The Malkin-Sacks Climbing Walls at Maggie Daley Park opened on May 12.
“I’m pleased that another unique feature of Maggie Daley Park is now open to the public for the enjoyment of Chicago’s residents and visitors,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The climbing walls, which are one of the largest public outdoor climbing structures in the world, is another example of the investments we’re making in our parks, playgrounds and recreational spaces in neighborhoods across Chicago to create a richer quality of life for all of our residents.”
The maximum height of the Malkin-Sacks Rock Climbing Walls is approximately 40 feet over a total surface area of 19,000 square feet. Between 25 and 100 climbers can use the climbing walls at one time.
“The completion of the climbing walls at Maggie Daley Park adds another wonderful feature to an amazing park,” said Michael P. Kelly, Chicago Park District general superintendent. “This unique structure with climbing opportunities for all skill levels is certain to be a major attraction for residents and tourists alike.”
The walls are divided into different sections for beginners and advanced climbers, accommodating bouldering, lead-harnessed and top rope climbing. Bouldering is climbing at heights less than 12-15 feet without rope. Top rope climbing is climbing at up to 40 feet with a harness. To ensure safety, a spotter is required for each boulderer and a belayer is required for each climber.
Before using the walls, all first-time participants must attend a certification class. Two types of certification are offered: bouldering certification costs $15 and lasts about 15 minutes long, and climbing certification costs $29 and lasts 45-60 minutes. New climbers may also use auto-belay equipment at $45 per hour or take private lessons at $45 per 30 minutes to climb immediately.
Climbers are required to wear helmets, harnesses and climbing shoes. Boulderers are required to wear helmets and climbing shoes. All equipment is available for rent at the Maggie Daley Park Fieldhouse for $15. If climbers are receiving a certification, the cost of equipment is included. Maggie Daley Park staff is available to certify the safety of users’ equipment if they choose to bring their own.
Repeat climbers and boulderers, as well as patrons who bring their own equipment, are able to climb for a $7 daily fee or a $55 monthly fee. Season passes are also available for $299. Certifications are kept on file for one year.
Climbers must be at least four years of age to climb. Climbers under 18 years of age must have a waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. Waivers are available here, as well as information about group rates and team building events.
The official dedication of Maggie Daley Park will occur in June.