Rock Climbing Walls -Please read carefully and completely
Weatherford’s Outback wants your climbing experience to be most enjoyable, but there are certain risks in climbing, and therefore particular legal requirements. And there are rules specific to our climbing facility we strictly enforce without exception. After perusing this site, if you have further questions, please give us a call at 850-469-9922.
The Outback is not a huge facility, but offers numerous laid out routes on 11 top ropes, on unique features, which include several overhangs and a chimney. The highest point is around 35 feet. There is a 55-foot overhang that is open at times to experienced climbers when we are not crowded. There is no lead climbing indoors, but we also have an outdoor CLIMBING TOWER that is available for lead climbing and to practice multi-pitch climbing to those that have successfully completed our course in lead climbing.
Weatherford’s indoor rock climbing wall--known as Weatherford’s Outback!—first opened in 1992, and was the 3rd built in the Southeast after the ones built in Birmingham, Alabama and Charlotte, North Carolina. It was however, the first building in the world specifically designed and constructed for a climbing wall. Previous walls had been retrofitted into existing buildings, warehouses, churches, and even old train stations.
Many of our climbers venture all over the United States, even to summit El Cap in Yosemite National Park, California. Some of our military clientele end up all around the world, climbing in exotic places! We consider ourselves more of a teaching facility than just your basic rock gym.
WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE TO CLIMB?
Climbing is a sport where you combine the mental and unusual movements of Chess with the rythmatic and physical movements of dance—kind of like Thai chi up in the air. And it’s a sport where it’s just you against yourself, with a buddy to help you safely enjoy the experience.
Weatherford’s Outback is designed to get climbers prepared for real rock climbing experiences, but is open to all that want to get a small taste of the sport of rock climbing or want an alternative, physical and mental workout. Climbing develops lean, sinuous, muscles and also develops flexibility and balance. The legs are the most important aspect in learning to climb, so those muscles really get a workout, and tone development. Arms and fingers, for the most part, are used for body balance, which increase both arm and grip strength.
TIMES for CLIMBING
The Wall is generally open 7 days a week, Monday through Saturday 3pm.-9pm, and on Sunday’s 12-noon till 6 pm. First come, first serve, and we do not take reservations. You must arrive at least two hours prior to closing to complete our required introductory course. We are closed on certain Holidays.
The cost to new climbers is $10.00 per person, and it takes two people to climb. This includes climbing shoes, harness, chalk bag, an introduction course (generally 10-15 minutes) and 2 to 3 hours of climbing after that—if you can last that long! After that, climbers with no gear are charged $12, which includes all the gear, but no Introductory Course is required.
Since we are not a large facility, and SAFETY is our number one concern, we encourage climbers to come in groups of no more than two or four max. Sometimes we have been able to accommodate up to five new climbers at a time, but with that number, and for safety reasons, we cannot guarantee everyone a slot to climb. If your group consists of more than five people, you must call in advance for a reservation. (See GROUPS.)
REQUIREMENTS 18 YEARS AND OLDER
There is an Adult Liability Release Form, which everyone 18 years of age or older must complete and sign. Bring picture identification for verification! This can easily be done in the store and witnessed by Weatherford’s Outback employees.
REQUIREMENTS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE
Anyone under the age of 18 must have their parent or LEGAL GUARDIAN (Bring court paperwork) fill out and execute the Liability Release Form for a Minor, witnessed by an Outback employee. Grandparents, older brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, etc. are not allowed to sign the Release Form. NO EXCEPTIONS. The Release Form may be filled out and signed by the parent/legal guardian in the store days beforehand the climber actually climbs. Once on file, the minor can come back without having the parent/legal guardian re-sign the Release Form. We can FAX the Release Form to a parent or legal guardian, but if signed outside the store, it must be witnessed and attested to by a Notary Public. Sorry about all this hoop jumping, but don’t blame us, its the @#$%^&* attorneys!
REQUIREMENTS UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE
Same as those under 18 years of age (See above) but the minor can only climb and not belay other climbers. Therefore, if there are not two other climbers of at least 14 years of age, a parent or another non-climbing person of at least 14 years of age must participate.
EXPERIENCED, NEW CLIMBERS TO OUR GYM
Everyone, no matter if you have climbed in other gyms or on real rock, or have a belay certification card from another gym must pay $10.00 the first time and take our course, and all the gear is included, also. If you really know how to belay, this will take less than 5 minutes. (We use Petzl’s Gri-Gri belay device. No ATC’s, etc. allowed inside.) After that, if you have your own, approved gear—no Swiss seats, etc. allowed—it will be only $6 to climb the next time. We charge out shoes at $3 and harnesses at $3. But if you are a climber from Colorado, a longer and more in-depth introductory course will be required to insure safety.
Appropriate Release Form required, with a rate of just $3 with your own shoes. There is an area with bouldering problems and horizontal routes laid out over the climbing walls, but climbers take priority. The best times for bouldering are probably Sunday’s and Mondays-Friday at 3pm-5pm. before the after-work crowd arrives. Saturdays are iffy, except for one overhang with short, but intense problems.
Groups (Boy Scouts, church youth groups, employee trust building, etc.) may reserve Sunday’s from 6pm-9pm. at group rates. However, we do not allow birthday parties, and the group time on Sunday’s is fixed and non-negotiable. Please call to receive more information and Rates.
REAL ROCK CRAGS
There is no good, natural rock climbing in Florida, but if you’re looking for a nice weekend jaunt, there is excellent rock only 4-5 hours from Pensacola, located north and northwest of Birmingham, Alabama. We sell books that are specific to these areas. Most are free, but there are some bouldering areas with protective camping and excellent rock for a reasonable fee. Sand Rock and Horse Pens 40 are some of the more popular crags and bouldering areas, and offer beginning to expert climbs.
Most rock pitches in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee are one pitch climbs up to 100 feet, with multi-pitch really only available in North Carolina. Looking Glass is one of the most famous granite domes found near Brevard, and has 600-foot pitches from 5.8 upwards to aid climbing. Laurel Knob—near Highlands and Cashiers--is a 1,200-foot dome with climbs 5.7 and upward. Further north is Lynnville Gorge with climbing 5.5 and upward.WARNING.... While rock climbing in North Carolina is awesome, the ratings of difficulty can be vastly underrated. It is advised that for any rock crag or mountain anywhere a climber should do their homework to find out if their ability is appropriate for that area’s climbing.