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Climbing Wall

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climbing wall


The Sarkeys Fitness Center Climbing Wall is open to both experienced and beginner climbers. The wall is just under 20 feet high and contains over 450 square feet of climbing space for bouldering and top-roping. Use of the Climbing Wall is free for members and guests of the Sarkeys Fitness Center, but is only allowed during specific hours of operation. A campus board, finger board, and rock rings are also available for use during regular Sarkeys Fitness Center operational hours.

For climbing wall hours, go the Hours + Schedules page.

Getting Started

student on climbing wall

The Climbing Wall is staffed by Climbing Wall Attendants who are knowledgeable about the sport. Beginners are encouraged to seek the assistance of the Climbing Wall Attendants for instruction before climbing. No certifications are required to boulder (climbing without rope) or top-rope (climbing with a rope that runs from your harness to the top of the wall and back down to the belayer).

Climbers should wear comfortable clothing and closed heel/toe shoes. Climbing shoes are available to rent at the front desk for a nominal fee.

Climbing Instruction

student on climbing wall

Belay training and certification tests are offered continuously throughout the year. Becoming belay certified allows individuals to top-rope and belay without the direct assistance of a Climbing Wall Attendant.

To “belay” for a climber involves holding the climber’s rope, taking up extra slack, “locking off” or braking (if the climber falls) and lowering the climber to the ground in a slow and controlled manner. Belay training includes instruction on harness fit, knots, belay technique using an ATC and standard climbing calls between climber and belayer.

Individuals who wish to be belay trained should ask a Climbing Wall Attendant for assistance. Depending on usage, Climbing Wall Attendants may not be able to assist with belay training during peak hours. Belay certification tests must be given at least 48 hours following training to ensure that each individual retains the information received during training. Individuals seeking belay training or certification must bring a partner to the training and testing.

Experienced climbers may choose to forgo training and move directly to the certification test. Belay certifications are valid for the current academic year (August through July) and climbers must re-certify each Fall semester.

Safety Policies


The following Policies must be followed at all time at the Sarkeys Fitness Center Climbing Wall:

  • All members inside the Climbing Wall area agree to abide by the Safety Policies.
  • Climbing is only permissible with supervision of a Climbing Wall Attendant and during posted hours.
  • Any climber or belayer whose behavior calls into question his/her ability to climb/belay safely will be asked to stop climbing immediately.
  • Climbers will be allowed back on the wall at the discretion of the Climbing Wall Attendant.
  • All climbers who wish to belay must pass the Belay Test. Belayers must present his/her valid Sooner Card ID at the request of a Climbing Wall Attendant each time he/she wishes to belay or climb without the assistance of an Attendant.
  • Climbers must tie in using a figure-8 follow through passing directly through the belay loop or directly through the waist and leg loops of the harness.
  • Climbers must have on footwear on while climbing and are not allowed to climb barefoot. Climbers are allowed to use personal climbing gear. This includes UIAA approved harnesses, climbing shoes and chalk bags. All personal gear must be inspected and approved by Climbing Wall Staff. Belay devices and locking carabiners will be provided.
  • All top rope climbers must demonstrate a basic understanding of climbing safety and calls to the Climbing Wall Attendant before climbing.
  • Equipment damage and damages should be reported to staff immediately.
  • Only Climbing Wall Staff are authorized to adjust, move or remove holds. • All belayers must utilize the belay technique approved by Fitness and Recreation.
  • All belayers must anchor to the floor using the provided floor anchors.
  • Fitness and Recreation recommends that a crash pad be used while bouldering. A crash pad is available upon request.
  • Bouldering may not exceed one move past the marked white line.
  • Only two top rope climbers may be on the wall at the same time.
  • Rappelling is not allowed at the Climbing Wall.
  • All open/discharging wounds must be securely covered prior to climbing.
  • Horse play of any kind will not be tolerated.
  • Willful disregard of safety policies may result in revocation of climbing, bouldering or belaying privileges.
  • Climb with caution and at your own risk.



Harnesses, carabiners, belay devices and rope are all provided free of charge. Climbing shoes are available to rent at the front desk for a nominal fee.

Climbers are allowed to use personal climbing gear, including UIAA approved harnesses, climbing shoes and chalk bags. All personal gear must be inspected and approved by the Climbing Wall Staff. Belay devices and locking carabiners will be provided.

Climbing Events

Next Climbing Competition - TBD

Female climber