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New Meetup: Sportrock Alexandria 12/17

From: Sigmund
Sent on: Monday, December 14, 2009 11:08 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for The VA/MD/DC Rock Climbers Meetup Group!

What: Sportrock Alexandria 12/17

When: December 17,[masked]:30 PM

SportRock - Alexandria
5308 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304

Location: Tables next to check-in counters

Organizer: Sigmund

Normal day pass- $18**
Climbing shoes and harness rental- $6.50
**If you tell the staff you are with the Meetup group, they will usually discount the day pass price to the member-guest price of $14

Gym Info:
The gym is a short walk from the Van Dorn metro station. There is also sufficient parking; look for extra spaces around the back of the building if the spots near the entrance are full. Check for more details.

Bouldering and rope climbing are both available at Sportrock. Bouldering requires only shoes and a chalk bag and involves climbing up a 10-16 ft wall under the protection of crash pads and a spotter. Rope climbing requires that you tie into a harness with a rope and have another person belay you as you climb up a 25-43 ft wall. There are both top-roping and sport leading available at Sportrock.

If you have not been to the gym before, you will need to sign a waiver. No matter how long you have been climbing, you will still need to pass Sportrock's belay test to be allowed to tie-in yourself and belay other people. Top-rope belaying and sport lead belaying are two separate tests so be sure to specify the test you'd like to take.

Top-rope belay test requirements-
1. Proper dressing of harness
2. Tie-in with a Figure 8 knot and a Fisherman's backup knot
3. Belay and lower with any tubular belay device (ATC)

Lead belay test requirements-
1. Top-rope belay certified
2. Cleanly mock lead a 43 ft 5.9 route chosen by the Sportrock tester
3. No back-clipping, Z-clipping, and back-stepping during the climb
4. Lead belay and lower with any tubular (ATC) or auto-locking belay device (Gri-Gri)
5. Back-clipping, Z-clipping, and back-stepping must be called out to the climber during the belay

If you do not know how to belay and tie-in with the rope, find a belay-certified Meetup member with a pink or green certification card and have them tie you in and belay you. This Meetup group is quite generous, so you will most likely have people offering to belay you. If you want to learn how to tie your own knots and top-rope belay other people, you can take Sportrock's Basic Skills course. The course lasts for one hour and costs $25.

If you've never climbed before, I can show you some basic techniques. We have an encouraging group of people, so don't worry if you struggle at first or get nervous on the wall. Everyone has been in your shoes at some point.

Wear clothes that won't restrict your movement; think about something you would wear to yoga. This is indoor climbing, so the gym can get quite warm especially after your first climb. Avoid short shorts, because they tend to be uncomfortable with the harness. To prevent scraping your knees against the wall, I highly recommend longer shorts or pants that cover the knees. There is a water fountain next to the new 45 degree bouldering area, so having a water bottle around is handy but not necessary.

If you have any questions at all, just send me a message and I will be happy to help. Happy climbing!

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