Rules and Regulations

General Sportrock Rules

  • All Sportrock guests, whether spectating or participating, must check in, pay at the front desk, fill out a Participant Agreement or have one on file. Members must check in at the front desk.
  • Refer to program descriptions for minimum age requirements.
  • Children under 14 years old must be accompanied and supervised by an adult at all times. Infants and children under 5 years old not climbing must stay off the padding and be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • Minimum age to belay is 14 years old unless participating in a Sportrock program.
    Anyone 12 years and under must be within arm’s reach of an adult while bouldering, unless participating in a Sportrock program.
  • No one under 18 years old may use any Sportrock weight and exercise equipment, hang boards and campus boards, pull-up bars, or other fitness equipment unless supervised by a Sportrock instructor.
  • Only commercially manufactured climbing equipment approved by the CE or UIAA and in good condition is permitted.
  • Alpine-bod harnesses (an alpine harness that has no belay loop) are not allowed at Sportrock.
  • Loose chalk is not allowed—only chalk-balls and liquid chalk are permitted.
    Cell phones, Bluetooth devices, headphones and MP3 players are not allowed when top-roping, leading or using the Auto Belays.
  • Do not climb directly below other climbers.
  • Do not hold or step on bolts, bolt hangers, or quickdraws.
  • Do not intentionally distract climbers or belayers.
  • Watch out for falling climbers and stand clear of fall zones and swing zones.
  • No climbing without shoes.
  • No free soloing.
  • No running in the gym.
  • No food or drink on the padding.
  • Always perform safety checks before climbing! Check and recheck yourself and your partner’s knots, harnesses, and equipment.
  • Always use clear climbing commands.
  • No one is permitted to belay, tie in, mock-lead, lead climb or use the Auto Belays until they pass the appropriate Sportrock belay tests and are wearing their belay cards. Belay cards must be worn while belaying and climbing.
  • Consumption of alcohol and/or controlled substances is not permitted at Sportrock.
  • Anyone suspected of being under the influence will be asked to leave immediately.
  • Intimidating, harsh, or violent language and actions taken towards Sportrock members, guests and staff will not be tolerated and will result in immediate removal from Sportrock.
  • Sportrock staff have the right to revoke climbing privileges either temporarily or permanently for unsafe or inappropriate behavior.
  • Sportrock is private property—any willful refusal to follow Sportrock Rules, Policies, or Safety Standards will result in removal from Sportrock.
  • All persons licensed to carry a weapon are asked to keep their weapon locked up while at Sportrock.
  • Climbing shoes should not be worn in the restrooms.
  • Closed toe shoes must be worn at all times in the Fitness area and while using all cardio, fitness, or weight equipment.
  • Helmets may be required for participation during some classes and programs at the discretion of Sportrock staff.
  • No one other than Sportrock instructors may belay during any Sportrock Youth Program.
  • Sportrock instructors are the only people allowed to teach belaying, knot craft, lead climbing, and all other technical aspects of climbing—No instruction of any kind is allowed at Sportrock.
  • When participating in a Sportrock class or program climbers should remain with instructors at all times.
  • Videotaping of any classes or instruction is prohibited.
  • Sportrock guests and members assume all risk while bouldering, top-roping, lead climbing, using Auto Belays or Sportrock fitness equipment, and participating in any Sportrock class or program.

