What is a Challenge Course?
A Challenge Course can be composed of a variety of elements including but not limited to low elements, high elements, high circuits, climbing towers, rock climbing walls and bouldering structures. Synergo has experience designing and installing these types of elements and we work directly with our clients to create unique elements specifically designed for their course and the programs they offer.
Low elements allow groups to create a greater sense of trust, cooperation, willingness to take positive risks, and to develop leadership skills. A group or team problem solve together as they participate on a low challenge course element. They are vital to any challenge course program because they serve as an important foundational step in the sequence of the day. Many high element mimic the skills learned from these lower elements and groups take away more from a well sequenced course. These elements are built using wood, cables, rope and other found materials installed in either trees, poles, or directly on the ground.
High Elements offer participants the opportunity to challenge themselves emotionally and physically as they push past self-imposed limitations. Our high elements are typically installed using either trees or poles as support structures and range in height from 20 to 60 feet off the ground. Participants wear a harness and are attached to a belay system when using the high elements. Synergo uses a variety of group belay systems which allow the other participants to be directly involved with the physical safety of the climber including: “n” belay, “M” belay, double traversing “n” belay, and various group hauling systems. High elements are visually exciting, programmatically powerful, and often are the literal “highlight” that participants remember for years. These elements typically make up what is known as a “high ropes course” or a “challenge course”.
High Circuit Course
Commonly known as a high ropes course, a high circuit is a collection of high element traversing activities tied together in a trail, loop, figure 8 or other unique configuration. High circuit courses create an opportunity for participants to go from element to element without coming down to the ground. These courses typically include at least five elements and use a static belay system consisting of belay cables on each element and lobster claws attached to each participant’s harness. The elements are usually built using either trees or poles as support structures but we have also installed high circuit courses indoors. In addition, platforms are installed where necessary for participants and facilitators to rest between elements. Participants work in pairs to maneuver from element to element while working on trust, communication and problem solving skills as they go. One of the most powerful aspects of high circuit courses is coaching the participants in taking responsibility for the control of their own belay systems.
Typical Services for Challenge Course Sites
As a Professional Vendor Member (PVM), Synergo is qualified to provide a variety of additional services on top of the care and maintenance of challenge courses. Typically, projects will include aspects seen below.