We offer 4 types of climbing in our facility: Bouldering, Top-Roping, Auto-Belay, and Sport Climbing.
Bouldering is climbing without ropes and harnesses, staying lower to the ground, and using a padded landing surface and spotting partners. Bouldering is a great way to build strength and technique, but lacks in the endurance benefits offered by other styles of climbing. Anyone wishing to boulder must watch our Facility Orientation and Bouldering Fall Safety video and be at least 12 years old. This training is usually combined with the top-rope belay and auto-belay training allowing for full access to the facility.
Top Rope Climbing utilizes a 2-person setup; a climber that is attached to one end of a rope, the rope then runs up to an anchor system at the top of the climb and back down to the belayer (safety person managing the the rope for the climber). The belayer’s responsibility is to pull the slack through a belay device as the climber goes up the wall, “brake” the rope during a fall, and control the descent of the climber back to the ground. Participants 12 years old and over can be taught to belay during the Belay Course. Participants 5-11 years old can top rope climb, but are not allowed to belay, and are required to have an adult supervision at all times. our Evansville facility is equipped with 30 top rope stations, enough to satisfy the beginner through advanced climber. Anyone wishing to top rope must watch our Facility Orientation and Full Access Course video, which also covers Bouldering and Auto-Belay systems. This will give you full access to each climbing area in the gym.
Auto-Belay stations are a form of top-rope climbing in the sense that the anchor and TruBlue device are always above you while climbing (very little slack in the rope). The difference with auto-belay devices is that your catch and descent are automatically controlled by the auto-belay device rather than another person. There is also no “pause” on the way up; once your weight is applied to the system the device will begin to lower you automatically. Our auto-belay systems can handle any climber between 25 and 325 lbs, and require just a brief orientation to get started. The TruBlue auto-belay system is recognized across the industry as a very low-risk and reliable device when used properly. Anyone wishing to auto-belay (as well as any adults supervising young climbers) must watch our Facility Orientation and Auto-belay video, then complete a practice session with an instructor. Total training time for auto-belay climbing lasts approximately 15 minutes. The minimum age to Auto-Belay climb is 5 years old.
Sport climbing is a more advanced type of climbing. With sport climbing, the climber, the belayer, and the rope all start on the ground. As the climber goes up the wall, they clip the rope into pre-set anchors. Each time the climber advances up the wall, they must climb above their last anchor point to reach the next one. If the climber falls as they climb above the anchor, there is risk for a potentially long fall before the rope catches. However, if the belayer and climber use proper skills and techniques, falls can be controlled and risk of injury can be greatly minimized. Prior to sport climbing participants must be at least 16 years old, meet or exceed our required climbing knowledge and skill sets, and pass a lead climb/belay test.
Sport climbing has quickly become a common outdoor activity. Vertical eXcape is committed to providing a structured environment in which climbers can learn the basics of sport climbing and begin a transition from the climbing gym to the outdoor climbing crag safely, responsibly, and ethically.