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Cornell University

CTLC Participant Resources

A team on a low element at the challenge course

Participant Documents

All participants, regardless of program, are required to complete a Participant Waiver, and following their program are asked to complete a Program Evaluation.

(Link to come for Evaluation)

Getting There

Hoffman Challenge Course on Google Maps

Bartels Hall on Google Maps

Barton Hall on Google Maps

Many programs also take place at your location or retreat site, so make sure to confirm the location with your event coordinator!

Safety and Challenge By Choice

Cornell Team & Leadership Center has a stellar safety record. In addition to an excellent facility and well trained instructors, we ask all participants to contribute to the safety of each program by making responsible decisions regarding their own level of participation. Most importantly, our ethic of challenge by choice means that every activity is an opportunity, and that at no time will any participant be obligated to do anything he/she does not wish to do.

Low & Portable Team Initiatives

In a low program, participants will be engaged by a series of group initiatives and challenges--unique exercises that require groups to brainstorm, plan, implement, evaluate, and improvise. These exercises are physically engaging, but not physically strenuous. After each exercise, group members will reflect on their experience and draw out lessons regarding trust, communication, leadership, and high performance teamwork. These activities are conducted in a supportive environment designed to invigorate and integrate your team.

High Ropes Climbing Elements

High programs allow participants the opportunity to grow through personal challenges… often while being supported by the team. This type of the program includes the use of ropes and harnesses and technical climbing equipment, for challenges anywhere from 5 to 50 feet off the ground. This is a chance to stretch, step past perceived limits, and “reach new heights” with the support of your team members! But as in all our activities, you decide the level of stretch that is right for you.

How to Dress for May-September Programs

  • Closed-toe shoes are required
  • Please wear clothes that will allow you to climb and stretch.  
  • Dress in layers and bring more layers than you think you will need.
  • Bring a rain jacket even on days that look bright and sunny.
  • If you decide to wear shorts, they should be at least mid-thigh length so that you are comfortable wearing a waist harness on the high elements.
  • Long hair should be tied back and loose jewelry should not be worn as they can get in the way while climbing.

How to Dress for Oct-April Programs

  • Warm beanie

  • Wool or synthetic “base layer”

  • Fleece jacket or sweater
  • Puffy jacket or vest 
  • Jacket shell to protect you against the wind
  • Gloves
  • Long johns (a synthetic or wool base layer)
  • Light-weight, full-length hiking pants or heavier duty-pant that you can still stretch your legs in. 
  • Shorts are not recommended at the course because you’ll be putting on harnesses to climb
  • Wool socks (heavier socks are better)
  • Hiking shoes or a waterproof shoe (ankle support is not needed unless you are prone to twisted ankles, however there could be snow on the ground, so a snow boot would be a fine option as well)


  • Check the weather report before coming.

  • The temperature on Mount Pleasant is, on average, 5-10 degrees colder than on campus. 
  • There are times when it’s a gorgeous day in downtown Ithaca, but up at the Challenge Course, it is windy and overcast (or more extreme) so be prepared for anything and bring layers!

Water and Snacks and What to Bring

  • Reusable water bottles to keep yourselves well-hydrated (we have water available for refilling bottles)

  • Bring snacks (fruit, granola bars, etc.) if your group is not providing meals and you think you will get hungry.
  • Clean up any bottles, wrappers or other trash that you accumulate and carry out trash and recycling with you.
  • Any personal medications that you’d want to have with you in the outdoors (inhaler, EPI-pen, etc. )

Ticks & Lyme Disease

Please remember that we are sharing the great outdoors with insects, including ticks. During any outdoor activity in the northeastern United States, there is the risk of getting bitten by a tick that carries Lyme Disease. We have insect repellent available for your use at the course, and long pants are also helpful. Visit the NYS Department of Health Guidelines on Lyme Disease for more information.

If you have any questions please e-mail us at or call us at 607-254-4897

Thank you and we look forward to meeting you!