What to expect

on your first visit to Vertical Ventures St. Pete

Filling out waivers before entering the gym.

Waivers

All visitors to Vertical Ventures need to complete one of our waivers. This can be done online or in the gym. Any minors will need to have their parents complete and sign the waiver for them. Unaccompanied minors will also need a copy of their parents drivers license. Fill out a waiver now.

Types of Climbing

Top Rope

This is the most common form of climbing in gyms. In top rope climbing, there are 2 people involved - the climber and the belayer. As the climber ascends the wall, it is the belayers job to control the pre-hung safety rope so that when (not if) the climber falls, they don't actually fall, they just rest in their harness. The belayer is able to control the rope by using a belay device. This device applies friction and mechanical advantage to the rope allowing the belayer to arrest the climbers fall. Proper training is needed to safely use a belay device. One must be 13 or older to belay at Vertical Ventures.

Autobelay

Similar to top roping, the autobelays allow one to climb up higher walls, but without needing an additional person to belay. Instead of the climber relying on a belayer to catch their fall, they rely on the autobelay machine to slowly lower them back to the ground after a fall. VV St Pete has 6 autobelay stations. Autobelays are a great option for parents with kids too young to belay.

Bouldering

In bouldering, the climber ascends or traverses (climbs sideways) on terrain up to 14' high, without a rope. Though not as tall as top rope and autobelay climbing, bouldering, by its nature, can be more difficult and dangerous. Being unroped means that every time a climber falls, they impact the ground. VV St Pete has 13" thick professionally designed flooring to help minimize impact forces. We offer bouldering for all ability levels, though the climbing tends to be steep and gymnastic. There is no age limit for bouldering, but all climbers under 13 must be supervised.

Lead Climbing

Lead climbing is a more advanced form of roped climbing that requires intensive training and practice, and is not done by novice climbers. Unlike top roping, lead climbing does not employ the use of pre-hung ropes, and exposes the climber to actual falls. The climber (leader) will tow a rope that they are tied into up the wall while climbing. As the leader climbs, they will stop at regular intervals to clip the rope through various protection points (quickdraws), thereby maintaining a belay system as they ascend the wall. It is important to note that when the leader falls they will fall approximately TWICE the distance between them and their last protection point.