Taking photos on top of the chapel tower

Tower Climbs

Tower climbs are a wonderful way to bring people together to experience a wonderfully different view of campus and the landscape of Durham.

To schedule a climb, please email dukechapel@duke.edu and include the words “Tower Climb” in your subject line. Tower climbs may be scheduled only during weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and not on university holidays; during the summer (after Commencent through August), tower climbs may be scheduled only during weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.). It is requested that tower climbs are scheduled a week in advance. All scheduling is at the discretion of the Chapel.

Only full-time Duke University employees, on university business, may schedule a Chapel tower climb. A fund code is required. The person scheduling the tower climb may do so only by agreeing and adhering to the following conditions:

1. The stairs are circular, narrow and steep, without handrails at certain parts. Participants climb at their own risk. The Responsible Part(ies) will ensure that all participants receive and read the Individual Climber Liability form before arriving at the chapel.

2. All Chapel tower climbs must be scheduled and supervised by one or more full-time member of Duke faculty or staff, who is referred to as the “Responsible Party(ies).” The Responsible Party(ies) must review the rules set forth herein, advising group members of the rules, and enforcing the rules with group members. The Responsible Party(ies) shall supervise the climbers while they are on the Chapel tower roof and while they remain in line. In order to receive confirmation of the tower climb reservation, the Responsible Party(ies) shall sign this document below, certifying that he or she has reviewed this document and is willing to follow these rules.

3. The Responsible Party(ies) will carry a mobile phone and provide the number at the bottom of this document. In case of an emergency, the Responsible Party(ies) will call Duke Police at 919-684-2444 and also the Chapel front desk at 919-681-9488.

4. No more than fifteen (15) persons will be allowed on the Chapel tower roof at one time. A minimum of three (3) people must participate in a tower climb.

5. All groups exceeding fifteen (15) participants will be required to break into groups of fifteen (15) or fewer for each tower climb. Each climb must have a Responsible Party(ies) supervising the climbers. Those waiting for their group to climb will remain outside of the Chapel. If a group exceeds thirty (30) participants, the organizers will be required to hire approved event management personnel, such as Staff 1.

6. Each tower climb will be limited to 30 minutes.

7. Participants in tower climbs must be at least 12 years old.

8. No one who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances shall be permitted to climb the Chapel tower stairs. No alcohol or controlled substances may be consumed or used while climbers are waiting in line, during the actual ascent and descent of the Chapel tower stairs or while the climbers remain on the tower roof.

9. The Responsible Party(ies) will ensure that climbers have appropriate footwear that is safe for the climb (e.g., no high heels, flip-flops, or loose-fitting footwear).

10. Book bags and large bags are prohibited. Food is also not permitted in the tower, but water is allowed. These items may be left in the back pew of the Chapel at the risk of the owner.

11. Tower climbs may be scheduled only during weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and not on university holidays. All scheduling is at the discretion of the Chapel.

12. Please refrain from touching or grabbing onto any of the light fixtures in the tower stairwell.

13. A valid fund code is required for a tower climb. It will be charged only if the Chapel incurs costs, such as for cleaning or repairs, as a result of the climb.

14. There are four doorways that will be passed before the entrance to the top of the tower. These doors are locked and are not accessible to climbers.

15. During inclement weather (e.g., snow, rain, extreme heart, or high winds), the tower will be closed and existing reservations during that time will be suspended. Rescheduling of these climbs is permitted.

16. After the climb, the Responsible Party(ies) will certify to the Chapel Visitor Relations staff member on duty that all who have ascended the Chapel tower stairs have descended and exited the tower.

17. The Responsible Party(ies) will report any damage or potentially unsafe conditions they notice.