Climbing Wall Policy

At the climbing walls we instruct at, we have very high safety standards that must be adhered to at all times.  Outright Adventure Company (OAC) instructors are either Climbing Gym Instructors certified through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, or are working towards getting their certification, and have been observed and instructed by CGI's. The following is an outline of our standard policies and procedures with regards to all climbing activities at any wall we instruct or supervise:

General Climbing Wall Policies and Procedures

1.  In order to climb, a person must have:

                a) passed a belay test and hold an OAC belay card;

b) a current (1 year or less) waiver form filled out completely and signed (if under 18, this must be filled out by a parent or guardian).


2. Climbing is only permitted during specified climbing hours (course or drop-in hours) and in the presence of an OAC staff.


3. Any OAC staff must hold either a Climbing Gym Instructor 1 certification or higher through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, or have been taught by an OAC instructor that holds a CGI 1 or higher. Instructors must hold a CGI 1 in order to instruct.


4. Never place fingers, hands, or feet on the metal bolt hangers. They are NOT handholds.

5. Down climbing is not allowed unless you are authorized to do so.

6. Dangling jewelry, watches, rings, bracelets, excessively loose clothing, gum, candy, and items in pockets must be removed when climbing or belaying.

7. Shirts must be worn at all times.

8. No eating or drinking in the climbing wall area except for water bottles, which must be stowed off of the climbing mats.

9. Never climb past or unclip the top climbing anchors.

10. Never drop anything while climbing on the wall.

11. Climbing barefoot is not allowed. Closed toed and closed heel shoes are required.

12. Climbers may only climb within aprox. 6 feet either side of their anchor.  Climbing underneath another anchor is unacceptable.


13. Only staff is authorized to set routes and perform maintenance on the walls. If you would like to set a route, do so with staff permission and supervision. DO NOT MODIFY ROUTES OR LABELS WITHOUT STAFF PERMISSION.


14. Climbing commands must be used at all times.

15. The belayer must remain standing while the climber is on belay. A wheelchair belayer is the only exception.

16. Staff has the right to check your personal climbing equipment for safety concerns.

17. Every climber must tie-in using a figure-eight follow-through knot. The climber may use an additional stopper knot if they wish.


18. Climbers and belayers are expected to carry out their personal and partner checks before climbing.  Climbers failing to do so will be reminded by staff.


19. All equipment must be approved by an OAC staff member prior to use.  This includes ropes, harnesses, Gri-Gri's, belay tubes, and caribiners.  If an OAC staff member feels that the person climbing is unsafe due to defective equipment, the staff member may ask the climber/belayer to rent gear from OAC or they will not be allowed to continue climbing.


20. All ropes and harnesses used or rented through Outright Adventure Company have a shelf-life of 5 years, as per manufacturer’s recommendations.  Having said this, ropes being used regularly by clients and students at IMS should be retired after a minimum of 2 years of use.  If a rope shows any structural signs of weakening, it should be retired immediately.


21. Belay tests are done in a one-on-one situation with 1 or more staff supervising the belay test. No coaching from other climbers is allowed before or during the test.  Once the test is complete, staff will discuss the test with the person who took the test, and offer feedback.

22.  Failed belay test attempts may be re-taken 24 hours after the test was given.

23. Climbers under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult who actively supervises his/her activity.  Climbers aged 9 – 12 may carry a conditional belay card which only allows them to belay others within their weight category.


Staff has the right to enforce any additional rules if they feel the situation is unsafe.

4. Bouldering Policies

1. Bouldering on the roped section of the climbing wall is restricted to 10 feet, and only when roped climbers are not present or permission from OAC staff is given.

2. No topping out or standing on the bouldering wall.

3. Do not boulder under another climber.

4. Always keep personal gear (water bottles, harnesses, chalk bags, etc.) away from the bouldering wall landing area.

5. Spotters are required, and proper spotting techniques must be observed.

6. While bouldering,  be aware of launching or throwing for a move with other climbers and bystanders near.

7. While watching others boulder, please stand out of the way of their fall line.