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Recreational Services

Recreational Services
Kansas State University
101 Peters Rec Complex
1831 Olympic Drive
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-6980
recservices@k-state.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs to fill out a waiver?

Everyone! Whether you are going to climb on either the wall or the boulder and no matter your age or affiliation, you are required to complete the waiver. Youth age 17 & below are required to have a parent/guardian signature. Waivers can be obtained at the Climbing Wall Desk or the south entrance desk. A completed waiver and orientation are what composes your “Bouldering Membership” and allows you to be entered into our system as eligible to climb.


Do I need to have climbing experience before I come to take the climbing class?

No! The purpose of the Orientation & Belay Certification Class is to teach you the basic knowledge you need to get started.


What is taught in the Orientation & Belay Certification Class?

Check here for class descriptions.


Do you have a skills check to be able to skip the Orientation & Belay class if I am an experienced climber and know how to belay and tie a Figure 8 Follow Through knot?

Yes. A top rope skill check is available during open wall hours. A lead climbing skill check is also available, but you must bring a lead climbing partner if you want to do a lead climbing skills check.


How old do I have to be to climb, or to belay?

Children must be age 5 and up to be allowed to climb on the wall or boulder as long as they can fit into a harness. A person must be 16 years of age to be able to belay at the climbing wall.


When can youth climb?
  • Youth age 16 & up can climb and belay at any time provided they have been certified.
  • Youth age 14-15 can climb at any time with direct adult supervision per completion of waiver and orientation. (Per guest policies if applicable).
  • Youth age 5-13 can only climb during designated family climbing hours, provided they have completed the waiver and have direct adult supervision. (per guest policies, if applicable)

If I am not a member of the Rec or a K-State student, may I use the climbing wall?

Yes. You can purchase a Guest Pass for $5/day to enter the building. Upon completion of the waiver and Orientation & Belay Class, you will receive a climbing wall pass card that will allow you access to the climbing wall for future visits as a guest. This card will need to be kept and presented at future visits in order to gain access again. Please note that as a guest you must follow all guest policies, including having someone to sponsor you as a guest. Youth age 5-15 and under will need direct adult supervision.


Can I bring a group to the wall to climb?

Yes, we do offer group rentals. Typical rentals happen on the weekends during times when the wall is closed.


Can I bring my own climbing gear?

You may use your own gear at the discretion of the wall staff. It must be used per the manufacturer’s instructions and must be approved by the UIAA or CE for climbing.


What should I wear?

Athletic and active clothing is recommended. Keep in mind you will be wearing a snug fitting harness around your mid-section. The harness may be uncomfortable if you are wearing short shorts.


Why do you require the PBUS belay technique?

The PBUS (stands for Pull, Break, Under, Slide) technique is the belaying technique endorsed by both the AMGA and the PCIA and has been proven to be the safest belay method due to its constant movement into the break position. We want to teach and use the safest techniques in our facility and having everyone belaying the same way makes it easier for our staff to supervise the facility and identify when mistakes are being made or unsafe practices are being done.  


Why do you require the Figure 8 Follow Through knot?

The Figure 8 Follow Through is the most common knot used in climbing for tying into your harness. It has been determined through scientific testing to be an extremely strong knot. It is easy to tie, easy to teach, easy to learn, and easy to identify. Having consistent knots in our facility enables our staff to be able to easier identify them, thus hopefully enabling mistakes to be caught more effectively. 


Why do you not teach or require a stopper (back up) knot?

The Figure 8 Follow Through does not require a back up knot when properly tied. The knot tightens on itself. Backup, or stopper, knots were developed from knots that were used more commonly in the past like the Bowline knot. Back up knots are absolutely necessary on a Bowline knot. As the Figure 8 Follow Through started to be used, people assumed that a back up knot should be used with it too, but it has been proven that it is unnecessary. That being said, if you feel more comfortable using one by all means feel free!