Bouldering, Auto Belay, Top-Rope and Lead Climbing Rules

  • Do not climb on top of bouldering area! No one is allowed above the top of bouldering walls.
  • Do not lay down or sit below boulderers. Keep the boulder mats clear at all times.
  • Anyone 12 years and under must be within arm’s reach of an adult while bouldering, unless participating in a Sportrock program.
  • No bouldering above the first bolt line in the route areas.
  • Sportrock guests and members assume all risk while bouldering.
  • Sportrock instructors are the only people allowed to teach how to use the Auto Belays-No instruction by customers or members of any kind is allowed at Sportrock.
  • All climbers wishing to use the Auto Belays must complete and pass Sportrock’s Auto Belay orientation and test prior to usage.
  • Auto Belay tags MUST be worn and remain visible at all times while using the Auto Belays.
  • Always double check that you have clipped into the appropriate point on your harness with both carabiners before climbing. Please ask staff if you are unsure where to clip in on your harness.
  • Always detach one carabiner at a time when clipping into or out of the Auto Belays.
    After use, return the Auto Belay to its designated anchor point.
  • Active adult supervision is required for any child under the age of 14. Supervising adult must complete and pass Sportrock’s Auto Belay orientation and test prior to usage.
  • The minimum age to use the Auto Belays is 5.
  • The minimum weight to use the Auto Belays is 25 lbs.
  • The maximum weight to use the Auto Belays is 310 lbs.
  • Always stay on the walls the Auto Belays are fixed to and climb directly below the Auto Belays.
  • Do not grab or clip into quickdraws, bolts or anchors while on the Auto Belay.
  • Do not grab top-ropes while on the Auto Belay.
  • Cell phones, Bluetooth devices, headphones and MP3 players are not allowed when using the Auto Belays.
  • Sportrock guests and members assume all risk while using the Auto Belays.
  • Sportrock instructors are the only people allowed to teach top-rope belaying and knot craft—No instruction by customers or members of any kind is allowed at Sportrock.
  • Sportrock belaying and knot-craft standards must be adhered to at all times.
  • Anyone wanting to belay and/or tie themselves in must pass a Sportrock belay test. No exceptions.
  • Minimum age to belay is 14 years old unless participating in a Sportrock program.
  • Belay cards MUST be worn while belaying.
  • Do not top-rope directly below a lead climber.
  • Climbers MUST tie in with a retraced figure-8 backed up by a double-overhand knot ONLY! No bowlines or Yosemite finishes of any kind are allowed.
  • Floor anchors are for backup only and must be attached with a separate carabiner to the bottom of your belay loop ONLY. Do not belay directly off floor anchors!
  • Never take your designated brake hand off the rope no matter what belay device you are using—your designated brake hand MUST BE supported by the guide hand while “sliding.”
  • Hip belays, belaying off Muenter hitches, and belaying with figure-8 devices are not allowed.
  • Belayers must attach their belay device carabiner to their belay loop ONLY.
  • Belayers must stand while belaying.
  • Belayers must lower climbers with both hands below ATC type devices.
  • Belayers using a Gri Gri or Cinch or belay device of similar function must always support their brake hand while belaying just as with ATC type devices.
  • Belayers must stand within a reasonably close distance of the wall. Do not stand far back or off the side of your top-rope anchor.
  • Cell phones, Bluetooth devices, headphones and MP3 players are not allowed when belaying or climbing on top-rope.
  • Sportrock guests and members assume all risk while top-roping.
  • Sportrock lead instructors are the only people allowed to teach lead belaying, lead climbing, and knot craft—No instruction by customers or members of any kind is allowed at Sportrock.
  • Sportrock lead belaying, knot-craft, and leading standards must be adhered to at all times.
  • Anyone wanting to lead climb must first pass a Sportrock top-rope test and Sportrock lead test.
  • Lead cards MUST be worn while leading and lead-belaying. No exceptions.
  • Climbers MUST tie in with a retraced figure-8 backed up by a double-overhand knot ONLY! No bowlines or Yosemite finishes of any kind are allowed.
  • If there is a significant weight difference between you and your climbing partner anchors may be used with caution and secured as in top-roping—do so with caution and ask Sportrock staff for assistance.
  • Be aware of your surroundings! Do not lead below another lead climber! Do not lead where there are a high number of top-ropers that can swing into you or vice-versa.
  • No back clipping, z-clipping, or backstepping. Do not skip clips!
  • Lead climbers must ask the staff at the front desk for a Sportrock lead rope—You may only climb with ropes provided by Sportrock. You and your partner need to present your lead cards to get a lead rope.
  • Leaders must butterfly coil and return lead ropes when they are finished using them.
    Mock leading is only allowed by those who have already passed the Sportrock lead test and by students who are in an active lead class.
  • Unclipping another leader’s line that intersects with yours and replacing it with your rope is strictly prohibited!
  • Belayers must attach their belay device carabiner to their belay loop ONLY.
  • Belayers must stand within a reasonably close distance of the wall.
  • Cell phones, Bluetooth devices, headphones and MP3 players are not allowed when belaying or climbing on lead.
  • Sportrock guests and members assume all risk while lead climbing.

