Climbing Teams

Vertical Endeavors Climb Team Program

It is with an adventurous spirit that we challenge and encourage your child to come into their own as an independent, responsible, strong and respectful climber. As part of the Climb Team, your child will be privileged to participate in activities that most children their age would not have an opportunity to experience. Our goal is to create better climbers socially, mentally and physically.

We believe that children learn best by climbing with other children who are dealing with similar challenges, both on the wall and in their daily lives. Climb Team is a place where young climbers work hard and practice their art. We are a team because no climber can do this alone.

Which team is right for you?

Little Tikes   Ages: 6–7
Little Tikes is for the youngest aspiring climbers who want to learn the basics in a team setting and have fun. This program is focused on the fundamentals, to introduce your child to the fast-growing sport of rock climbing. During practices, coaches focus the energy of the group into exciting climbing activities, while building appreciation for teamwork. Little Tikes is offered in a 10-week session.

Novice   Ages: 8–17
Novice Team is designed to build a foundation of rock climbing skills for youth. It is for both beginners and returning team members. We’ll teach how to belay and work on conquering projects throughout the session. Team members will learn trust, responsibility and perseverance through games, lessons, team building and workouts. There will be instruction for beginner to experienced climbers.

There will be a mandatory new team member orientation ($20) for those new to Climb Team.

Intermediate   Ages: 11–17
Intermediate Team is for those ready to take their climbing skills to the next level. Two days of practice a week are required and we encourage a third day of individual climbing. Climbers must be ready to spend considerable time sport lead climbing (rather than top roping) and bouldering, along with climbing related core workouts. Coaches strongly encourage these committed climbers to participate in competitions and look to a future with the Advanced Team.

There will be a mandatory team tryout ($20) for those new to Intermediate Team.

Advanced   Ages: 11–17
Advanced Team is only for those committed to becoming some of the best young climbers in the country. It is lead climbing and advanced bouldering intensive. Climbers must become USA Climbing Members, climb at least three days a week and must commit to participating in climbing competitions.

Contact your head coach at if you are interested in joining this team.

Follow the links above for more information about each team.

Still not sure what to sign up for? Email the coaches at

If you sign up for our program we expect you to be here for practice, simple as that. We are aware that young people have many important things going on in their life. Therefore, we are flexible with you missing a practice or two, as long as you communicate ahead of time about the absences.

Safety is the most important! We shall always be safety conscious climbers, no exceptions.

We are respectful coaches and expect the same in return. You must respect your coaches, your teammates and yourself.

All teams (except Little Tykes) learn how to belay. Belaying occurs when a belayer is holding one end of the rope with a belay tool while the climber climbs up the wall on the other end of the rope. The rope runs through a set of anchors (attached to the ceiling or to the rock) at the top of the climb. Anytime the climber falls or needs to stop and rest, the belayer holds them in place or lowers them when they are finished with the climb.

Climbing is not only about strength. Although strength helps build confidence, the strongest climber may lack the proper technique like footwork and mental focus. We stress disciplined technique in this program and hold climbers accountable. This is done through various footwork drills and repetition of certain routes. Whether your climber is new to team or a seasoned veteran, we require everyone to be on the same page in terms of technique. The basic foundation of technique is the same for the 5.5 climber as it is for the 5.12 climber. This is why we strive for all of our climbers to understand the fundamentals.

Project Routes
We often have teamers work certain challenging routes that become their “project”. Many times teamers will work a project together, deciphering specific moves while encouraging each other until finally climbing the route successfully. Through project work, climbers learn the specific rhythm and movement of climbing. One must attune their body to the route in order to complete it. At first, a project may not seem possible, but with time and effort the perceptions change and we achieve something great!

Core Workouts
Team ends the evening with a brisk core workout. Core strength (the balanced development of the deep and superficial muscles that stabilize, align and move the trunk of the body, especially the abdominals and muscles of the back) is absolutely vital to a healthy climber. Our focus is proper technique. If a teamer is falling behind in the workout and their technique is suffering, we encourage them to do fewer repetitions with improved technique and posture. Core can be challenging but it can also be one of the higher energy parts of practice.

Our coaches have years of climbing experience and spend considerable time learning ways to connect with young climbers. They provide the type of outstanding leadership that will help your young climber grow in healthy and sustainable ways. They don’t just coach climbing, they live it. Constantly improving their climbing skills and knowledge, our coaches are able to infuse current practices and knowledge to a young and eager mind.

Glendale Heights Head Coach
John Cartozian

If you would like to know more about Climb Team, contact our coaches at

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