FAQ About Climbing Trips
We want everyone to get out and experience the outdoors regardless of whether you grew up playing outside or have never been hiking or sleeping in a tent. “Explore” trips have you camp in what is usually called “front country” or “developed” campsites. This means you set up a home base camp in a well-maintained state park campground, spend each day adventuring in different and exciting locations and then return to the same camp each night. This kind of camping allows you to explore some of East Tennessee’s most beautiful wilderness and still enjoy the comforts of toilets, hot/cold showers, and freedom from carrying your camp everywhere you go.
Mostly likely. Our instructors can get you on climbs that challenge or have you setup climbs for others. We can teach you new skills (from trad, to rescue) if you want to know them. You’re also able to meet other incoming students who like climbing! Each day we can climb at a different section of Foster Falls. Check out Foster Falls on Mountain Project for more information.
No. We climb at Foster Falls in South Cumberland State Park (west of Chattanooga) and the park has climbs that are perfect for a first time climbing experience. Please note that due to weather conditions, and other reasons, the location may change last minute.
We provide all camping gear, food, instruction, and transportation. You just need your own clothes, or if you have your own modern gear, you are welcome to use it. Please note you need to use our tents as Foster Falls limits the number of tents on a campsite.
We stay in a state park campground, which has flush toilets, sinks, and hot showers available. The camping is generally considered comfortable. You will have your own tent.
You should feel comfortable walking across your high school campus with a heavy school backpack and walking up stairs. As a beginner climber, climbing requires using your legs more than your arms.
We hike from the campground, and depending on which cliff we go to, the hike can take from 20 to 45 minutes. For the most part, the trail varies from flat to gently rolling since the trail is on top of the gorge.
The hiking in Foster Falls is pretty amazing! The famous Fiery Gizzard Trail runs through the park, plus many other miles of trails and creeks. We can also work on non-climbing skills, like knots, ascending ropes, placing “traditional” gear, etc. Much like life in college, we’ll have our plan and adapt it to make the trip useful for you. This actually happened in the summer of 2018 and everyone still enjoyed the trip!
Yes. We have made a number of accommodations to ensure all of our participants stay safe during Ignite. Food, transportation, and sleeping arrangements have all been modified to adhere to CDC guidelines, as well as our own trip guidelines at UTOP .Please email UTOP@utk.edu with questions regarding specific accommodations.