FAQ

Do I need to book?

Returning visitors do not need to book unless longer than 12 months ago. For new visitors, booking is advised to avoid unnecessary waiting on the day. Please use the booking button provided on the website to make your booking. You are more than welcome to just show up on the day, but we can’t guarantee a spot on the next available safety induction if you do. Bookings are required if your group exceeds 10 participants.

 

I’ve never climbed at Cliffhanger before, do I need the safety induction?

Yes, all climbers irrespective of previous experience or qualification are required to complete our safety induction. If you can demonstrate you are a competent belayer using a “static-hand” belay technique and doing all the recommended safety checks, this will be a fast process.

What is a belayer?

The belayer is the “spotter” on the ground, holding the rope for the climber.

The minimum age to belay at Cliffhanger is 14 years (please see exceptions for advanced users below). Teens aged 14 and over can belay provided they pass the belay test. Most 14 year olds pass. Some may be conditionally approved, but still deemed to need adult supervision. We require adults to be present for any children aged 14 years or less, to belay or assist with belay. Please be mindful of your group composition and make sure you have enough belayers for the climbers that visit.

We have three auto-belay systems and bouldering available that can be used without the need for a belayer.

When can kids younger than 14 be approved to belay?

Regular belay users who climb with our kids club or youth squad, members of other junior programs, or kids who belay regularly outdoors, may be approved at a younger age. This is based on capacity and general attitudes towards safety. 

What is the minimum age to climb?

The minimum age to climb is 4 years. We have special harnesses available for the little climbers that make this possible. Do be aware that to use the ropes, a belayer is required to hold the rope (usually an adult). A lesson on how to belay (“safety induction”) is provided on the day you visit.

How long can I climb on the day?

A day pass includes unlimited climbing on the day! That’s right, no time limit. Only bookings with a special offer (groups, schools, etc) might have terms and conditions that affect the time you have to climb on the day.

How long do people generally stay for?

The safety induction for new climbers takes about 15-30 minutes. Upon successful completion, you are allowed to climb throughout the center. Most people stay for about 2-3 hours before leaving.

Do I need a partner?

Although a partner is recommended, it is not necessary. Cliffhanger offers three auto-belay systems and bouldering areas that can be used alone. To use our ropes, you do need a partner. Keen to get on a rope, but can’t find someone to join? Please join our early learner technique classes, running Wednesday evening at 8pm and Friday evening at 8pm. These classes are at no additional cost and double as a meet-up for climbers without regular partners.
 

Do I need a waiver form?

All climbers and belayers need to a complete a waiver form to be allowed to participate. This means that adults helping on the day as belayers (“spotters”), but not climbing – also need to complete a waiver form. For participants under the age of 18, the waiver form needs to be completed by their own parent or legal guardian.

What do I bring?

A drink bottle. The cafe at the centre has food/snacks and cold drinks available.
 

What do I wear?

Sneakers if you are not planning to hire our climbing shoes (no other footwear is allowed to be used). Also don’t forget to wear socks for hygienic reasons, when planning to hire shoes. Loose comfortable clothing, e.g. shorts/legging and t-shirt. Depending on the weather, we also advise bringing something to help keep you warm whilst you are on the ground.

Where are you located?

Cliffhanger Climbing Gym is located inside the Westgate Sports and Leisure Centre, 61-65 Dohertys Road, 3025 Altona North. We are accessible by the Westgate Freeway, Princes Highway or Western Ring Road. Free parking is available at the rear of the centre.
 

What are your trading hours?

Our trading hours are:
 

Monday               12noon – 10pm
Tuesday              12noon – 10pm
Wednesday         12noon – 10pm
Thursday             12noon – 10pm
Friday                  12noon – 10pm
Saturday              10am – 7pm
Sunday                10am – 7pm

 

Public holidays: please view homepage for more details

 

I’ve never climbed before, can I do it?

Absolutely! Climbing is for everyone! At Cliffhanger, we offer a wide variety of walls and challenges. From the ones that challenge even the very best, to those that are accessible to the little ones.

Do I need lessons?
All new climbers need to participate in a safety induction, which is a lesson on how to belay or be checked on your belay skill if experienced. You don’t need a lesson on how to climb, although this would definitely help! We offer technique classes Thursday at 8pm (at no additional charge) and have a Kids Club (4-11) and Youth Squad (12-17) on Saturday and Monday (see juniors webpage).

Can I lead climb at Cliffhanger?

For climbers that have no experience lead climbing, please visit our page about lead climbing and book a course. For experienced lead climbers, we provide lead checks at no cost. Lead checks can be booked in advance or done on the day at the discretion of the staff. Keep in mind that we might not always be able to do lead checks on the day, contact us prior to your visit to avoid disappointment if planning to lead. Please visit our lead webpage for more information (gear requirements, etc).