Climbing Wall Policies & Waiver

Anyone wishing to use the climbing/bouldering walls must read the Policies and sign the Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk Form. A parent or legal guardian of a minor child (under 18 years) must sign on their behalf.


The following policies have been established by the University of Cincinnati Campus Recreation Office to ensure the fair and consistent treatment of all participants. Campus Recreation reserves the right to suspend the privileges of any individual who fails to comply with staff directives.

Please Note: this is a summary and not necessarily comprehensive.

  • All Campus Recreation general policies must be observed.
  • Campus Recreation climbing staff must be present in order for members to climb or be in the climbing area.
  • All participants must read and understand the climbing rules. All participants are required to sign a policies and waiver form before being allowed to climb.
  • The following dress code is strictly enforced:
    • Helmets are required for all individuals under 18 years of age.
    • All climbers must wear a shirt while climbing/bouldering.
    • Climbers must wear clean athletic shoes, running shoes or climbing shoes. Boots, sandals, hard-soled shoes or bare feet are not permitted.
    • All hand jewelry or long necklaces must be removed. Hair must be tied back when necessary.
    • The following personal climbing gear is permitted: harness, climbing shoes, helmet, and chalk bag (no loose chalk). Campus Recreation is not responsible for checking personal climbing gear before use.
    • All pockets must be free of items (e.g., coins, keys, knives, cell phones, etc.).
  • Climbers must be at least 5 years of age and able to fit into a child harness. Please note: Minors (Climbers 17 years of age and younger) must have a parent’s or legal guardian’s signature on all forms. Climbers 13 years of age and younger must have adult supervision at all times.
  • Climbers must be at least 15 years of age to take a belay clinic. The cost of the clinic is $30.00. ***Individuals are not eligible to take a belay clinic or belay at the wall if there is a history of epilepsy or any other condition that could alter level of consciousness. Please ask the climbing staff if you are unsure if you fit into this category.
  • The following are prohibited in the climbing wall area:
    • Swinging or jumping on ropes.
    • Climbing into a position where you will be eye level or higher with top anchors.
    • Grabbing bolt hangers. Bolt hangers are for carabiner attachment only.
    • Food or beverage, with the exception of water in a non-breakable bottle with a lid.
    • Leaving personal belongings in the climbing wall area. Personal belongings must be kept in lockers.
    • Excessive noise. Noise must be controlled for proper safety communication.
    • Stepping on ropes and dropping/tossing carabiners or belay devices.
  • Belaying Policies:
    • Belayers must lower climbers in a smooth and controlled manner.
    • Belay from standing positions only.
    • Talk with other climbers and try to belay for each other. Climbing staff will belay when they can, but the main responsibility for climbing staff is safety and supervision of the climbing wall.
  • If climbers are experienced and have training from somewhere else, the normal belay clinic and subsequent test can be waived depending upon the type and quality of experience climbers have. Climbers may be eligible to take an advanced test; talk with a staff member if interested in the advanced test.
  • Belay tests are dependent on staff availability, but are usually offered during normal climbing hours at a cost of $15.00.
  • A follow through figure-eight knot is required to tie in a climber.
  • Campus Recreation requests that participants do not step under or over an active belay.
  • Please report any unsafe wall conditions to Campus Recreation climbing staff immediately.
  • Immediately report any injury to Campus Recreation climbing staff.
  • The numbers of climbers at any one time may be limited to ensure proper supervision. Climbing wall staff may limit individual wall time if climbers are waiting.
  • The Campus Recreation climbing staff reserves the right to refuse wall access for the following reasons including, but not limited to:
    • Individuals attempting to climb dangerously.
    • Individuals suspected of recent alcohol or other drug use.
    • Individuals who attempt to climb with unsafe or unacceptable climbing gear.
  • To boulder, all climbing wall policies must be followed with the exception of the ability to belay. The following policies are specific to the use of the bouldering area.
    • Campus Recreation highly recommends the use of spotters while bouldering. It is encouraged to ask the Campus Recreation staff about proper spotting techniques.
    • The climber may not boulder above or below any other climbers.
    • Only the Campus Recreation climbing staff may switch holds if/when necessary.
    • Be safe, be creative, have fun!

