Gym Safety & First Timers FAQ

What is good gym etiquette?

Climbers should not stand or sit on the black pads unless chalked-up and 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 route whenever possible. Save your knees! Avoiding jumping off routes makes the gym a safer place by helping prevent injury to you and/or climbers around you. If you must jump, please check underneath you to make sure no one is in your falling zone. While jumping (or falling) off a route, never brace yourself with your arms. Landing on an outstretched hand or arm can lead to an injury. As you’re falling, try to hug your arms into your chest.

What do the colored dots at the beginning of each route mean?

The Front uses a dot system to mark the difficulty level of route. Yellow is the easiest, blue is intermediate, green 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. Yellow is typically 5.8 or 5.9, blue is 5.10, green is 5.11, red is 5.12, and black is 5.13+.


Other gyms use tape to mark their routes, but you guys don't... How do I know which route to follow?

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.

What's the difference between bouldering and rope climbing?

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 16 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 sporting 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.

Am I required to use an Assisted Braking Device to lead belay?

Yes! The sport of climbing is becoming increasingly accessible, and safety indoors and out is more important than ever. To help keep climbers safe, gyms worldwide are adopting the mandatory use of Assisted Braking Devices (ABD's). ABD's help the belayer to stop the climber's fall, feed rope smoothly and make it easier to lower the climber in a controlled manner. An example of an ABD is Petzl's GriGri. If you'd like to learn more about ABD's, watch this YouTube video that covers All the Belay Devices Coming in 2017.

It is the goal of The Front to maintain or exceed the standards set by our industry. With this in mind, starting November 25th, 2017 ABD's will be mandatory for all lead belaying. 

Do I need to be certified to use the rope climbing walls?

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. The top-rope test is $4. The lead climb/belay test is $9. Belay tests are free for members!

If you pass the tests, you are required to wear your certification tags on your harness 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.

I don't own climbing equipment. Can I rent some?

Yes! We allow members and guests to rent climbing shoes, ropes, belay devices, and harnesses. View day pass and gear rental rates here.

Do I have to sign a waiver?

Yes. Every person that enters The Front must have a current waiver on file. If you are under the age of 18 years old, a parent or guardian must fill out the waiver for you. Save time and fill out the waiver online.

Membership FAQ

What type of gym memberships do you offer?

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.

What is included in a membership?

A membership at The Front includes unlimited access to rope climbing, bouldering, yoga classes, saunas, 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 retail purchases over $15. To learn more visit the Membership Rates & Perks page.

Can I freeze my monthly auto pay membership?

Yes! If you're not going be able to make it into the gym for a while, you may freeze your membership for $8 (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.

Can I cancel my monthly auto pay membership?

Yes, all cancellation requests require a 30-day notice and take place on our billing cycle, which is the 10th of each month. Learn more or submit a cancel request on the Change Membership page.

Retail FAQ

Does your gear shop price match?

Yes! In order to price match an item from another retailer, the item must be the same make, model, year, size and color.

How do I receive my 10% back on my retail purchases?

The 10% back you receive from all 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.

What's your return policy?

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).

What type of gear do you carry in your retail shop?

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 have yoga mats and apparel for everyday life, climbing, and yoga. Visit the Gear Shop page to learn more and see what brands we carry.