Before you get started fill out our Participant Agreement
Everyone who visits a Sportrock facility, both climbers and spectators, needs to complete a Participant Agreement. You can do so below before your visit or at one of our kiosks in the gym. Children under 18 require a Parent or Legal Guardian to complete the form.
Now that the paperwork is out of the way, let’s get you climbing! Sportrock offers two styles of climbing for beginners, Top Roping and Bouldering.
Top Roping takes place on our taller walls (20-60 ft) using ropes & harnesses. A belayer is required to take slack out while you climb, which prevents you from falling to the ground when you let go. This is an important skill and only those who have been Top Rope Belay Certified can do this inside Sportrock. Don’t know how to belay? Our staff can help out in the programs below!
Bouldering is a style of climbing that involves shorter walls (10-15 ft), scaled without ropes or harnesses. For comparison, think of roped climbing as distance running and bouldering as a sprint – each challenging in their own way. Since every fall is a ground fall, proper falling technique and spotting is essential. No certification is required for Bouldering, and purchasing a Day Pass grants you access to this area.
Our most advanced climbing areas. These sections are found throughout our taller walls. The climber and belayer begin with the rope on the ground. The climber then clips the rope in at points along the climb. This form of climbing requires advanced skills and a separate competency test.
All Sportrock facilities offer a fitness area with cardio equipment, weights, yoga studios, and plenty of space for functional exercises. If you need to take a break from climbing but want to keep your heart rate up then head on over to our fitness area or check out our yoga and fitness class offerings.
This Is What We Recommend
For your first visit, we think it’s best to start with one of our classes or programs. It will help you get acquainted with the facility, share the experience with other new climbers and learn more about the sport.
Open Belay (Alexandria only) – The perfect starter program for kids and adults! Our trained staff will handle the ropes for you as you Top Rope our walls as much or as little as you want. The minimum age for these programs is 5 years old. No pre-registration is required, although you may reserve a time slot if you wish! This program is first-come, first served. For maximum enjoyment, please limit your group size to five or fewer. Larger groups may be better served by booking a private party.
Open Belay is available on most weekends and select holidays – please check the calendar for dates. Pricing is $20 for 3 climbs, $5 per additional climb, and $10 to add-on bouldering before or after your Open Belay session. (Open Belay program only offered at Alexandria location)
Open Climb (Sterling only) – The perfect starter program for kids and adults! Our trained staff will handle the ropes for you as you Top Rope our walls as much or as little as you want. The minimum age for this program is 5 years old. No pre-registration is required, Open Climb is first-come, first served. For maximum enjoyment, please limit your group size to five or fewer. Larger groups may be better served by booking a private party.
Open Climb is available on most weekends and select holidays. Please check the calendar for dates. Pricing is $25 for unlimited climbing. (Open Climb program only offered at Sterling location)
Basic Skills – Our Basic Skills class will teach you the essential skills needed to climb at a Sportrock facility, and meets the American Alpine Club’s Universal Belay Standard. You’ll learn to properly put on a harness, tie into the rope and belay for a partner. You will have an opportunity to practice these skills during your class, but you will not be able to belay on your own until you pass our Top Rope Belay Test. The minimum age for this class is 14 and requires pre-registration.
BRINGING THE WHOLE FAMILY ALONG?
1. We require adult supervision for any child under the age of 14, even when participating in a Sportrock program. Our instructors are here to ensure your child has a fun climbing experience, but we need your help to achieve that. All children under 5 must boulder within arms reach of an adult supervisor.
2. When in the bouldering areas (the shorter walls without ropes), please do not allow your child to walk, run or play under other climbers.
3. Most Sportrock Youth Programs begin at age 5. We cannot be flexible with this requirement. If your child is under 5 years old, they are allowed to boulder in designated areas while under your supervision.