Year you started climbing?
2010

Year you started working at Sportrock?
2014

Favorite climbing spot?
New River Gorge, WV

Most memorable climbing experience?
Splurging on a cabin at the New and getting to soak in a hot tub every night after climbing. Not so much the having to sleep on the couch after.

What roles have you had as a Sportrock employee?
Summer Camp instructor, Belay instructor, Front Desk staff, Marketing Manager, Brand Manager.

Passions in life?
My family, all animals (especially my two cats), design, and popcorn.

How would your family or friends describe you in 3 words?
Creative, loud, and obsessed-with-animals.

What would surprise us to learn about you?
Surprisingly, there are still people at Sportrock who don’t know I have an identical twin sister...even though we climb together. Also that I’m originally from California and married to my high school sweetheart.

If you could be any animal in the world - what would you be and why?
Definitely a cat. I love naps in warm, cozy places.

Lillian Chao-Quinlan
Lillian Chao-Quinlan

President

Year you started climbing? 1999

Year you started working at Sportrock? 2000

Favorite climbing spot? Kalymnos, Greece.

Most memorable climbing experience? Too many and all memorable for different reasons - sending a hard climb, being in a beautiful place, climbing with my husband and friends...

What roles have you had as a Sportrock employee? Instructor, Investor, President.

Passions in life? Creating opportunities in the climbing community that support people in discovering their potential!

How would your family or friends describe you in 3 words? Passionate, driven, reliable.

What would surprise us to learn about you? I LOVE M&Ms (dark chocolate specifically!).

If you could be any animal in the world - what would you be and why? Grizzly bear because I love the great outdoors, eating fish and scaring campers!

Andrew Kozak
Andrew Kozak

Senior Director | Director of SR Sterling

Year you started climbing? 1999

Year you started working at Sportrock? 2002

Favorite climbing spot? Red Rocks, NV.

Most memorable climbing experience? The Great Arch in Stone Mountain, NC.

What roles have you had as a Sportrock employee? I’ve done them all.

Passions in life? Family.

How would your family or friends describe you in 3 words? Caring, Committed, Clean.

What would surprise us to learn about you? On hard, crimpy boulder problems, I only climb with 9 fingers.

If you could be any animal in the world - what would you be and why? A pet panda for my daughter because she LOVES them.

Sean Taft-Morales
Sean Taft-Morales

Director of SR Alexandria & Outdoor Programs

Year you started climbing? 2001

Year you started working at Sportrock? 2010

Favorite climbing spot? Yosemite in early spring.

Most memorable climbing experience? One of my most memorable moments came at the end of the first day of my first big-wall climb. I was hating life, had been belaying on a 6 inch ledge for hours, was cold, hungry, and had forgotten my headlamp in the bottom of the haul bag. I was just about ready to give up on climbing forever when the sun started to set, and a cloud of a thousand swifts started feeding all around me. Climbing to me is all about stepping back to find beauty in these extreme environments and experiences. You have to get out of your head and recognize that it's a pretty cool planet.

What roles have you had as a Sportrock employee? Outdoor guide, Desk staff, Closing manager, Basic Skills instructor, Camp Director, Director of Alexandria, Director of Outdoor Programs.

Passions in life? Aside from climbing, I love baking bread, sailing, and playing dungeons and dragons.

How would your family or friends describe you in 3 words? Evidence-based, Glittery, Color-coordinated.

What would surprise us to learn about you? I once hitchhiked over 2,000 miles in 8 months around the southwest US climbing. I also started climbing after attending a Sportrock birthday party.

If you could be any animal in the world - what would you be and why? I would be a blue whale - it's the most alien landscape and fundamentally different experience I could imagine.

James Anastasion
James Anastasion

Director of Membership

Year you started climbing? 1994

Year you started working at Sportrock? 2003

Favorite climbing spot? Chattanooga, TN.

Most memorable climbing experience? Leading my wife up Old Ladies at Seneca Rocks to propose on the south summit.

What roles have you had as a Sportrock employee? I started as a routesetter and continued with that part-time through most of my Sportrock career. I was also the SR Rockville Gym Director, Operations Director, Instructor, IT Department, Cleaner, Builder, Repairman, Purchaser, Installer, etc. And I continue to do many of these roles while also working as the Director of Membership.

