Before your visit
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sick, cold or tired), have been in contact with someone having these symptoms or are in voluntary isolation, we ask that you stay home. You must diagnose your condition in a self-critical manner and consider the impact of transmission on others before coming to the centre. Our employees may ask you to leave the gym if they consider your health status to be at risk. If you postpone your reservation because of your health condition or because of isolation, there will be no cancellation fee.
If you have been out of the country or been in contact with someone who has been out of the country during their self isolation period, please wait the 14 days before coming to visit our facility.
Before you leave
- All previous waivers are expired as of July 20 2020. We ask you to please update your waiver online before you come in to ensure no time is taken from your climbing time.
- Climbing equipment (shoes, harness, rope, belay device, chalk bag) - show and harness rentals are available
- Clothing (arrive dressed and ready to climb - shirts are mandatory)
- Sandals or shoes for walking around (no bare feet/socks)
- Filled water bottle (water bottle refiller is available)
- Mask (some will be for sale at our front desk if you forget yours)
- Bag to carry all your things (shower, lockers and changeroom area will be closed)
- You are asked to disinfect your hands before entering
- Give your name and check-in with a member of our staff
- When you arrive you may be given a temperature check
Throughout your visit
- In addition to hand disinfecting at the entrance, we have several hand disinfection stations.
- You are asked to disinfect or wash your hands between climbs. This will protect your fellow climbers. And following up after a climb with hand sanitizer is one way to protect yourself.
- Carry your bag with you from area to area while you move around the gym and climb
- Please keep your group (bubble) at least 6 feet away from any other people. Our staff cannot easily tell which bubble you are in so we rely on you to help maintain this standard.
When your 1 hr, 45 minutes are up
- Wash your hands
- Check out
- In the event that you experience any symptoms of illness such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or malaise, immediately you will inform a representative of the Organization
- Please leave the gym on time. Otherwise you will impede on the next group's booking.
- Fit snugly against the side of your face and don’t have gaps.
- Disposable Medical Face Masks and masks with two or more layers made of washable breathable fabric fit are ok.
- For children, ideally a mask made for children, that is snug over the nose and mouth and under the chin
- Masks that do not fit snugly and have gaps between the mask and your face
- Mingle Masks due to the gap at the top of the mask
- Masks that have exhalation valves or vents as they allow virus particles to escape
- Gaiters and only face shields
- Masks that make it hard to breath (eg non permeable vinyl)
If your mask comes to fall off as you are climbing we’ve got you covered with some disposable masks at the front desk.
Due to the government's capacity restrictions, an online reservation will be required prior to your visit.
Bookings are by zone and are 1 hr, 45 mins in duration.
- Reservations must be done online. When booking online, please provide a credit card number to purchase a daypass or you may unfreeze your membership at this time.
- You must have checked in, warmed up, climbed and left the gym within these 1 hour, 45 mins.
- You can currently reserve up to 3 spots per week
- We recommend you arrive 10-15 minutes before your allotted time
- Bring a full water bottle and flip flops. (water bottle refiller IS available)
- Toilets are available
- Limited Hours of operation - these hours are subject to change
- Please bring your own climbing equipment (Limited rentals available).
- The facility is split into 3 zones. You must remain in your zone throughout your climbing session in order to ensure that we don't exceed the maximum approved capacity for each zone.
- Please remember to wash or sanitize your hands after every climb. Chalk and liquid chalk may help disable the virus from the climbing surfaces but hand hygiene is still critical. Let's be safe rather than sorry.
- Please leave the facility on time. Otherwise this will impede on the next group's booking.
Zones as of Nov 17, 2020
Zone 1: 10 climbers
Zone 2: 10 climbers
Zone 3 (training area): 3 climbers
Book your climbing sessions here (members/punch-pass holders):
Please stay in your zone that you book to help us remain in compliance, and stay open!
Help keep our community safe
- Prior to every visit you must complete a health attestation.
- Even though our facilities are some of the largest in GTA we will also enact drastic capacity restrictions so you can socially distance with ease. Maintain at least 2 metres distance from others. The only valid exception to social distancing is for children under 12 years of age and their parent.
- Masks will be required at all times while in the facility. If you have a condition that makes breathing difficult with a mask and can cause you distress or exacerbate your condition, this may not be the time for you to start climbing indoors. Start with low-intensity workouts when wearing a mask.
