Is Climbing Safe?

It is one of the most asked questioned that we get, and here is the honest truth: climbing is inherently dangerous. At Island Rock, we do our absolute best to control the risks involved in climbing, though those risks can never be eliminated. Accidents can happen as there are a multitude of unforeseen circumstances that could occur. If you are going to climb at Island Rock, you must accept these inherent risks. All participants at Island Rock must sign a waiver acknowledging that there are risks, that they accept the risks, and that they will not hold Island Rock accountable for any type of injury. Any participant under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign for them.

We have a set of rules that all guests of Island Rock, climbing or not, must follow to help ensure their safety and the safety of everyone else. Please thoroughly read through them, and contact us should you have any further questions.

Gym Policies

  1. All participants must check in at the front desk and have a valid waiver before participating.
  2. Anyone belaying in the gym must pass the Island Rock belay test.
  3. Anyone lead climbing or belaying a lead climber must pass the Island Rock lead belay and lead climb test.
  4. No teaching belaying, knot tying, or leading except by Island Rock staff.
  5. All rappelling must be supervised by Island Rock.
  6. All top-rope climbing must use ropes and belay devices provided by Island Rock.
  7. Harnesses must be commercial products designed for climbing. Rescue, tree and fire equipment is not permitted.
  8. Helmets are available on request. Climbers may also use their own helmets. All helmets must be CE or UIAA approved for climbing. Non-Climbing helmets, such as bicycle or ski helmets, are not permitted.
  9. All climbers will tie the rope directly into their harnesses with both a figure 8 follow-through and a fisherman’s knot.
  10. No one under the age of 14 will be allowed to climb unless accompanied by an adult who shall be responsible at all times for their safety and conduct.
  11. No one under the age of 15 may belay at Island Rock except in classes or lessons conducted by Island Rock.
  12. All climbers must inform Island Rock of any accidents or equipment damage and of any situation seen as unsafe or not in accordance with Island Rock’s safety policies/rules.
  13. Food is not allowed in the climbing area.
  14. No spectators in the climbing area. Climbers only.
  15. No climbing barefoot or with open-toed shoes.
  16. No pets allowed.
  17. Objectionable language is not permitted. We are a PG-13 facility.
  18. Island Rock is not responsible for lost or stolen property.
  19. Island Rock reserves the right to deny the use of its facility to anyone who fails to either comply with these safety policies or in any way compromises their own safety or the safety and enjoyment of others.

Bouldering Policies (Unroped Climbing)

Boulderers must take responsibility for not climbing beyond their ability, ensuring their own safety and the safety of others in the bouldering area. You are climbing at your own risk.

  1. The higher you boulder, the higher the risk – don’t climb beyond your comfort level.
  2. Falling on the seams of pads, in between pads or edges of pads increases injury risk.
  3. Traversing is allowed anywhere, but never more than 4 feet off the ground.
  4. Ensure no objects or people are beneath you or in your landing zone.
  5. Don’t walk underneath anyone bouldering.
  6. Topping out is never allowed.
  7. Climbers are responsible for appointing their own spotters.
  8. Climbers should always assess their comfort level in spotting another climber, or in being spotted. Island Rock staff will show anyone how to spot properly if asked.
  9. Anyone under the age of 14 must be under strict supervision while bouldering by a trained climber over the age of 15 and cannot climb without being spotted unless with one of our youth programs.
  10. Nobody under the age of 8 may boulder unless with one of our youth programs.