Garden of the Gods VC

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Rock Climbing FAQ


Is the company you are climbing with properly permitted and insured?

Permits are required on all properties to guide trips and give classes. With permits come required insurance, a policy for rock climbing should be no less than 2 million dollars. Whichever company you choose, you should not hesitate to ask about their insurance policy and its limits.

Should I tip my guide?

Yes – Rock climbing guides work for tips and they are greatly appreciated. As in many service industries, tipping is up to the individual. The amount that you tip should be based on your experience, but 10% - 20% of the trip cost is common practice.  

What is Bouldering?

Bouldering is climbing close to the ground with out a rope, typically less that 15 feet from the ground. Routes reflect what is considered the 'crux' of a conventional route. A mat, and ideally, a spotter are used in case of fall.

What's the difference between traditional and sport climbing?

Traditional climbing is using features in the rock to place gear. Stoppers, cams and hexes can be placed in cracks or seams to protect against falls. Sport climbing is using fixed protection (bolts, pitons) for avoiding a ground-fall.

What is the Grading System for rock climbing in the United States?

The Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) is divided in 5 classes:
Class one: Equivalent to walking on a sidewalk
Class two: Such as walking up a steep hill
Class three: Climbing up a steep enough hill that your hands are being used for balance
Class four: Simple climbing, with exposure, in which a rope may be required to prevent a fatal fall
Class five: The beginning of technical climbing. A rope, harness, and technical hardware, as well as the use of belaying techniques, are used for the protection of the climbing party. Class 5 is further broken down into technical classifications represented as "5.0-5.15".

Are my guides trained and certified?

Yes, all our guides are are trained and certified through the Front Range Climbing Company training program. The company's internal training program gives us the ability to know you will have a fun and safe climbing experience with FRCC. All of our guides are First Aid certified, and some have gone further to receive their WFR, EMT, and Outdoor Emergency Care certifications.

How does the type of rock affect the climb? Are some types better than others?

Each type of rock climbs differently, and gives the climber a different experience. Every climber has their preferences as to their "Ideal" type of rock. 

If I want to start climbing, what equipment do I need (minimum)?

Harness, shoes, locking carabiners, rope, belay device and hardware for building anchors. It would also help to take our Introduction to Rock Climbing class.

What do I need to know to be a lead climber?

Self control and plenty of experience. Take our Lead Climbing class to learn the art of lead climbing.

Do I need a permit or license to climb?

Rock climbing in general does not require a permit. However, permits are required for ALL Colorado Springs city parks. Check your local area to see if you need a permit from your city.