First-time Climbers

Climber Safety

Every participant (belayer/climber) who uses the facilities at Coyote Rock Gym must fill out a waiver form that is provided by our insurance company. Climbers under 18 years of age must have a parent sign the form before they can participate.

Since you are ready to try indoor rock climbing, you’ll need to know a few safety procedures before you get started climbing and/or belaying at Coyote Rock Gym.

First,  every climber using our roped routes needs a partner on the ground managing the ropes for the climber’s safety. This person is called a “belayer.” In order to climb and/or belay at Coyote Rock Gym, you will need to complete the Introductory Lesson. To be eligible to belay in the gym, you must be 14 years of age.

If you are already trained to belay with a gri-gri belay device, you don’t need to take a class. You simply need to pass our belay test in which you demonstrate proficiency in belaying/lowering to our CRG staff.

Both the Basic Introductory Lesson and the Belay Test are offered free of charge on your first visit to the gym.

Basic Introductory Lesson for First-time Climbers

We’ll teach climbers age 14 or older how to manage the safety ropes (called belaying), how to fit a harness, and how to tie the rope to it. The entire lesson takes about 30 minutes. New belayers will be allowed to belay unsupervised only after they have shown our staff that they have mastered safe technique. There is no charge for basic belay training, except for normal admission and equipment rental fees.

There is no charge for adults who are learning to belay for children, but are not climbing themselves. However, adults who are not climbing but still belaying must take the Introductory Lesson and fill out a waiver.

Introductory Lesson Plus ($40 HST included, Ages 14+)

This two hour lesson covers everything in the Introductory Lesson and more.  After covering all the basics of rope management one of our instructors will take you through some basic climbing techniques, explain climbing terminology and hold types, and help you with route selection.   Bouldering (climbing without ropes onwill also be explored with more detail and your instructor will be on hand to answer questions and give advice throughout  the duration of the lesson.    This lesson also includes shoe and harness rentals and a day pass so you can keep climbing after the lesson is over.

Introductory Package for First-time Climbers

For only $30 extra (HST included), you can add a 1 Month Membership* to your Introductory Lesson. The membership starts the day of the lesson, and also includes equipment rentals (shoes /harness) for the month. You must be 14 or older to take the lesson, though the membership is open to anyone under 14 as well.
*This offer is available only in conjunction with the Introductory Lesson, or Introductory Lesson Plus, to new customers with no previous membership history at Coyote Rock Gym. The Introductory Package must be bought the same day as the lesson.

Preparing for your visit

Most climbers usually stay for about a 2 hour session. On your first visit you may not last quite so long as your muscles and tendons (and skin!) are not used to the strains of climbing.

Most people wear normal workout gear such as shorts or track pants and a T-shirt or sweatshirt. Climbing shoes are available for rent and are recommended as the sticky rubber on the soles helps balance on smaller holds – wear a pair of thin sports socks and expect climbing shoes to fit snugly. A pair of flip flops is recommended if you want to take a break from your climbing shoes and not walk around the gym barefoot.

For tips on how to conduct yourself in the gym, Frictionlabs wrote a great primer on climbing gym etiquette. The most important things are to always be aware of your surroundings, and to stay psyched.

There is ample free parking on site (please respect the signs put up by our neighbours), and our facilities include change rooms with showers, lockers (bring your own locks), a drinking fountain, and vending machines.