High Ropes Courses
Using harnesses, helmets, cables, ropes and wooden beams strung 20 to 50 feet high among trees or poles, teams explore risk-taking, trust and coaching. Each moment is rich with discoveries, whether you’re climbing, simply encouraging others or on belay.
Participants appreciate the opportunity to interact with their teammates in a very different and powerful way. Our facilitators establish the context for each activity, monitor participant’s safety and help the team recognize valuable insights throughout the day.
The high ropes elements are up in the trees so the perceived risk is high, but actual risk is low. Participants walk across cable bridges, negotiate giant ladders or ride zip lines through the trees as they overcome personal fears and develop new self confidence.
Everyone participates, regardless of physical ability. Our challenge-by-choice approach enables each participant to experience their own success in the context of their own aspirations. We have found that on the ropes course, the greatest gains are rarely measured in terms of the number of feet climbed. And that in all the team building adventures, everyone has a role to play.
Ropes Courses Safety
At Maranatha, 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 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 Maranatha Discovery 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. Maranatha 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 or rappells, the rope course leader checks the safety system and confirms that the area is clear.
Our Ropes Course Leaders
Maranatha’s 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 Maranatha’s ropes courses have to offer.