- Loose chalk is no longer allowed. Liquid chalk (70% plus alcohol) is for sale and is highly recommended. Chalk socks are allowed but not recommended.
- No food permitted.
- Wash hands or use sanitizer upon entering the facility and when leaving
- We are unable to properly disinfect all climbing surfaces after every use. Wash/sanitize your hands between your climbs and be cautious if touching your face. Chalk and liquid chalk may help disable the virus from the climbing surfaces but hand hygiene is still critical.
- Certain hard to clean amenities will be limited (eg foam pit, water fountains); Yoga, the foam pit, locker room, treadmills and other high-traffic, community areas are closed. Some training areas will have limited capacity to help you socially distance.
- Also we have a request from you. With all the new rules, changing laws and continual requests, staff responses may be slower than expected. We really appreciate your patience! We will get through it together!
Behind the Scenes
The health and safety of our team members and community is our top priority. Here’s what we’re doing behind the scenes:
- We are conducting temperature checks and symptom assessments on team members before every shift.
- We’ve updated our cleaning procedures, including frequent mid-day disinfecting routines.
- Air flow management strategies to maximize fresh air flow and minimize air turbulence. Small ceiling fans will be turned off to not spread air horizontally and to minimize turbulent flow. Droplets can then fall to ground. Mechanical intakes on all our HVAC units are set to maximum outside air percentages (20-25%) to replace the entire facilitiy air volume with fresh air continually.
- Most importantly, we have each other’s backs – our team has the support of their co-workers if they are feeling under the weather.
- All information subject to change without notice and will be updated on this page.
RESERVATIONS RELATED QUESTIONS
CAN I WALK IN? No. You must book online to reserve a spot. Reservations can be booked online anytime up until the start time of the reservation if there is space.
CAN I CANCEL MY RESERVATION?
Yes. You can cancel a reservation up to 12 hours before the start of the booking. Please fill out the form here to cancel. Email cancellations can not be accepted at this time. If last minute cancellation please call to cancel.
ARE THERE NO-SHOW FEES? – Yes, places are limited and the missed slot could have been given to another climber there is a charge that will go on your account. The no show fee is the price of the daypass.
If you need to cancel your reservation because of your health or because of a self-isolation, there will not be a fee provided you cancel at least 12 hours before.
WHAT IF I AM RUNNING LATE TO MY RESERVATION TIME? You have 15 minutes to claim your spot. If you arrive after the 15-minute check-in window, your spot may be released to another member.
CAN I RESERVE FOR BOULDERING / ROUTES?
No. First come, first serve. If all designated waiting areas for bouldering are occupied, you will unfortunately not be able to boulder.
6ft distancing must be followed while waiting.
CAN I RESERVE A TIME FOR MULTIPLE PEOPLE AT THE SAME TIME?
Yes, when reserving your space, it allows you to choose the number of people.
You are responsible for your partner's reservation. If they need a daypass, you will have to pay for it at the time of reservation. You are also responsible for the fees if the person does not show up.
CAN I SHOW UP WITHOUT A RESERVATION?
No. You won't be able to enter the gym without a reservation. However, you can make a reservation when you arrive on your phone. We cannot guarantee that there will be time slots available.
CAN I RESERVE 2 TIME SLOTS BACK TO BACK?
You generally cannot advance reserve 2 slots back to back. If you book two time slots one after the other, the second one will be automatically cancelled. This gives other members a chance to get slots.
The one exception is if you book the second slot no earlier than 12 hours prior to that time. If you are interested in a second time slot, please inform staff, they will be able to confirm 15 minutes prior to the time slot if there are remaining spots. If it is full, you can wait 15 minutes for any late/no show climbers
CAN I EXCHANGE MY RESERVATION WITH SOMEONE ELSE?
No. The exchange of reservations between members is not accepted. The reservation will have to be cancelled and re-booked by the other member.
WHY DO I HAVE TO CHECK OUT?
Checking out at or before the end of your session is extremely important so we have an up to date occupancy count at all times and helps us with contact tracing. We ask that all climbers be out of the building by the end of their climbing time to allow the next group to have their allotted climbing time.
