NCAC Climbing and Challenge Course Complex


NCAC needs a climbing program.

The NCAC climbing program needs something to climb on that is secured from rain, lightening, heat, and cold. The goal is to be able to simulate a wide range of climbing venues and host a minimum of 24 older youth and adults, while providing bouldering opportunites for younger youth. Wall-to-wall connections could enable a ropes course, the high elements of Project C.O.P.E. It should be possible to configure the floor space should to support a wide range of activities (e.g., from team-building challenges, to reflection gatherings, to other activities such as archery).

  • Single pitch climbing, artificial handholds
  • Single pitch climbing, simulated natural rock
  • Portaledge practice
  • Multi-pitch climbing
  • Lead climbing
  • Rappelling
  • Bouldering (novice to expert, with ability to modify pitches)
  • Ice climbing (simulated, since Virginia climate does not sustain formation of ice that can be climbed)
  • If feasible, provide storage space for Spectrum Sports 24' Drop-a-Rock mobile tower:
    • Travel Dimensions: 28’10″L x 7’6″W x 9’5″H (874cm L x 228cm W x 286cm H)
    • Operating Dimensions: 29’10″L x 9’7″W x 24’6″H (908cm L x 291cm W x 747cm H)

There is a privately-owned, timber frame building in Leonordtown, MD with two back-to-back 8'x24' climbing walls, each with an auto-belay and a horizontal 10" steel pipe at the top for suspending climbing ropes. There is a staircase to the top of the walls. One wall is within 2' from a walkway so rappelling is possible. The other wall is open to the top. Photos from a training session are at: [application is ZenPhoto].

Imagine a multi-story building with at least one interior wall 30' high (or higher). Each wall is designed with replaceable handholds. Some walls are perforated to allow the use of nuts and chocks. At the top of each wall is a steel tube to act as sheer-reduction-devices for belaying ropes. From the base of each wall, the floor is covered for 10' out with a 12" deep layer of padding. Some walls are designed to be covered with surfaces to support simulated ice climbing.

Imagine that one end of the building is natural rock or simulated stone. Imagine the opposite end has a cargo net and other elements of a challenge course (e.g., Burma Bridge, Tyrolian Traverse, Giant's Ladder, Centipede, Flying Squirrel, Giant's Swing). Imagine that the elements are permanently in place, disabled by a series of pull cords through ceiling mounts.

This building could be built in stages, beginning with the frame, at least one wall, and roof. The specific wall would be selected based on prevailing wind direction, to give the greatest protection from wind and rain. The design of the building will facilitate expanding the structure to meet volume and type of demand for climbing. Perhaps the roof could support passive energy collection (solar panels, water-base heat exchange). A critical design feature is to be sufficiently warm in the winter, cool in the summer. Perhaps to ensure the temperature range is between 65Fo and 85Fo (18Co and 29Co).

In order to address the safety concerns of Prince William County, the complex must adjoin a roadway capable of sustaining heavy emergency vehicles. For example, the side of the main parking lot by the swimming pool.

The exterior wall facing Antioch Rd. should facilitate promoting the camp (e.g., advertising space for upcoming events). The exterior should be capable of teaching bouldering.