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Questions about CARSA Climbing Centre and programs?
The CARSA Climbing Centre is located on the lower floor of the CARSA building. View map.
Note: All climbers must sign a waiver in order to use our facility.
What is the CARSA Climbing Centre all about?
It's about learning and practicing climbing skills in a safe, and fun environment. We have two main types of climbing available here, namely bouldering and route climbing. We offer a variety of instructional courses, team building programs, as well as birthday parties. We aim to teach aspiring and experienced climbers the skills they need to stay safe.
What does the CARSA Climbing Centre offer?
We offer the use of our facility and staff where your group can learn and practice climbing skills in a safe and fun environment. We provide all of the necessary equipment including harness, belay devices and instructors/belayers. The CARSA Climbing Centre focuses on learning and practicing climbing skills in a safe and fun environment. There are two main types of climbing available—bouldering and route climbing. There are also a variety of instructional courses, team building programs, as well as birthday parties that are all options for the community and on-campus population to enjoy. The staff at the CARSA Climbing Centre aim to instruct new and experienced climbers and to arm them with the skills they need to stay safe.
How high is the wall?
The tower where route climbing occurs is 17 meters (55 feet) tall, and the bouldering wall varies from 3–4 meters (10–14 feet) in height.
What is bouldering?
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that is performed without the use of ropes or harnesses. This type of climbing is often looked at as a “pure form” of climbing because it does not involve any gear. Bouldering is practiced at much lower heights than route climbing due to the risk of falling. Bouldering mats are used to prevent injuries from falls. In our facility you will notice large blue mats under both our bouldering area and our route climbing area. These mats are designed to dramatically soften the impact of a fall.
Who needs to sign the waiver?
- Everyone need to have a release of liability waiver signed to climb at our facility. Anyone who is under 19 must have their waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian.
- A new waiver is required every year.
- *UVic resident students who are under 19 do not need to have a parent sign their waiver—proof may be requested.
Download the waiver (PDF).
Do I need to bring my own gear?
We recommend that you bring your own gear if you have it. The wide selection of climbing gear available in stores now allows you to find a harness that comfortably fits your body type, and shoes that fit your feet correctly.
That said, we do offer affordable rental gear, and our introductory courses always include required equipment.
Do I need a partner?
No, you can drop in anytime and boulder or use the auto-belayer. All you need is an orientation.
What is belaying?
Belaying is the use of a piece of equipment that exerts friction on the rope to ensure the climber does not fall. The term originated from sailing and literally means "hold fast". As the climber ascends on one side of the rope the belayer manages the friction device on the other side, keeping the climber secure on the wall.
What is involved in the belay test?
A belay check is a test of competency of belay skills in a controlled setting. You and your climbing partner must run through a climbing scenario to demonstrate correct procedures for tying in to the rope, belaying, lowering, and issuing verbal climbing commands. If you feel your belaying skills are outdated or you feel you need a refresher please sign up for a belaying course with us before attempting the belay test.
If you are an experienced climber, you can simply drop-by the facility during opening hours and complete a belay test. If you do not have experience with belaying please book yourself into one of our intro courses where our staff will show you the ropes.
Minimum age to belay without adult supervision?
14 years old.
How does your gym grade the difficulty of routes and problems?
We use the 5. Yosemite scale for our ropes routes and we have created a sliding colour based scale for our boulder problems.
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