Climbing Wall FAQs

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No, you don’t need any experience to come climbing. If you are interested, that's all you need. Feel free to come to the wall any time we are open and ask a staff member what to do. They will help you get shoes and a harness, they will teach you how to properly put on your harness and will be more than happy to belay you.

The colored tape that is littered all over the wall signifies the different routes that are currently set. Each route is unique as they force the climber into movements and situations that simulate real outdoor climbing. These routes are marked by different colors of tape. There is always a variety of routes that cater to climbers of all ability levels. These routes are continually changing. Every Friday we strip and re-set two different roped walls.

Climbing is FREE to all Sonoma State students. If you have your own gear, awesome; if you need to rent gear we rent climbing shoes and harnesses for $3 a day. Monthly rentals are $20 and semester rentals are $50 if you are interested. We do ask that all climbers be belay certified, which costs $10 and is valid for the entire semester. If you are looking to get lead certified that is an additional $10 for the lead class and or lead check.

The rock climbing rating system is a system that categorizes climbing routes into varying difficultly levels. Roped routes are categorized using the 5.0 system; the higher the decimal number the harder the route (i.e. 5.6 is easy, a 5.8 would be moderate and a 5.11 would be difficult). Boulder problems are rated using the V- scale. Basically, V0 is easy and they just get harder as the number increases.

Belay Certification is required for all climbers who want to climb on top rope and lead routes. If you already know how to belay then feel free to ask a staff member for a belay check and they will be more than happy to help. If you do not know how to belay then come on Wednesday nights at 6pm and the Climbing Wall staff will teach you all the ins and outs of rock climbing and belaying.

This clinic is an introduction to climbing where one of our staff will teach you the basics including how to belay. Belaying refers to a technique used in climbing to exert friction on a climbing rope so that a falling climber is protected.  Cost: FREE.
This clinic teaches the basics of lead climbing, an advanced style of climbing in which the climber starts with the rope on the ground and places protection as they climb instead of being anchored from above. This clinic is more advanced and assumes you already have some basic climbing knowledge including how to top-rope belay.  Cost: FREE.