Our backyard is overflowing with possibilities for adventure. Look around and you’d be hard-pressed not to see all the skiing, mountain biking, rafting, and rock climbing fun in our valley. But as a newcomer to any sport: where do you start? Along with the hefty start-up costs in equipment and steep learning curves, these sports also come with unspoken and intimidating barriers to entry. We’re here to help break down those barriers and show you the ropes (literally AND figuratively).
No Skills Necessary, — Just a Hint of Courage and a Desire to Learn.
Monday and Friday evenings in Edwards and Gypsum respectively, will bring new life to Mountain Recreation, as the District launches its new Community Climbing Nights. Focused on inclusion, this introductory program aims to help youth and adults build confidence and skills through connections with other new and experienced climbers – as they make their first move into the vast and challenging world of rock climbing.
Community Climbing Nights are available from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Edwards Field House on Mondays and at the Gypsum Recreation Center on Fridays.
“I’m afraid of heights; like really, really afraid of heights. Ironic for an Outdoor Recreation Supervisor, but it is true,” offers Megan Carter Outdoor Recreation Supervisor at Mountain Recreation. “The only way I have been able to work through that fear is by finding, building, and trusting those in my climbing community while pushing myself mentally and physically – I hope through this program we can create and welcome our community into an environment that is unassuming, that says anyone can climb and everyone is welcome,” continued Carter.
Each evening, volunteers will teach you how to properly put on a harness, use the auto-belays (devices that takes up slack as you climb), and how to tie into a rope. When you’re ready, volunteers will encourage and support you from your very first move and as you make your way up one of our climbing towers. Ready to make the first move? Sign up for a Community Climbing Night below:
I feel comfortable, what’s the next step?
Belay Clinics and Testing
Once you have your feet under you, we invite you to take the next step in your rock climbing journey by attending our weekly belay clinics. These clinics, in Edwards on Tuesdays and in Gypsum on Thursdays, will give you the essential skills to practice belaying and provide you with the knowledge needed to pass Mountain Recreation’s top rope belay test. You’ll learn climbing knots, harness use, hardware use, belaying technique, climbing communication, how to catch a fall, and how to lower a climber. Register for a belay clinic in Edwards HERE and in Gypsum HERE.
Afterwards, put your new skills and knowledge to the test and become eligible to belay others by taking a belay test. Once you pass, you may utilize drop-in climbing in Mountain Rec facilities.
Unassisted Drop-In Climbing
You’ve made it! Drop-in climbing is open to belay tested climbers anytime our facilities are open and there are no climbing programs running during that time.
Want to meet new climbers and help grow this sport in our community?
Mountain Rec’s climbing programs would not be possible without our awesome volunteers! Help us grow our climbing community by helping others on their rock climbing journey. Whether you’d like to belay or supervise during Community Climbing Nights or Belay Clinics, we’ll set you up for success. To ensure our volunteers are up to date on the industry’s best practices and teaching techniques, volunteers are required to attend orientation and pass a belay test annually.
Making the First Move
“I hope that through these new Community Climbing Nights, our community can see that you don’t have to be perfect or know everything on day one, you just have to make the first move,” shared Megan Carter.
For questions or to volunteer, please contact: Megan Carter, Outdoor Recreation Supervisor at MCarter@mountainrec.org