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Climbing Classes offered at the EWU Climbing Wall

This page offers information on all of the classes offered at the Eastern Washington University EPIC Climbing Wall.

Academic classes are offered through the Dept of Physical Education (PEHR) and listed on Eaglenet. We also offer non-academic Belay Certification, Sport Lead, and Rappelling courses. Inquire at the Climbing Wall kiosk or contact the Climbing Wall Manager to schedule a class.

If you would like to work at the Climbing Wall, we offer a professional development indoor Climbing Wall Instructor course.

We also offer the Base Managed Climbing Instructor (BMCI) course, equivalent to PCIA or AMGA outdoor technical certifcations.

Non-academic classes

Belay Certification

Lead Climbing

Rappelling

Academic Classes

Intro to Rock Climbing

Sport Lead Climbing

Climbing Clinic

Climb Time

Climb Time Two

Climbing Anchors

Climber's Toolbox

Climbers Self Rescue

Trad Lead Climbing

Professional Development Classes

Climbing Wall Instructor

 

Class Descriptions

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Belay Certification

The Belay Certification class is the basic certification class for roped climbing in our gym.  The basic system we use is a top rope system where the rope runs through an anchor at the top of the wall with two ends reaching the ground.  The system is counter-balanced, where the climber ties into one end of the rope and the belayer connects to the other end.  The belayer manages the rope by removing slack as the climber climbs up the wall.  When this system is implemented correctly, falls become minor events where the climber simply swings away from the wall.   

Content

 The primary skills taught are:

  • How to put on a harness
  • How to tie into a harness with a "figure eight follow-through"
  • How to manage slack with the Brake Under Slide (BUS) or Pull Lock Under Slide (PLUS) belay method
  • How to lower a climber
  • How to perform safety checks
  • Proper communication

Schedule

Belay certification classes are offered regularly.  See our home page for the current schedule. Classes are first come, first served.  We post a sign-up sheet at the Climbing Wall kiosk 30 minutes before each class, so show up early! Classes at the beginning of each quarter tend to fill up quickly, so plan accordingly.

Cost

The Belay Certification classes are free to students currently enrolled in classes and to community members with a valid membership pass.   

Belay Certification Class Challenge

If you are already proficient as a top rope climber/belayer, you may challenge this course and become certified at the Climbing Wall by completing a proficiency check.

See our top rope proficiency checklist for a complete list of tested items, then inquire at the Climbing Wall kiosk to schedule time to test.

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Lead Climbing

 

The Lead Climbing class is available for gym users to become certified to lead climb at our facility.  Lead climbing is different from top rope climbing because there is no rope above you when you begin climbing.  You begin with the rope at your feet and you clip it in to points along the wall as you make your way up the route.  Because the rope starts below you, there is the potential of far greater falls both in distance and force when compared to top rope falls.  Due to the additional hazards associated with lead climbing, we require you to demonstrate proficiency in a number of skills which are taught in this class. 

Content

The primary skills taught are:

  • Proper clipping technique (no z-clipping or back clipping)
  • Proper footwork (in relation to rope)
  • Proper communication
  • How to set up and use a ground anchor
  • How to lead belay techniques
  • How to give a "soft catch"
  • How to care for and log Climbing Wall ropes

Schedule

We offer an academic and non-academic Lead class. Please contact the Climbing Wall Manager for scheduling. Non-academic Lead Climbing classes usually occur over three sessions that last three hours each.  

Cost
Non-academic Lead Climbing classes cost $10 per person. Due to the fee and scheduling, you must pre-register this class. To pre-register, bring your payment to the EPIC counter at the University Rec Center during normal business hours.

Lead Climbing Class Challenge

If you are already proficient as a lead climber/belayer, you may challenge this course and become certified at our Climbing Wall by completing a proficiency check in order to demonstrate competence in several important areas.  See our lead climbing proficiency check list for a complete list of tested items.

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Rappelling

 

Rappelling is the process of lowering yourself down a rope which is anchored at the top.  This is a skill used primarily in outdoor climbing where an individual has climbed to the top of a route and needs a way to get down after cleaning the anchor without the help of someone on the ground. 

Content

The primary skills taught are:

  • How to set up a rappel

  • How to use a belay device to rappel

  • How to back up a rappel

  • Body positioning for rappelling on various terrain

Schedule

Rappelling classes are not scheduled with any regularity.  The classes will be scheduled as two sessions of two hours over two separate days.  If you are interested please contact the Climbing Wall Manager.