DO I MAKE A RESERVATION FOR MYSELF IF I AM OBSERVING OR BELAYING MY CHILD?
Yes, everyone in the gym must have a reservation even if you are supervising, and not climbing. A non-member parent/guardian can make a reservation as long as they are only supervising/belaying a child who is a member.
CAN I BRING MY NON-CLIMBING CHILD INTO THE GYM?
For the health and safety of our members and your children, we are asking you to please not bring your child to the gym with you unless they are climbing.
IS THE CARDIO AND FREE WEIGHT AREA OPEN?
Due to phase 2 these are currently closed.
WHAT ACCESS WILL I HAVE DURING MY RESERVATION?
Access includes roped climbing areas, bouldering areas, and the weight zones. Certain areas or rooms may have additional occupancy restrictions. Thanks for your patience and assistance in not crowding tight spaces. Markham foam pit will be closed therefore the climbs above the pit will be unavailable
HEALTH AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS RELATED QUESTIONS
HEALTH RISKS. Our staff may ask you to leave the gym if they consider your health status to be a risk to others. If you postpone your reservation because of your health condition or because of isolation, there will be no cancellation fee.
ARE YOU TAKING CASH PAYMENTS? No cash payments for now, at this time we are only accepting cards and digital payments like Apple Pay.
WHY CAN’T I USE LOOSE CHALK? Our understanding of how COVID-19 spreads is constantly evolving, but airborne transmission is believed to be the primary way the virus is spread. By eliminating loose chalk, we are trying to limit airborne dust. Chalk socks can be used, but not preferred. We recommend using Liquid chalk as it contains alcohol and limits dust. Liquid chalk will be available for purchase.
IS LIQUID CHALK A GOOD DISINFECTANT OR VIRICIDE?
We can only quote what CDC or other health authorities recommend.
CDC recommends 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the minimal active ingredients when it comes to hand sanitizers so we infer its the same with liquid chalk.
Our own understanding is that liquid chalk reduces particulate in the air which makes breathing easier for everyone and reduces the chance of viruses themselves travelling on particulate.
AM I SUPPOSED TO WEAR A MASK WHILE CLIMBING AND WORKING OUT?
Yes. We know this isn’t an easy ask of you, but we’ve made this decision to prioritize the health of our team members and community. Studies show that airborne droplets are the primary driver for spreading COVID-19, so to minimize the risk of the spread of COVID-19, the health authorities recommend wearing a mask. If you have a condition that makes breathing difficult with a mask and can cause you distress or exacerbate your condition, this may not be the time for you to start climbing indoors. Unfortunately, we cannot make an exception to this policy.
SO, WE HAVE TO WEAR A MASK AT ALL TIMES – WHAT EXACTLY QUALIFIES AS A MASK?
An acceptable mask is any face covering that covers your mouth and nose. It can be made of cloth/fabric but should not have holes. Wearing a mask protects others by reducing respiratory droplets that are expelled, so a mask that covers snugly around the sides of the face and is well secured to prevent slipping is preferred. Masks with valves should not be used as they allow droplets out of the mask, defeating the mask’s one important purpose, protecting those around you.
CAN I GET AN EXEMPTION FOR WEARING A MASK?
At this time our insurer is OK with us asking for an up to date note from your medical doctor detailing that you are unable to safely wear a mask while climbing and in the facility. We will keep a record that you provided a medical note, not the actual note, to limit your privacy concerns. A manager must process this request for you so only one person will see your note. This is not an ideal situation but we are trying to do the best possible for those with legitimate health (mask) concerns and our general membership who are trying to protect themselves and loved ones from getting ill.
Other guests may be concerned to be within 6 feet of you in this case and will be recommended to increase distancing to feel more comfortable.
We ask that guests understand that there may be legitimate reasons that a few people cannot wear a mask such as cystic fibrosis, autism or asthma. Please trust that anyone not wearing a mask has shown medical paperwork to us prior to entry.
Again, this policy is as per our insurer and is subject to change at any time. Please be patient with us and one another, it is a difficult time and there may also be human rights and privacy issues at play.
HOW DO YOU CLEAN? DO YOU CLEAN THE CLIMBING WALLS TOO?
Depending on the surface we use different chemicals ranging from bleach to hydrogen peroxide to alcohol.
