Rules and Policies

Who can use the climbing wall?
The climbing wall is open to all students, staff, faculty for free and they may bring family members and 2 guests for a small use fee. Alumni are welcome for a small fee per use and can bring family and 2 guests for a small use fee. Children aged 6 to 18 must be accompanied by an adult to climb and we require at least a 1-to-2 adult-to-child ratio. Arranged climbs for non-profit organizations is possible; contact the OP Director for more information.

How to get started using the wall:

  1. Read and sign Liability Waiver and Safety Policies and Rules. (A parent or legal guardian must sign these papers for a minor)
  2. View Orientation Video at Climbing Center
  3. Listen to Orientation Talk


  1. Climbers must check in at desk before climbing and have completed the Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability form and the Safety Policies and Rules form. 
  2. Climbers engaged in roped climbing must go through a proficiency check and pass the top rope climb and belay and/or lead climb and belay proficiency check unless if under the direct supervision of a climbing instructor or if using an auto-belay or if a youth (see youth policies.) 
  3. Anyone using an auto-belay must be checked by a staff member or a user who has passed the top rope climb and belay proficiency check before starting to climb. This is to ensure that they are wearing their harness according to manufacturer’s recommendations and have clipped into the device properly. 
  4. All belayers must stand. Sitting or lying down while belaying is not allowed. 
  5. Only commercially manufactured personal climbing equipment in good condition is allowed. 
  6. Climbing equipment must be used according to manufacturing instructions. Tie in with figure-eight follow through only. Only locking carabiners are to be used to connect the belay devices to the belayer. Standard climbing signals must be used. 
  7. Please report loose holds, bad wear spots on ropes, and anything else you believe to be a safety hazard. 
  8. Only climbing staff or approved designees will move handholds and hardware. 
  9. Helmets are recommended, but only required for users who have not signed helmet waiver. 
  10. No one under the influence of alcohol or drugs allowed on the premises. 
  11. Eating, drinking and chewing gum in the climbing wall area is prohibited with the exception of water. 
  12. Barefoot climbing is not allowed. 
  13. All accidents or equipment damage must be reported immediately to staff. 
  14. Any climber may be asked by Climbing staff or Whitman Security to adjust, alter, or discontinue any activity or behavior judged to be inappropriate, disruptive, or hazardous. 
  15. Climbing staff and Security reserve the right to suspend any individual permanently, or for a specified period of time, for failure to comply with the above safety policies and rules, or for any conduct that is viewed by the staff as unsafe or inappropriate. 
  16. It is the responsibility of all users to be aware of their surroundings and to not climb or stand below other climbers where they could have objects or climbers falling on them. 
  17. Lead climbing is only allowed if no one is climbing to the left or right of the route you are going to lead.

Youth Policies

  1. All participants under 18 must have a waiver and rules form signed by both them and their parents/legal guardian. 
  2. Children 5 and under are not allowed to climb. Children under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. 
  3. Climbers under the age of 14 are designated as “Climber only” and may not belay or tie themselves in without special approval from Whitman Climbing Center staff. They must be accompanied by a belay certified adult at all times. 
  4. Children and youth must be under control and within arms reach of supervising adult when not climbing. 
  5. Only two children per parent or adult.

Bouldering Policies

  1. The outside boulder is only for authorized climbing center users that have signed a liability waiver. 
  2. It is up to the climber/boulderer to be aware of landing zone, any people below them and ensure the area is clear. 
  3. Crash pads and spotter are highly recommended when climbing on the outside boulder; especially when topping out. It is the climber’s responsibility to move and use portable bouldering pads appropriately. 
  4. No bouldering allowed above bouldering line. 
  5. Spotters highly encouraged, especially when in an inverted position.