Climb Team FAQ

Is climbing safe?

Although climbing is inherently dangerous, safety is the most important aspect of our Climb Team – we couldn’t run our program without it! We will always be safety conscious climbers, no exceptions. All team members receive a team-focused general orientation and–as new competencies are introduced–further activity-specific safety instruction. On team, we have a coaching ratio of 1 to 6, regular safety lessons as a part of practice, implement backup belayers, vigilant double checks, and watchful spotting. All coaches are certified by the Climbing Wall Association, the trade association for the indoor climbing industry, and have first aid, concussion, and AED training.

I am interested in Climb Team. Which team would be a good choice for me?

This depends on your age, interest level, and previous climbing experience. We have teams specifically for younger kids, a selection of novice level teams, a high school team, and a homeschool team – none of which require any experience at all. These teams focus heavily on introducing movement and technique concepts, safety, team building, and cultivating an interest in climbing as a sport. We also have intermediate level teams, for which you must try out. These teams start to focus on more advanced techniques, shift more toward training, and require the athletes to start getting a taste for competition climbing. Our advanced team is invitation only and is reserved for those committed to becoming some of the best young climbers in the country. It requires athletes to compete in bouldering and rope climbing up to at least the regional level, a USAC membership, and demands a high level of focus, commitment, and drive.

If you have no previous experience being on a climb team before, check out our Little Tikes, Novice, Homeschool, and High School options. If you have had previous experience climbing on a team, look into tryouts, or email us with further questions.

Can I register online?

Unfortunately online registration is not an option we offer at this time. However, you can find a link to our registration form at the bottom of any team page and we accept these forms in person, by mail, fax, or email. You may also call your gym to register over the phone.

When is the next team season?

Our team seasons are listed in tabs on the different team web pages and outline season dates, early bird registration deadlines, final registration deadlines, and dates for new team member orientation and tryouts. Our teams often fill up quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on the website for these deadlines!

Can I choose my practice days/times?

The days/times we offer practice for each team are listed on the individual team pages. While you may choose from the options offered, you may not practice with multiple teams or move between practice options mid-season. Also, when you try out for Intermediate Team, it is up to the coaches to decide on which team you will excel. It is also up to the coach to make the decision as to whether you are ready for Intermediate Team or best fit for another team. We will not guarantee that you will get your requested day, but please mark the box with your practice preference for our records.

What is included in a Climb Team session?

Climb Team is a 10 week commitment which includes (depending on which team with which you practice) 10-30 practices led by coaches, unlimited access to the facility for the 10 weeks that line up with your team season; so you have countless opportunities to climb when you are on team. Also, the days on which you practice, your immediate family can climb at the gym for half price (including a free harness rental). You will receive a team shirt when you join team for the first time, as well at 15% off the gear in our pro shop. In addition to these discounts, you will receive exceptionally discounted pricing on certain gear from climbing brands with which we partner, private lessons, and outdoor climbing experiences only offered to climb team athletes. We also offer Climb-Team-exclusive events, outdoor climbing opportunities, and potlucks.

How can I advance to the Intermediate/Advanced teams?

Climbing outside of your practice times is an unofficial must to advance. Intermediate Team requires a positive attitude, a strong work ethic, a good foundation of technique and endurance, and definitely a fierce try hard face! Our intermediate teams start leaving behind games and activities and start learning advanced forms of climbing, train twice a week, go outside to climb, and are required to compete. So put in some extra time dedicated to your climbing. Lastly, the best way is to find out what you need to excel is to ask your coaches, who work with you week to week and can identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Where can I find information on competitions?

USA Climbing is the National Governing Body of competition climbing in the United States and promotes sport climbing, speed climbing, and bouldering. When we start training athletes for competitions, they are training for events found in the USAC competition series. You can find all information about USA Climbing, as well as competitions sanctioned by that organization, on their website http://www.usaclimbing.org/. Additionally, there are local comps hosted by Vertical Endeavors. These you can find on the VE website.

Does the team only practice indoors?

Nope! In the summer season, we take kids outside to climb! We believe it is important to expose young climbers to the world of real rock climbing. Pulling on plastic can only replicate the experience of true rock climbing so well. So we offer our team athletes the opportunity to climb outside at our local crags.

In addition to these days, we have several opportunities when the weather gets warmer to engage in outdoor leadership and outdoor climbing! The Vertical Endeavors Climb Team has a proud history of participating in Adopt-A-Crag events, put on by the Minnesota Climbers Association. It allows youth to participate in environmental stewardship, team building, and climbing all in one afternoon!

What if I want more personalized instruction?

Great question! As a Climb Team athlete, you get to take advantage of our private coaching opportunities at a discounted rate! These private lessons provide an individualized atmosphere on which to work on your climbing skills. They can be customized to accommodate a wide array of skill levels and subject matter. It’s a great way to get stronger before tryouts, work on a skill set with which you struggle, or supplement your training for upcoming competitions.

How can parents get more involved?

We love it when parents take in interest in climbing alongside their children. You can get more involved by learning how to belay, lead climb/belay, taking a movement and technique clinic, or taking private lessons yourself! And remember, all of our lessons are available to parents at member pricing! We also encourage parents to climb with one another. Our Facebook Groups (specific to each location) are a great way to get in touch with other team parents. Also, we have an Adult Climb League at each location that you are welcome to check out. Getting involved in local climbing and volunteering events are great ways to get plugged into the climbing community as well.

What happens if I need to miss a practice or am running late?

Punctuality is key for practice to run smoothly. To reduce the risk of injury on team, climbers need adequate time to warm up before they start working on harder things. We are flexible with you missing a practice or two, as long as you communicate ahead of time about the absences.

What do coaches expect from climb team participants?

We expect all members of our Climb Team program to be respectful young adults. We expect them to adhere to all facility rules and direction of coaches and staff members. All new Climb Team members and their parents will sign a behavioral contract when they join our program. As a member of any team you will be expected to respect yourself, others, your gear, and your environment.

In turn, athletes may expect the following from coaches: The enthusiasm to make you a better climber, the patience to work with you to manage your fears and weaknesses, and the respect that offers a comfortable learning environment.

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