Cost

Rappelling classes cost $10 per person. Due to the fee and scheduling, you must pre-register this class. To pre-register, bring your payment to the EPIC counter at the University Rec Center during normal business hours.

 

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Intro to Climbing

Course Description

This class is designed to introduce participants to basic rock climbing skills. The course will cover the skills necessary to climb and belay using a top rope system both in an indoor facility and an outdoor setting. The skills and information taught in this course include: safety practices, basic climbing knots, belay technique, climbing movement, equipment and terminology.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the risks and benefits associated with the sport of rock climbing

  • Become top rope belay certified at the Climbing Wall

  • Be able to identify and properly use basic climbing equipment including: harness, locking carabiner, belay device, ground anchor, etc.

  • Become familiar with proper climbing movement/technique and terminology

  • Become familiar with climbing safety procedures including "buddy checks" and belay commands

  • Become familiar with the risks and benefits of climbing outdoors

This is a 1 credit course. See Eaglenet for available class times.

Syllabus

Full Course Syllabus

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Sport Lead Climbing

Course Description

This class is designed to introduce participants to sport lead climbing. The course will cover the skills necessary to lead bolted routes and belay a climber while climbing in a gym environment or outside. The skills and information taught in this course include: safety practices, lead climbing knots, lead belay technique, two-bolt basic anchors, set up and take down of lead anchor top rope systems, rappelling and terminology.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the risks and benefits associated with the sport lead climbing

  • Become lead certified at the Climbing Wall

  • Be able to properly use climbing equipment in a lead climbing environment

  • Become proficient with climbing knots including: double fisherman's, clove hitch, prusik hitch and double loop figure eight

  • Become proficient with setting up and taking down basic two bolt tope rope anchor systems

  • Become familiar with, and use proper rappelling technique

  • Back up a rappel

  • Be able to recognize the basic aspects of a "safe" top rope anchor system

This is a 1 credit course. See Eaglenet for available class times.

Syllabus 

Full course syllabus

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Climbing Clinic

Course Description

If you have taken the Intro to Rock class and would like a coach to help you reach your climbing goals, this class may be for you.  If you are not ready for lead climbing or do not wish to take Climb Time, this class is designed to be another alternative 'next step'.  Climbing Clinic is a two hour class held once per week. You can count on the same students and instructor to be with you for the entire quarter.  The class focuses on the unique goals of each student. This may include more Intro level coaching such as climbing movement. It may also include basic climbing strength training and conditioning.

Course Objectives

  • Improve climbing movement/technique

  • Improve climbing strength

  • Improve climbing endurance

  • Meet other climbers that you can continue to climb with

This is a 1 credit course. See Eaglenet for available class times.

Syllabus

Full course syllabus

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Climb Time


Course Description

Climb Time is an activity course designed to promote physical activity, fitness and climbing competency through regular use of the Climbing Wall. Climb Time is designed for the independent climber looking to climb for credit on their own time. A student staff coordinator will facilitate your use of the Climbing Wall. The coordinator can assist in pairing climbing partners, and may arrange advanced training seminars throughout the quarter. This class requires the student to log 20 hours at the Climbing Wall to receive a 4.0. 

This is a 1 credit course.

Syllabus 

Full course syllabus

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Climb Time II

Climb Time II

The Climb Time II course relays the same structure and climbing hour requirements as Climb Time, but also requires students to complete two article assignments, located on Canvas. The article assignments may contain a short 5-15 question quiz on an article related to climbing culture and/or incident reports chosen by the Climb Time II coordinator. Students must obtain 100% on the quizzes in order to get full credit for them. Each quiz uncompleted will result in a 10 hour deduction. This class requires the student to log 20 hours at the Climbing Wall and 100% on both article assignments for a 4.0. 

This is a 2 credit course.

Syllabus

 Full course syllabus

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Climbing Anchors

 

Course Description

This class is designed to introduce participants to the craft of building climbing anchors. The course will cover the skills necessary to build basic top rope and ground anchors. The skills and information taught in this course include: anchor building knots, material strengths, two bolt basic anchors, traditional gear placement, complex anchor systems and anchor evaluation.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the EPIC Climbing Wall policy for accessing the boulder top training area and then appropriately accessing it
  • Understand how to place traditional climbing protection
  • Have appropriate feedback to accurately understand their level of competence in placing traditional protection
  • Be able to build simple, basic two bolt anchors
  • Be able to construct top rope anchor systems
  • Be able to competently "stitch" together multiple protection points into a full strength anchor 
  • Understand how to assess an anchor for adequacy based upon the LEADSTER criteria


This is a 1 credit course. See Eaglenet for available class times.