Passions in life? My family is always at the top of my list. A recent and strong passion of mine though has become obstacle course racing. If I'm not spending time on either of those things, then you will probably find me in the shop fixing or building something.

How would your family or friends describe you in 3 words? Sarcastic (from my wife), Strong (from my daughter), Blank stare (from my son).

What would surprise us to learn about you? I can add poop and fart lyrics to most Disney tunes, especially Frozen and Descendants. If you want to get your daughter laughing, just sing “let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore.”

If you could be any animal in the world - what would you be and why? Okapi. It is rarely seen and rarely heard of. However, when it finally comes to light you can only think that Prometheus’s children got a hold of the clay one day.

Molly Donelan

Director of Programs & Events

Year you started climbing? 2004

Year you started working at Sportrock? 2007

Favorite climbing spot? Echo Cliffs or Red River Gorge.

Most memorable climbing experience? Deep water soloing in Mallorca, Spain.

What roles have you had as a Sportrock employee? Yoga Instructor, Climbing Instructor, Front Desk Staff, Outdoor Instructor, Lead Manager, Assistant Director, Director of Alexandria, Director of Programs & Events.

Passions in life? My family, jigsaw puzzles, my dogs, camping, climbing, running, baking, neurobiology, and eating.

How would your family or friends describe you in 3 words? Passionate, Crazy, Independent.

What would surprise us to learn about you? I used to run my own catering baking business, DC Treats, which served to over 15 bars/restaurants in the DC area, including Good Stuff Eatery and Sticky Rice.

If you could be any animal in the world - what would you be and why? An elephant because they are strong, intelligent, loyal to the group, and unstoppable.

Leah Thomas
Leah Thomas

Assistant Director of SR Alexandria

Year you started climbing? 2010

Year you started working at Sportrock? 2010

Favorite climbing spot? Red River Gorge and Reeds Creek.

Most memorable climbing experience? The Red River Gorge was my first outdoor trip ever. I knew nothing and went with experts! It was my first lead belay and the first time I cleaned a route. I fell in love. And the experience reminded me that I was improving, growing, and getting over my fear of heights every day.

What roles have you had as a Sportrock employee? Birthday Party Instructor, Front Desk Staff, Front Desk Manager, Instructor, Retail Manager, Assistant Director of Alexandria.

Passions in life? My passion in life is helping others work for and achieve goals. Every personality test I’ve taken led me to the same common theme: helping, teaching, and motivating others. Currently, I want to share the love of climbing with those who may not have the opportunity to do so and introduce a new mental and physical challenge into their lives.

How would your family or friends describe you in 3 words? Loyal, Enthusiastic, Supportive.

What would surprise us to learn about you? Other than being absolutely afraid of heights...I love love love the sound of lawnmowers because it reminds me of warmer weather and free time. It's the sound of summer! I played soccer since I was 2 years old, was a Middle School PE teacher, and completed a 500 mile hike. I also lived in Istanbul, Turkey for six months and scored free tea and coffee almost daily for three of them!

If you could be any animal in the world - what would you be and why? Golden Retriever - The extroverted, loyal cuddler that loves to play and meet new people. They are energetic, active, and they love and want to play with everyone. They also like meeting new people, going on long hikes and adventures, and sharing hugs and treats.

Gray O'Reilly
Gray O'Reilly

Marketing Manager

Year you started climbing? 2012

Year you started working at Sportrock? 2014

Favorite climbing spot? Leavenworth, WA.

Most memorable climbing experience? Freezing temps. 50-degree sleeping bags. Car stuck in the mud. Unable to start a fire. Finally start a fire. Snow. Fire goes out. Car still stuck in mud. Start another fire. Survive the night on body heat and sheer force of will. Climb at Endless Wall the next day!

What roles have you had as a Sportrock employee? Belay bot for parties and open climb; Summer Camp instructor; Private Lesson instructor; Head Camp Coordinator; Marketing Manager.

Passions in life? School is and always will be one of my great passions. If I could professionally collect degrees in various fields, I would. Also, publishing a novel is a lifelong dream of mine. So I would say, besides climbing: learning, writing, music, environmentalism...and climbing.

How would your family or friends describe you in 3 words? Follows directions.

