|High Ropes C.O.P.E. Courses
A high ropes C.O.P.E. Course, sometimes called
a high ropes course or high challenge course, consists of
elements suspended between 20ft and 50ft. above the ground
between wood poles, steel posts or trees. Participants challenge
themselves to climb and/or traverse the elements by themselves
in pairs or with support from a larger group, their troop or
team. Three types of high C.O.P.E. ropes courses exist: static
belay traversing courses, dynamic belay traversing courses and
dynamic belayed vertical challenges.
Static Belay Courses
Static belay high ropes courses
(or maze courses) allow for the whole group or a
portion of the group to all experience the ropes
course together. All elements are linked
together. Participants have options to choose
their direction of travel at each transition
While on the course participants
are attached to a belay cable with a dual
lanyard connected to their harness at one end
and two clips to attach to the cable. As
participants move from one element to the next,
they complete a "transfer" of their rope
lanyards at specific transition points at each
platform. The transfer process occurs with a
partner or trained staff after careful
instruction and practice on the ground.
Participants remove one clip at a time and
transfer their lanyards from one cable to the
Static ropes courses can be
configured in many shapes and can vary in height
(height of platform) from 18ft. to over 50ft.,
although most courses are around 30-36 ft. in
Typical staff to participant
ratio is 2:15 or two staff for every 15
Dynamic belay high
ropes course elements typically involve one
participant at a time climbing up the pole,
traversing across an element and being lowered down.
Some elements are designed for two or more
participants at once. A few elements involve jumping
or running instead of traversing. This style of
ropes course allows the group to
focus more on one person (or just a few people) at a
time. These types of courses can be one single
element or a series of single elements sharing poles
or trees for support.
are attached to a belay rope which climbs high above
and over a belay anchor installed overhead. The rope
then runs back down to their belayer or belay team.
The belayers keep the rope tight and take in slack
while the participant climbs up , and traverses the
element. Once the participant has completed the task
the belayer(s) lower the
participant back to the ground. Once on the ground
the participant is detached form the rope and a new
participant is attached.
Dynamic ropes courses
can be laid out in many configurations and can vary
in height (height of platform or element) from 18ft.
to over 50ft., although most elements are installed
at about 30-40 ft. in height.
Typical staff to
participant ration is 1:1 for staff belay and could
be 3:1 with team belay systems (as illustrated
(or vertical climbs) require participants to climb
up various types of ropes course structures
including cargo nets (climbing nets), rope ladders,
firecracker ladders, caving ladders, giant ladders
and more. These vertical challenges cab be used as
independent stand alone elements or as access
elements for static or dynamic belayed ropes
courses. The belay for the vertical challenge
elements will be a dynamic belay.
Belaying for vertical
challenges is the same as for dynamic courses. A
belayer or team of belayers keep tension on the rope
and control the descent of the participant after the
activity is completed.
Copyright 2006, Experiential Systems, Inc.