Purdue University, Division of Recreational Sports Website

Rec Sports
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated 3/21/14

When is the Climbing Wall open?

The bouldering wall is available whenever the building is open. New climbers are encouraged to watch the orientation video at the wall or come Monday-Thursday between 4:00pm-10:00pm to receive an orientation from our Climbing Wall Supervisors. Climbers can also check out climbing specific shoes during these times.

The roped climbing wall is open from 4pm10:30pm, seven days a week, while school is in session.

What is bouldering?

Bouldering is a newer style of climbing done without the use of a harness or rope. When climbers fall, they land on a “crash pad” to reduce the impact of their fall. Our bouldering wall is up to 14 feet tall and has areas that vary from vertical to overhanging.

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I have never climbed before. Do I need any previous experience to participate?

No experience is necessary to use our climbing and bouldering walls. We encourage you to make your first visit during our staffed hours so you can go through an orientation with our friendly and educated staff. We can provide you with all of the basic equipment to try out the climbing wall.

Can I climb if I come alone?

Of course you can! Bouldering will always be available, though we suggest that you ask a fellow climber or DRS employee to spot you if you’re going to perform a difficult movement. A dedicated belay staff will be available at the roped climbing wall during open hours.

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What is belaying?

Belaying is the act of safely managing the rope of another climber. The belayer is responsible for the climber’s safety as he or she ascends the wall. In the event of a fall, the belayer secures the climber by holding the rope.

I already know how to belay. Can I belay my friends?

Absolutely. But in order to belay in the facility, you must first take a Belay Competency Exam from a Climbing Wall Supervisor.

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How can I learn more about climbing?

We offer a variety of Educational Workshops that teach everything from the history of climbing to movement techniques and belaying. Check out our website for a list of current offerings.

Do I need to sign a waiver or release form?

Participants using the roped climbing wall must sign a release. Individuals under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign for them. Purdue students under the age of 18 may sign their own waiver.

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Can I use my own climbing equipment?

Climbers are allowed to use their own equipment with some exceptions:

  • You must have a personal equipment release on file to use your own harness and belay devices. 
  • Only ATC style belay devices are permitted. 
  • All chalk must be in a chalk ball.

How much does it cost to climb?

Climbing and equipment rental are free to all DRS members and their guests. There are small fees to take an Educational Workshop.

Are there any age requirements or restrictions at your facility?

Participants must be at least 4 years of age to climb the walls. Adult supervision is required for children under the age of 15.

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