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Gym Safety & first Visit FAQ
Climbers should not stand or sit on the black pads unless ready to climb. If you just tried a route, you should step back off the pads and let someone else have a turn on the wall before climbing again. This system increases safety, gives everyone a chance to climb and encourages mutual awareness among climbers.
Look at an entire problem before getting on the wall. This ensures the route doesn’t intersect with another climber’s route and helps to avoid running into someone already on the wall.
When on the wall, stay at least an arm’s length away from others and outside of their fall zones. Again, this is helped by looking at the routes other climbers are on before getting on the wall. Problems overlap and one problem may end directly above where another begins. Stay out of the fall zone!
Down climb a boulder problem, when possible. Every fall is a ground fall, so reduce the potential impacts by downclimbing rather than jumping off, when possible. If you do jump, please check underneath you to make sure no one is in your fall zone. There is no way to guarantee a safe fall while bouldering, but techniques have been developed over the years that may mitigate some injury risks. Attempt to fall in a controlled manner and use the following general falling guidelines:
– Spot your landing before releasing to ensure it is clear and there is enough landing space.
– Stay relaxed and attempt to absorb the landing while bent knees rolling to your butt, back or side if needed.
– Avoid extending your arms to catch your fall.
If you’d like to learn more about bouldering, ask our front desk staff about taking a class.
Do not climb barefooted.
Do not wear climbing shoes into the bathroom.
Minimize chalk usage by shaking excess chalk in the chalkbag, not blowing it into the air, or better yet give liquid chalk a try!
In the route climbing area, place water bottles and other personal items next to wall, not in the middle of the floor.
The Front uses a dot system to mark the difficulty level of a route. Yellow is the easiest, blue is intermediate, green is experienced, pink is advanced, red is expert, and black is hard… yoda hard. The dots are placed at the beginning of each route and often indicate the starting hold.
Pictured on the left is how the dot system corresponds to bouldering grades (V0 to V9+). This system is also used for the rope climbing walls but will be displayed with sport climbing grades such as 5.8 – 5.13+.
The Front only uses tape to mark route starting hold(s). Once you choose a route to climb, follow the color of the starting hold(s) to the top of the climb. Using all of the same color holds to mark a route makes it easier to follow and is more environmentally friendly than taping underneath every single hold.
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that only requires a crash pad (something to fall on), climbing shoes and chalk. Outdoors, bouldering takes place on large boulders, typically around 20 ft or less (although some can be much larger). Our bouldering walls are about 17 ft tall and we have state-of-the-art crash pads in the bouldering areas.
There are different variations of rope climbing. At The Front, we offer sport climbing routes that you can either top-rope or lead climb. In order to top-rope in our gym, you will need a harness, belay device, climbing shoes and chalk. To lead climb in our gym, you need all the items listed in the previous sentence, plus quickdraws and a rope. If you’d like to learn how to climb on ropes, visit our climbing classes page for more information.
Yes! We believe assisted braking devices (ABDs) are an important step forward in the evolution of climbing gear. ABD’s provide an extra function to the belay device, that if used properly can help reduce the chances of a belay failure. (An example of an ABD is Petzl’s GriGri.)
Yes! If you are top-roping, you must pass our top-rope belay test. If you would like to lead climb, you must pass our lead climb and lead belay test. Top-rope tests and auto belay orientations/tests are free. The lead climb/belay test is $5 for guests and free for members.
If you pass the tests, you are required to wear our harness tags when in the rope climbing area.
If you don’t know how to belay or lead climb or if you haven’t done it in a while, don’t worry! We offer top-rope orientation classes and lead classes. Learn more about climbing classes here.
Yes! We allow members and guests to rent climbing shoes, ropes, belay devices and harnesses. View day pass and gear rental rates here.
The Front offers monthly auto pay memberships and month pre-paid memberships. With either option, you may choose to purchase an individual, couple or family membership. A break down of prices are listed on the Membership Rates & Perks page.
A membership at The Front includes unlimited access to rope climbing, bouldering, yoga classes, group fitness classes, showers and our fully stocked gym. Your first top rope class (if you need one) and your belay tests are free. Members also receive 10% back on all non-discounted retail purchases over $15. To learn more visit the Membership Rates & Perks page.
Yes! If you’re not going be able to make it into the gym for a while, you may freeze your membership for $12 (plus taxes) a month. You can freeze up to a maximum of 3 months, twice a year non-consecutively. If you’d like to learn more and/or freeze your account, visit the Change Membership page.
Yes! In order to price match an item from another retailer, the item must be the same make, model, year, size and color.
The 10% back you receive from all non-discounted retail purchases over $15 shows up as a credit on your account. The credit will be applied to your next retail purchase. However, if you don’t use the credit, it will be applied to your membership costs on the following billing cycle, which is always the 10th of each month.
Return items must have been purchased within 15 days, be accompanied by the original receipt and/or be verified in our software system, Rock Gym Pro. Any items that qualify for a return must be in new, unused condition and in original packaging.
There are no cash refunds for any items discounted more than 25%. However, we can do an exchange for a product in stock.
There are NO RETURNS on technical climbing equipment. This includes harnesses, hardware, ropes, helmets and/or any type of life dependent climbing equipment. This is for the safety of the customer. Climbing shoes may not be returned if they have ever been climbed in (either outside or inside).
The Front is your definitive source for all things climbing! We carry trad, ice climbing, sporting climbing and bouldering gear including things like ropes, climbing shoes, crash pads, harnesses and more. We also carry apparel for everyday life, climbing and yoga. Visit the Gear Shop page to learn more and see what brands we carry.