Climbing Wall FAQs

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No, you don’t need any experience to climb. Feel free to come to the climbing wall any time we are open and ask a staff member what to do. They will help you get the proper equiptment and will be more than happy to help belay you.

Climbing is FREE to all registered Sonoma State students including the gear and experience. However, if an individual is to attend one of the climbing clinics there will be a five dollar fee.

The rock climbing rating system is a system that categorizes climbing routes into varying difficultly levels. Roped routes are categorized using the 5.0 system; the higher the decimal number the harder the route (i.e. 5.6 is easy, a 5.8 would be moderate and a 5.11 would be difficult). Boulder problems are rated using the V- scale. V0-V2 is beginner, V3-V5 is intermediate, V6-V8 is advanced.

Belay Certification is required for all climbers who want to climb on top rope and lead routes. You will need to test twice in order to be certified for the semester. If you already know how to belay then feel free to ask a staff member for a belay check and they will be more than happy to help. If you do not know how to belay, sign up for one of our Instructional Clinics at the Campus Rec Front Desk.

This $5 clinic is an introduction to climbing where one of our staff members will teach you the basics including how to belay. Belaying refers to a technique used in climbing to exert friction on a climbing rope so that a falling climber is protected. 
This $5 clinic teaches the basics of lead climbing, an advanced style of climbing in which the climber starts with the rope on the ground and places protection as they climb instead of being anchored from above. This clinic is more advanced and assumes you already have some basic climbing knowledge including how to top-rope belay.