browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Climbing

Climbing Program Information

Upper-school Climbing Program Format

The Voyageur Rock Climbing Program requires no previous rock climbing experience and introduces students to rock climbing as a “life-time” sport. The Voyageur Program follows a curriculum progression emphasizing a strong working understanding of hazard recognition, climbing skills, teamwork, environmental awareness and stewardship, care and use of climbing equipment, enjoyment of climbing movement, fitness, and fun. Advanced students enrolled in the rock climbing program are strongly supported in taking responsible leadership roles throughout their time with the Voyageur Program.

During the Fall and Spring quarters, the focus is on bouldering and top-rope climbing both indoor (artificial wall) and outdoor (real rock). The two Winter quarters focus on indoor/gym competitive climbing. The first Winter quarter is offered as an introduction to indoor/gym climbing and as training time for the second Winter quarter’s Climbing League meets. All of these climbing offerings meet the seasonal sports curriculum requirements and allow a student the opportunity to earn Junior Varsity and Varsity credit. The current climbing course offerings are as follows:

Voyageur Upper-school Climbing Course Offerings

Climbing Course Offerings

Fall Sports Season – 1st QTR

Indoor and Outdoor Climbing (intro – advanced)

Winter 1 Sports Season – 2nd QTR

Voyageur Climbing Team (Varsity/JV/Devel.)

Winter 2 Sports Season – 3rd QTR

Voyageur Climbing Team (Varsity/JV/Devel.)

Spring Sports Season (4th QTR)

Indoor and Outdoor Climbing (intro – advanced)

Course Requirements

Safety Requirements:

In the Voyageur Climbing Program students will be put in a position where the security and well being of their climbing partner will depend on their ability to perform critical tasks in a safe and controlled manner. Therefore, in order to participate in the program, students must not only meet all safety expectations set by the instructors but also develop an understanding of the significance of these expectations and the magnitude of their consequences.

Grade / Evaluation Requirements:

All climbing students must maintain an up-to-date and accurate climbing log throughout the sports season. Most of the climbing done after a student passes the tie-in/belay test is goal oriented and is self directed with input from coaches and peers. Instructors use a student’s climbing log to track progress and help set individual goal-specific training programs.

Sports Credit, JV, and Varsity Credit

Junior Varsity Credit -

During the fall and spring sports seasons, all climbers are eligible to earn JV credit by completing the “petition for JV credit form”.

During the winter competitive climbing season, all climbers are eligible to earn JV credit by posting a score in at least one meet that counts toward the JV team score and competing in at least half of the regular season meets that year.

Varsity Credit -

During the fall and spring sports seasons, all climbers are eligible to earn Varsity credit by completing the “petition for Varsity credit form”.

During the winter competitive climbing season, all climbers are eligible to earn Varsity credit by posting a score in at least one meet that counts toward the Varsity team score and competing in at least half of the regular season meets that year.

Returning Climbers – Returning climbers are not automatically awarded JV or Varsity credit from a previous season. Any climber interested in earning JV or Varsity credit must meet the the above requirements during each sports season they wish to get JV or Varsity credit. All climbers may earn only one sports letter (either JV or Varsity) per season.

Class Meeting Times and Locations

The Voyageur program takes advantage of several locations for it’s climbing program including:

  • the Voyageur climbing tower in the NCS Athletics Center
  • the Gregory courtyard at St. Albans.
  • Carderock Park in Maryland
  • Great Falls Park in Virginia
  • Earth Treks Climbing Centers in Rockville, Columbia, and Timonium, MD
  • Sportrock Climbing Centers in Alexandria and Sterling, VA
  • other outdoor climbing areas as needed

Each student is responsible for knowing the location of class on any given day as location may change due to adjustments for weather, lesson plans or other unforeseen circumstances. Changes in class location will be posted on the Voyageur web site. When in doubt, call the Voyageur office at 202-537-5545.

Optional weekend trips to other climbing areas will be offered during the sports season based on student interest.

Transportation

Every student climbing with the Voyageur program is expected to ride to our off-campus climbing site locations on the Voyageur bus. The Voyageur bus leaves from the Garfield St. / Activities building parking area at 3:30pm SHARP and returns to the bus parking area at 6:30pm. We have, on occasion, been five to fifteen minutes late in returning to the Close due to traffic. We will do our best to be back by 6:30pm.

Any student wishing to use personal transportation to our off-campus climbing site locations or wishing to be dropped off along our route back to the Cathedral Close, must provide written permission with a signature from a parent or guardian stating needs and effective dates.

Acknowledgment of Risks Forms

Two forms must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian for every student interested in a Voyageur climbing course or trip. Students will be allowed to participate only after these forms are on file with Voyageur.

  • Voyageur Program Assumption of Risks form for the course or trip – go to Forms Page

  • Voyageur Climbing Tower Assumption of Risks form – go to Forms Page

In addition, a copy of each student’s STA or NCS medical form / treatment release is carried by the Instructors during trips off the Cathedral Close.

Sports Fee

Participation in the Voyageur Program requires an additional sports fee (currently $165. for each 10-week sports season Fall and Spring and $80. for each of the Winter sections). This fee is billed to the students school account.

Equipment

The Voyageur Program provides all of the necessary equipment needed while climbing with our group. However, many students chose to buy their own climbing gear for use during class. Personal climbing shoes, chalk bags, and harnesses may be used during class only after these items are OK’d by the instructor. We suggest waiting until initial course meetings and equipment information before purchasing any climbing equipment specifically for this course.