FIRST TIME TO ASCENT STUDIO?
Welcome to Ascent Studio, Fort Collins' premier facility for indoor climbing, bouldering and other cool stuff that happen in spite of gravity. We are glad you found us. Spending a few minutes here on the web-site ahead of your visit can help you or your family members start climbing ASAP after your arrival.
Follow these steps for a smooth first visit:
1 - Complete the Visitor AgreementAll visitors, even if they are not climbing, must read and fill out a visitor agreement in order to be in the facility.
Everyone under 18 years of age must have a parent or legal guardian complete the visitor agreement on their behalf. If you are bringing someone else's child then their parent or legal guardian must do the same for them. There are no exceptions. However, we try to make this as painless a process as possible. This can be done online ahead of time.
While you can fill out the agreement when you arrive, it will be much easier if you read and submit your agreement online before you arrive. It will be waiting for you when you do arrive and you'll be able to get climbing sooner.
2 - Orientation
We give every first-time visitor a general orientation to the facility. During the orientation, we'll give you a tour of the facility and introduce you to the various activities available at Ascent Studio. One other aspect of this orientation is to make you aware of the inherent risks in climbing. While we try to minimize these risks at Ascent Studio, we can never eliminate them without changing the fundamental nature of the activity... which would be no fun for anyone.
Our orientation is usually brief. Experienced climbers can expect the orientation to take less than 5 minutes depending on the size of the group. We are happy to spend more time answering questions for people new to climbing.
We do offer auto-belay climbing which allows you to access the rope climbing terrain even if you don't have a partner to climb with or if your partner hasn't yet learned to belay. Everyone who wishes to use the auto-belays must receive a separate auto-belay orientation. This takes about 5-10 minutes..
3 - Optional Gear
A harness and belay device are required for rope climbing. Climbing shoes are not required for climbing, but they are highly recommended, and most people express amazement at the difference climbing shoes make. We do not allow climbers to climb barefoot and please no boots or open-toed shoes.
You may either bring your own gear or you can rent gear from us. If you do decide to rent gear you should plan a few minutes to get the fit of shoes and harness right.
4 - Belay Qualification Tests
We require everyone who wishes to top-rope belay at Ascent Studio to receive a qualification test from our staff to verify your proficiency. This usually takes less than 10 minutes.
If you have familiarity with top-rope belaying but just need refresher, and if our staff is not too busy, then we will try to accommodate you. However, we will not guarantee that you'll pass our qualification test after this refresher. If our staff still thinks you would benefit from some more thorough instruction then we'll kindly ask you to sign-up for a Top Rope Belay class. In the interim, you can boulder and use the auto-belays.
If you are new to climbing, we will be happy to teach you how to properly use basic climbing gear and to belay for your partner. You may sign-up online, or chat with someone at the front desk for a current schedule of those classes. We request that you sign-up for these classes at least 72 hours ahead of time.
Similarly, lead climbing and lead belaying at Ascent Studio requires staff qualification and usually takes about 10 minutes. As this type of climbing and belaying is more technical in nature we do not offer refreshers. We do offer instruction for lead climbing and belaying. You can sign-up online or check at the front desk for a current schedule.
In order to use our auto-belays, an auto-belay orientation is required (even if you have used an auto-belay at another gym) and takes about 5-10 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, every visitor to Ascent Studio must read and sign a visitor agreement. And children under 18 years of age must have a parent or legal guardian sign on their behalf.
You can do this when you arrive, or better, you can do it online before you arrive.
You are certainly allowed to bring in a child that is not your own, as long as the child's parent or legal guardian has signed the visitor agreement online on their behalf.
To belay, is to fix a rope around some object or device. In climbing that is usually a "belay device" attached to a partner's harness in order to keep the climber from falling to the ground.
Climbing can be enjoyed by all ages. We don't have an age-limit for climbing, though we do expect that kids younger than 14 are accompanied by an attentive adult.
Belaying is an action that requires attention and skill. We generally do not allow kids younger than 14 to belay unless they are actively attended by an adult who is an experienced belayer. Kids on the climbing team, or who have attended our climbing club may be qualified for belaying by our kid's club instructors if they demonstrate the appropriate level of competence and attentiveness.
Climbing is an inherently social activity, but only if you wish to top-rope or lead climb do you absolutely need a partner. Bouldering and auto-belay climbing can both be enjoyed solo.
If you did come by yourself and would like a partner, feel free to ask at the desk and we'll make an announcement to see if someone else in the studio is also looking for a partner.