FAQ’s

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Some common questions about our challenge programs:

Are the programs available to any group?

Yes.  However, the Alpine Tower and Odyssey Course have minimum ages.  Age 8 for the Alpine Tower, age 10 for the Odyssey Course.

 

How long does a program really take?

The answer is one you might expect, it depends.  It depends on the amount of time you have, the size of your group, and the type of program.  One aspect that is certain about these kinds of programs is, the more time a group can spend involved with a program, the deeper the learning experience.  Shorter programs typically only address the surface concepts of teamwork; longer programs afford more time to dive deeper into the fundamental aspects of teamwork.  Our most popular programs range from 3-5 hours in length.

 

What exactly will we be doing?

Your group will be working together, sometimes as smaller teams and sometimes as the whole group, to accomplish a variety of challenging tasks.  These tasks range from simple object tossing activities to complex puzzles to intricate problem-solving initiatives to the physical elements of the Odyssey Course and the Alpine Tower itself.

 

What about program safety?

Keeping participants as safe as possible is a continual focal point of the YMCA Challenge and Climbing Network.  While it is certainly possible to be injured during any program due to its overall nature, there are a number of things that minimize the risk of injury:

First, the Odyssey Course and Alpine Tower are inspected before every program by trained staff as well as annually by an outside challenge course professional who ensures that the structures are meeting the standards set forth by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT).

Second, for the Odyssey Course, participants wear a harness, helmet and sling lines that, when used correctly, keep them constantly attached to a belay cable while moving through the course; for the Alpine Tower, participants wear a harness, helmet and are tied into a belay rope at all times while climbing.

Third, staff are trained to set up any activity in such a manner that helps reduce the potential for injury.

Lastly, participants are required to listen to instruction and act in an appropriate manner while participating in any program.

 

Is there a liability waiver?

Yes.  Every participant must sign an ‘Awareness of Risks & Release from Liability’ waiver before they can participate in any climibng and challenge program.  Participants under the age of 18 must also have their release signed by a legal guardian.

 

Is there an age limit?

On the Odyssey Course – anyone age 10 and up can participate.  On the Alpine Tower – anyone age 8 and up can participate.  For our Low Team Challenge programs, there is no minimum or maximum age limit.

 

What about the weather?

Programs take place rain or shine. In the event of unsafe weather conditions we will work with you to reschedule your program or provide a refund should you decide to cancel.

 

I’m not part of a group – how can I get on the Odyssey Course and Alpine Tower?

On occasion, we do hold Open Community Climbs out at the Odyssey Course and Alpine Tower.  Contact the Thomas Walsh (425-984-4640) or twalsh@seattlymca.org for information on community programming. These happen mainly in the summer months between May and October.

 

How can I work / volunteer for the program?

Contact the Challenge and Climbing Network director for information on volunteering or working for these great programs!

 

Who built the Odyssey Course and Alpine Tower?

Both structures were designed and constructed by Alpine Towers International, a leader in the ropes course industry.

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