What would surprise us to learn about you? I was NOT in a fraternity in college. But I was in an all-male acapella group.

If you could be any animal in the world - what would you be and why? Humpback Whale. No natural predators, meals swim into my mouth, and people travel from around the world to watch me belly flop? Yes, please.

Jeremy Hardin
Jeremy Hardin

Senior Director | Director of Routesetting (L5)

Year you started climbing? 2002

Year you started setting? 2004

Year you started working at Sportrock? 2002

How many comps have you set for? 100+ including multiple World Cup and National Championships.

What is your goal when setting? For gym setting, I try to make every climb consistent in grade, with respect to height and reach, with flow and memorable sequences or movement. For comp setting, the goal is to create fun and fair routes or problems to separate the field of competitors. We try to test all abilities and styles for the overall "best" climber of the event.

How do you come up with route names? That's the hardest part of my day. Normally it comes down to the first two words I can rhyme that are appropriate.

Favorite route name? One Crazy Hooker.

What inspires you to stay constantly creative? My reputation.

Setting pet peeves? When climbers do a sequence or move incorrectly or harder than what is obvious and then complain the movement was "awkward"... sometimes it's not the climb that’s awkward, it's the climber.

Words of advice to climbers who get stumped on your routes? Try harder.

Passions in life? My wife and son, cars and trucks, fixing stuff.

How would your family or friends describe you in 3 words? He’s a Workhorse.

What would surprise us to learn about you? I train and compete in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

If you could be any animal in the world - what would you be and why? A Lion, because he’s the king of the jungle!

Stephen Meinhold
Stephen Meinhold

Head Routesetter (L4)

Year you started climbing? 1996

Year you started setting? 2001

Year you started working at Sportrock? 2017

How many comps have you set for? 32

Why did you start setting? Early on I was more focused on competing than setting. I competed in ABS & USA Climbing National events, UBC Pro Tour events, Mammut Bouldering Championships, Dark Horse Series, Portland Boulder Rally, 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell, and even an Ice Climbing comp. I thought comps started to neglect the competitor for "world cup" style problems so I started to focus on setting to better understand this style. I have been head setter for a few different gyms in NC, PA, and OR over the years, and I have set multiple USA Climbing National events.

What is your goal when setting? To force you to do whatever I want you to do.

How do you come up with route names? I stare at the computer screen and mumble until I come up with something.

Favorite route name? Manilla Vanure.

What inspires you to stay constantly creative? Coffee and pastries.

Setting pet peeves? Metric bolts.

Words of advice to climbers who get stumped on your routes? Seek out beta or work it out with a friend. Sometimes I can set very contrived with a specific sequence, so if you can't figure it out maybe someone else can. Just like outside, learning how to project routes can help with the redpoint process. More pull-ups always help.

Passions in life? My wife and baby boy... and cookies, all of them.

How would your family or friends describe you in 3 words? Slow-motion Train Wreck.

What would surprise us to learn about you? Before getting back in the gym I was a High School Chemistry/Physics/Math teacher. I have horrible balance. I am a huge fan of rap and hip-hop.

If you could be any animal in the world - what would you be and why? Gorilla, it’s my spirit animal.

JD Cantrell
JD Cantrell

Routesetter (L2)

Year you started climbing? 2005

Year you started setting? 2009

Year you started working at Sportrock? 2012

How many comps have you set for? Dozens.

Why did you start setting? I would skip class to go climb at Virginia Beach Rock Gym while my friends, Scott Johns and Tommy Morrison, were setting and they kind of took me under their wing.

What is your goal when setting? To force the movement, duh...

How do you come up with route names? I keep an ongoing list in my phone of things and phrases that I think would make good route names. There’s lots of pop culture references.

Favorite route name? All my favorite route names are NSFW.

What inspires you to stay constantly creative? The bills don't pay themselves.

Setting pet peeves? Not having enough coffee.

Words of advice to climbers who get stumped on your routes? Trade beta for baked goods.

Passions in life? Rock climbing, yoga, art, building things.

How would your family or friends describe you in 3 words? Doesn't follow instructions well.

What would surprise us to learn about you? I’m a bit of a neat freak.

If you could be any animal in the world - what would you be and why? A pug, everybody likes pugs.

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