Warning: Indoor climbing does not adequately prepare anyone for the greater hazards one may meet when climbing outdoors. Climbing outdoors requires additional skills.

Climbing Wall Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk

University of Cincinnati, Campus Recreation Department

Assumption of Risk:

I hereby acknowledge and agree that climbing walls have inherent risks, which includes serious physical injury. As a spectator of or as participant at the University of Cincinnati (UC) Campus Recreation Center (CRC) climbing wall, I accept and assume those inherent risks for myself or my minor child listed below, which risks include, but are not limited to:

  1. Falls from the Climbing walls that result in bodily impact against the wall or the ground;
  2. Injuries to individuals observing the climbing wall that result from others slipping, tripping, or falling from the wall;
  3. Injuries resulting from slipping, tripping or falling from the wall;
  4. Injuries resulting from being dropped to the ground during belaying or lowering; and
  5. Injuries associated with failure of equipment including, but not limited to ropes, slings, harnesses, climbing hardware, anchor points, or any other part of the Climbing Wall structure.

Release of All Claims and Covenant Not to Sue:

In consideration of my use or my minor child’s use of the UC CRC Climbing Wall, I on
behalf of myself, my heirs, representatives, executers, administrators and assignees HEREBY DO RELEASE the State of Ohio, University ofCincinnati, Department of Campus Recreation, and their respective board members, officers, employees, agents, representatives and volunteers from any and all liability, claims, damages, costs, expenses, injuries, illnesses, or demands of any nature whatsoever, which I, my heirs, representatives, executors and assignees may now have, or have in the future against all of the aforementioned parties on account of personal injury, property damage, death or accident of any kind, including negligence, arising out of or in any way related to my or my
minor child’s use of the Climbing Wall.

In consideration of my use or my minor child’s use of the Climbing Wall I, the undersigned user, agree to INDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS the State of Ohio, University of Cincinnati, Department of Campus Recreation, and their respective board members, officers, employees, agents, representatives, and volunteers from any and all causes of action, claims, demands, losses, or costs of any naturewhatsoever arising out of or in any way relating to my use or my minor child’s use of the Climbing Wall.

I have full knowledge of the nature and extent of the risks inherent in the use of the Climbing Wall and that I am voluntarily assuming these risks for either myself or my minor child. I understand that I will be solely responsible for any loss or damage, including death, I sustain or sustained by my minor child while using the Climbing Wall and that by signing this agreement I am relieving all of the aforementioned parties of any and all liability for such loss, damage, or death. I further certify that I or my minor child am/is in good health, that I or my minor child have/has no physical limitations that would preclude my/his/her safe use of the Climbing Wall and that I will consult a physician prior to participating in this activity if I or my minor child do/does not routinely participate in strenuous physical activity. I further certify that I will wear proper protective equipment and ensure that my minor child does as well, and that if I choose to use my own climbing equipment, I am assume the risk for its use as well.

Receipt of Policy

I further certify that a copy of the CRC Climbing policies has been made available to me, that I have read the policies, and I agree to abide by all policies and rules of the sport, facility, and/or class as mandated by the Campus Recreation Department.

Helmet Waiver

Helmets are required for all individuals under 18 years of age. As an adult who chooses to waive my use of a UIAA approved helmet, I acknowledge and agree that wearing a UIAA approved helmet may help prevent head injuries and I acknowledge and I am aware of the risks associated with not wearing a helmet. I understand that UIAA approved helmets are available to me upon request at no cost. By not wearing a safety helmet, I am refusing this critical safety precaution, against the advice of the CRC Climbing Wall and the University of Cincinnati, and hereby waive and release UC, its officers, directors, employees and agents from any and all liability associated with my voluntary refusal to wear a safety helmet. (Initial required on form if refusing use of helmet.)

Acknowledgment of Understanding

By signing this form for either myself or my minor child, I am stating that I have read this Agreement, fully understand its terms and understand that it affects my legal rights and how it affects those legal rights. I am signing this Agreement knowingly and voluntarily, and intend for it to be a complete and unconditional release of liability to the greatest extent of the law.