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The structure on the east side of the U's Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) is actually a world-class ROPES course: Recreation, observation, problem solving, experiential education and self-esteem.

By Joe Walker, challenge course coordinator, UNI Ropes

At first glance, a towering structure made of wood and cables may appear to be nothing more than an extreme jungle gym. But the structure on the east side of the University of Utah’s Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) is actually a world-class ropes course (Cummock, 2015). ROPES stands for: recreation, observation, problem solving, experiential education and self-esteem.

Prior to coming to the ROPES Course, groups determine their desired goals and outcomes. Facilitators then use this information to design and tailor the experience to the group. Every ROPES experience begins with establishing values of trust and respect among group members and with oneself. Additional results of the ROPES course include but are not limited to communication, team cohesion, conflict resolution, problem-solving, leadership skills and self-esteem building. Whether new or seasoned group member, everybody walks away with a unique shared experience.

The UNI ROPES Challenge Course is outcome focused and each group is sequenced to facilitate a positive experience. Whether a group member decides to climb or not, each group member can walk away thinking about what they accomplished and what their team learned. The goal is to provide a high quality, positive experience that groups and individuals will remember for years to come.

Both flexible and diverse, the ROPES course at UNI consists of 12 high elements, over 15 low elements and an unlimited number of ground initiative games and equipment to meet the unique needs of everyone. During the winter, a few of the outdoor elements are removed, but if the weather cooperates, groups are on the course year-round. In case of inclement weather, an indoor gym with a climbing wall, a climbing net and plenty of space for ground activities is available.

Special University of Utah rates are available for units, departments, residents, fraternities, sororities, classes, clubs and other student or faculty/staff groups. Community groups are also welcome.

Please contact the Challenge Course Coordinator Joe Walker at or 801-587-3148 for more information.

For more information, click here.

Cummock, K., (2015). UNI’s ROPES Course Doesn’t Disappoint.