. As you progress, our acclaimed series of Crux (link needed) technique classes will help you at every step along the way. With small class sizes or personalized instruction, these courses will help you breakthrough to the next level whether as a beginner or a seasoned climbing veteran.
How do I get there?
This page shows several ways to get to our gym, either by car, bike or public transportation.