Ropes Courses Safety
At Adventure Associates, safety comes first. Our ropes courses are designed by experienced industry experts to maximize the excitement and minimize the risk. By definition, adventures have inherent risks, both real and perceived. Our ropes course risk management plan begins with a design that enhances the perceived risk and controls the real risk. Our ropes courses are constructed by builders certified by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT), the leader in research, design, and construction of ropes courses. An ACCT certified builder inspects all carabiners, belay devices, harnesses, and helmets each year, along with all components of low and high elements. Additionally, we replace all of our belay ropes each year.
One outstanding feature about Adventure Associates’ ropes courses, is that we teach the high ropes course participants to belay for each other. Belaying is the process of managing the safety line to protect the climber. The belayer takes in the slack as the climber ascends the element, gives slack when the climber needs it, arrests the fall of the climber in the event of a slip, and lowers the climber safely to the ground. The safety of the ropes course depends on the belayer executing their responsibility without mistakes. Adventure Associates’ staff teach a standardized belay lesson and closely monitor the belaying throughout the day.
A number of safety checks help manage the real risks on the ropes course. All belayers must pass the belay test. Before participants climb, the leader must be requested to do a leader check: harness, carabiner, knot, belay device, and helmet all properly secured. Before participants descend the on the "zip line" or before rappelling, the rope course leader checks the safety system and confirms that the area is clear.
Our Ropes Course Leaders
Adventure Associates ropes course leaders complete an extensive training program and participate in numerous refresher and continuing education sessions each year. Each leader receives regular and systematic feedback about the quality of their belay lesson and supervision of participant belayers on the ropes course. All leaders responsible for supervising one of the high ropes course platforms must complete the high element rescue training. Ropes course safety begins with a comprehensive risk management plan and continues through design, construction, inspection, maintenance, training, and program management. With the safety systems in place, participants can enjoy fully the experiences Adventure Associates ropes courses have to offer.