 

Syllabus

Full course syllabus

 

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Climbers Toolbox

 

Course Description

This class is designed to increase the tools/skill sets available to climbers. Safety in a multi-pitch or wilderness climbing environment depends on having the skills available to apply to specific problems. This class is will teach you several different ways of doing the same thing so that you will have a greater choice of skills to apply to any problem you face, ensuring a better chance of success.  The skills taught in this class prepare climbers for the Climber's Self Rescue class.

 

Course Objectives

  • Understand the EPIC Climbing Wall policy for accessing the boulder top training area
  • Learn the properties of various cordage and webbing used in climbing applications
  • Learn the properties of various carabiners available for climbing use
  • Learn how to belay with different belay devices including: aperture, assisted locking, locking and muenter hitch
  • Become competent with top-managed belay setups and understand the pros and cons of belaying the following ways: off of yourself while anchored, redirecting the belay through your anchor and belaying directly off of your anchor
  • Learn how to manage multi-pitch belay transitions and the importance of rope management
  • Learn how to set up a rappel
  • Learn a variety of different rappel configurations and back-up methods including: rappel extensions, back-ups below and above rappel device, prusik/bachman/autoblock back-ups and connecting ropes for longer rappels
  • Learn to perform a basic muenter hitch lower and tie it off with a mule knot

This is a 1 credit course. See Eaglenet for available class times.

Syllabus 

Full course syllabus

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Climbers Self Rescue

 

Course Description

This class is designed to introduce participants to basic self rescue skills in high angle terrain.  This course will cover the skills necessary to manage transitions from various belay configurations to several different possible rescue scenarios.  The skills and information taught in this course include:  rescue baseline, rescue bridges, multi-pitch lowers, mechanical advantage raise systems, exiting belays and counterbalance rappels.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the EPIC Climbing Wall policy for accessing the boulder top training area
  • Learn how to create a 'baseline' configuration for rescue work
  • Learn to apply several different types of 'bridges' to rescue scenarios
  • Learn to 'get to baseline' from a waist belay, redirected belay or a direct anchor belay
  • Learn to move from baseline to one of four possible rescue solutions: lower, raise, belay exit or counterbalance rappel
  • Receive appropriate feedback

 

 This is a 1 credit course. See Eaglenet for available class times.

 

 

Syllabus  Full course syllabus

 

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Trad Lead

 

Course Description

This class is designed to introduce participants to the world of traditional lead climbing. The course will cover the skills necessary for a climber to climb routes using natural/removable protection outside. The skills and information taught in this course include: traditional lead climbing equipment, knots, material strengths, fall forces, building of directionals and traditional gear placement. 

 

 Course Objectives

  • Become familiar with the equipment used in traditional lead climbing and the appropriate application thereof
  • Learn the forces that climbers experience during lead falls
  • Learn how to place traditional climbing protection
  • Receive appropriate feedback 
  • Learn the significance of direction changes on traditionally protected routes
  • Learn to construct multi-directional protection points

This is a 1 credit course.

This class is offered only in the Spring and requires an application to be submited to the Climbing Wall Manager during Winter quarter. See Eaglenet for further information the quarter schedule.

 

Syllabus Full course syllabus

 

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Climbing Wall Instructor

 

The Climbing Wall Instructor course is offered annually. It includes training required for student employment at the Climbing Wall. For more infomation contact the Climbing Wall Manager. Training is emphasized in the following areas:

  • Professionalism and standardization

  • Participant orientation and instruction

  • Teaching general climbing skills, including movement

  • Teaching top rope and lead belaying techniques

  • Facility and equipment use

  • Facility supervision 

  • Rescue and emergency procedures

Although strong climbing skills are encouraged, the ability to instruct students is required for successful completion of this certification course.

Prerequisites

  • The candidate must have adequate rock climbing experience (examples include periodic climbing for 2 - 3 years, a high intensity of climbing in the past few months, etc.)

  • The candidate must be able to put on harness and tie in using a "figure eight follow-through"

  • The candidate must be able to belay with an aperture belay device and an assisted locking device

  • The candidate must possess personal climbing equipment (harness, shoes, locking carabiner, belay device, chalk bag)

  • The candidate must be capable of comfortably top roping 5.9 on an artificial climbing wall

  • The candidate must be able to speak in front of small groups 

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AMGA

PCIA

 

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