Adaptive Climbing

The mission of Duke Adaptive Climbing is to provide rock climbing opportunities to individuals with disabilities in the triangle area. Opportunities to learn to rock climb are available to ambulatory and non-ambulatory teens, adults and children ages 6 and up.

Duke Adaptive Climbing is a volunteer driven program that works to create a welcoming and fully inclusive environment to learn the sport of rock climbing. We currently offer monthly clinics at the Duke Climbing Wall, Triangle Rock Club and the Chapel Hill Community Center. We are always looking for new volunteers and participants to get involved with our program.


Upcoming Adaptive Climbing Clinic Dates:

To minimize health and safety risks to Duke students, faculty, staff and the larger community, Duke Recreation & Physical Education in-person programs and services are canceled until future notice. Communication regarding future hours of operation will be provided on our []website and social media platforms (@dukerec). Visit the university's Coronavirus Response Website for the latest news and information about Duke’s policies and actions regarding COVID-19.

Please check our website for updated information, we will send out an email once we have scheduled additional programs.

Belay Buddies

Belay Buddies started as an idea to help keep young adaptive climbers connected to the rock climbing community during the COVID pandemic. Harnessing Zoom’s ability to reach a diversity of people anywhere in the world, we are collecting the stories and experiences from USA paraclimbers to inspire young climbers and share what it is like to be a competitive paraclimber. Our hope is that these interviews, videos, and activities will keep our adaptive climbers active and excited about climbing while staying engaged while at home.

Our Belay Buddies website is live now! If you would like to join this virtual community and receive our weekly newsletter, please sign up here.

Get Involved!

While we are not operating in person, we are still collecting applications for volunteers. If you're interested in volunteering for future events please complete the Volunteer Application and we will be in touch when we have more information regarding an anticipated return to programming.

Duke Adaptive Climbing is a unique opportunity for hand-on volunteering experience with a dynamic group of climbers. With monthly adaptive adaptive climbs at the Chapel Hill Community Center, Triangle Rock Club and Duke University we're always looking for additional help to support our climbers.

New volunteers will be trained in how to modify general belaying technique for our program and in the use of adaptive techniques to aid our participants. Any volunteer that will be belaying with the program will need to pass a belay check with a staff member, if you don't already hold a current belay pass for that facility. Previous belay or climbing experience is not a requirement to volunteer with us, although very helpful!

Volunteer Requirements
  • Must be 16  years or older
  • An interest in working with individuals with various disabilities to experience rock  climbing
  • Ability to work with others, communicate clearly, and maintain
  • Maintain a professional attitude
  • Climbing experience helpful, but not required
Registering as a Volunteer
  • All Volunteers must complete a Volunteer Application

    • Must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the date you'd like to volunteer
  • Once you’ve completed an application you’ll receive an email from Duke Adaptive Climbing with information to complete the following steps:
    • Sign a Volunteer Agreement & Activities Form
    • Complete a Background Check
    • Complete the online Working with Minors Training
  • Upon successful completion of background check and online minors training volunteers will be able to  register for desired volunteer dates.
    • A volunteer training for all new volunteers will be conducted prior to each climb, if you have already been through this training you do not need to attend

There is no cost to you as a volunteer to complete the background check or minors training. The minors training is a short online training conducted by the university.

Volunteer Responsibilities:
  • Coach, encourage and interact with participants
  • Assist with participant climbing equipment needs
  • Assist with belaying needs
  • Assist with operation of adaptive equipment
  • Side-climb with participants to provide assistance while on the wall
  • Assist with various participant needs

If you have any questions about volunteering please email us.


Contact Us: