Rock Climbing Indoors

Climbing is inherently a socially-distanced, non-cardio sport with participants being 6'-60' apart in tall, open, well ventilated facilities wearing masks 100% of the time. 




Indoor climbing has been designated a "low risk sport" by the State of Washington during the pandemic recovery. We are pleased to have the state recognize the aspects intrinsic to climbing which create a low risk for COVID transmission, including tall ceilings, high cubic volume of air flow, social distancing inherent to the sport, and our ability to keep masks on at all times. Our gyms are open, and we're committed to being partners in keeping our communities healthy.

Rock Climber

Climbing gyms are risk management businesses, enforcing policies to mitigate risks to climbers. 


Climbers use chalk on their hands; studies have shown chalk to deactivate 99% of COVID particles.


Advocating for a safe reopening

The climbing gym industry has been an advocate for safe and cautious operations during this crisis. When the
pandemic first erupted most climbing gyms across the state had already been closed for the week prior to the
Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. We take this pandemic seriously. During the reopening phases of our economy,
climbing gyms have been operating under the fitness reopening guidelines, however climbing gyms are
inherently different from fitness facilities. We request that the governor's office consider climbing gyms as a separate industry than fitness facilities, and create separate guidelines for their reopening and continued operations.

Climbing is an inherently a socially-distant sport that operates in large, open, tall, and well-ventilated warehouses doing an activity that is non-cardio where participants are physically distant and 100% masked . We support keeping the community local; we operate as membership based businesses requiring reservations so that capacity is low and we can facilitate contact tracing . Lastly, climbers use chalk; chalk is magnesium carbonate and is proven to reduce
infectious SARS-CoV2 particles by 99%
. We have studies and support from both researchers and health
professionals stating that the environment climbing gyms operate in have characteristics that reduce the risk of
transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

We are a $30 million industry supporting 1000 employees with 180,000 Washingtonians as our customers. We want to be part of the solution. We are confident that we can provide a plan that safely operates
within our community, allowing employees to get paid, our businesses to survive, and the community to be

"Because of the large square footage and the very high ceilings needed to accommodate climbing participants, individuals or partners are typically spaced
out in both dimensions. Unlike fitness gyms with rows of stationary bikes or similar machines, customers in these facilities are spaced evenly and thinly throughout the facilities. These large spaces also lend
themselves to very high flow, constant, fresh air ventilation, often supported by ambient air filters. They are essentially as close to being outdoors as one can be while still indoors."

John Lynch, MD MPH

Associate Professor
Division of Allergy & Infectious Disease
University of Washington School of Medicine

Medical Director

Infection Control

Harborview Medical Center

"The combination of the antiviral activity of chalk from climber’s hands, regular cleaning protocols proposed by the gyms in the coalition, tall ceilings, large spaces for distancing, mask usage, and the overall good health of the clientele makes climbing gyms an extremely low risk for SARS CoV2 transmission."

Pat M. Fidopiastis, Ph.D.

Professor of Microbiology

Biological Sciences Dept.

California Polytechnic State University

"At all climbing gyms that I have been to, gym employees regularly monitor the climbing areas to ensure that climbers are adhering to climbing safety protocols, such as good belaying techniques. Thus, safety is built into the culture of climbing, and it would be easy for additional monitoring of COVID-19 protocols to be integrated into this existing system."

Michael Lin, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor
UCLA Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
Division of Critical Care Medicine