Skip to main content

NOTICE: The Charter Vision project is dormant as of January 2008. This website is provided for archival purposes only.

Rock Climbing

Unknown School) Posted February 16 2007

There are many known benefits to rock climbing. It helps you physically by working on most of the main muscle groups at once. It makes you mentally stronger by having strategic awareness of obstacles ahead and your body’s capabilities. It can also be done by most age groups and has several skill levels. By using the various techniques you can learn teamwork and safety strategies.

Our school takes weekly rock climbing trips to a climbing gym called Vertical Endeavors, located in St. Paul. We take two teachers and up to seven students each time, and usually we stay for two hours. The normal starting cost of equipment for climbing is around three hundred dollars, if you were to purchase all of it yourself. We are all given shoes and a harness for a discounted price and school covers part of the cost, so students pay five dollars each time they go.

There are three types of climbs offered at Vertical Endeavors: Lead climbing, bouldering and top roping. Leading is the most difficult of the three. This involves pre-placed fixed bolts that the climber hooks into while they climb. The climber connects their rope to the bolted loops using carabiners. If the climber falls, they will fall twice the length of the rope from the last bolt. If they are five feet above their last loop, they will fall up to twelve feet if they fail to hook in to the next loop. Bouldering is the most commonly used form of climbing. This is where the climber is only a few feet off the ground, and climbs horizontally. This form doesn’t require any harness or ropes. Instead, the climber must have a “spotter,” or another person to catch them if they fall back, and a mat under them at all times. The last form, called “top roping,” needs two people, the belayer and the climber. The belayer threads the rope through a belaying device to assist with holding the weight of the climber. If the climber falls, the belayer can then stop the climber from falling by just using his or her own weight as an anchor.

In order to be a belayer, a person must practice tying the correct knots, threading the rope through the belaying device and the techniques for holding the rope while belaying. Vertical Endeavors requires each student and teacher to take a belaying test every year. If you don’t pass or don’t take it, you are limited to bouldering and climbing. There is also an auto-belay system on most of the walls. You just have to hook the carabineer to your harness and climb. The rope automatically retracts as you climb and lets you gradually repel.

Rock climbing is a fun and rewarding experience, if done correctly. You have to make sure you know what you’re doing, and are taking the correct safety precautions. Climbing can teach you to think ahead, set and reach goals, and work as a team. It is also a great work out that almost everyone can participate in. For more information about Vertical Endeavors, you can go to

Comments are closed.