On non-climbing, high touch surfaces like desks, faucets, handles, railings, etc we use virucides continually on both and ad-hoc and scheduled basis. Staff are continually wiping down surfaces and are scheduled to do a thorough wipe down every 2 hours between time slots.
Some surfaces (eg ropes or plastics) can be damaged by certain chemicals so we follow manufacturers instructions. (Note to the reader: Please make sure to check with the manufacturer too when cleaning your own harnesses, ropes etc!)
In some cases we cannot rely on cleaning solutions and need to rely on handwashing or liquid chalk. For example, we can not clean ropes or climbing holds or climbing walls as doing so will not be feasible. Climbing gyms generally cannot clean climbing holds or walls because the holds would be touched between cleanings and it would be prohibitive to climb up each route each time. (Some routes are well over 40 feet high) Fogging takes 24 to 72 hours to settle and is not appropriate for daily cleanings as we are concerned about members inhaling the gas.
This is why we ask that all climbers be out of the building by the end of their climbing time to help us clean and prep the gym for the next group
Summary: We rely on a combination of measures in addition to cleaning: screening of participants, hand washing, hand sanitizers, masks, capacity restrictions, social distancing, no loose chalk and drawing in lots of fresh, clean air.
ARE RENTALS AVAILABLE?
Rentals are available, but we strongly encourage you to bring your own gear. Liquid chalk will also be available for rent or purchase. (we will have bins to quarantine it for 3 days)
Chalk rental is suspended for the duration of the pandemic.
TELL ME ABOUT VENTILATION.
The current data about Covid-19 transmission shows no clear evidence to date of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 associated with HVAC (aka Central Air) systems in hospitals or health care facilities, although there is a mechanistic possibility of this occurring.
Practical recommendations for non-hospital public settings include, but are not limited to, increasing air supply and exhaust ventilation for extended operation times, supply as much outside air as reasonably possible and avoid air turbulence.
Moreover, since air supply fresh air is key we are doing the following:
Maximize fresh air intake on our HVAC systems. These provide 20-25% fresh air. By keeping our HVAC fans (not rotating ceiling fans!) on at all times we are replacing the air in the entire facility consistently.
Our systems are designed to handle the high ceilings (24 to 49 feet) and thus allow a huge volume of fresh air intake
We are strongly avoiding turbulence of indoor air so that any droplets are most likely to settle on the ground without being spread into an aerosol. This means NO use of ceiling fans, or anything else that creates unnecessary turbulence of air.
The front and garage doors being open may provide a little extra amount of fresh air flow and may be opened at times if they do not create turbulence but in general, we are relying on mechanical methods of forcing in a consistent, higher volume of fresh air.
We are fortunate that we have high ceiling height, large cubic volume of spaces and multiple HVAC (central air) units in each building to allow us to mechanically and consistently provide fresh air.
MEMBERSHIP RELATED QUESTIONS
On August 7 2020, all Markham memberships were unfrozen automatically.
I AM NOT READY TO GO BACK TO THE GYM, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO FREEZE MY ACCOUNT?
Covid-19 has been extremely hard on many people. Moreover, small businesses like ours have been hit hard. Due to this situation, we can not continue to offer free membership freezes. As we are in Phase 3, we will be mass unfreezing all memberships. As some of you are out of town or haven't had time to prepare, we will add a grace period to your freeze free of charge. We have added an additional 14 days since the start of Phase 3 (July 24 in York) and therefore all memberships will unfreeze on Aug 7. If you wish to remain frozen after Aug 7, there will be the usual freeze fee of $9+HST per month, please fill out the Online membership change request form, no earlier than August 3rd. If you fill it out after August 7th you may lose days on your membership. WE CAN NOT ACCEPT EMAIL REQUESTS FOR MEMBERSHIP CHANGES.
Members who don’t want to be unfrozen can still come in and buy a day pass at regular price (or student price if they qualify).
HOW ARE EFT AND PREPAID MEMBERS COMPENSATED FOR TIME LOST DUE TO THE CLOSURE?
The end dates of Prepaid memberships have been automatically increased to compensate for the exact duration of the closure.
EFT memberships have a credit applied to the account that equals the days lost in March due to the closure (March 15 to March 30). If you were still in the prepaid portion of your membership, we have adjusted the due date accordingly.