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Standard Belay Tests
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kwdrysdale


Sep 12, 2012, 12:41 PM
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Standard Belay Tests
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Hi. I'm new to the forum as my climbing interests have been sparked again. :) In the past I took an intro to climbing course where they taught how to put on a harness, tie in, belay, etc... It's been a few years, but I would like to start climbing again at some local gyms. I'm wondering what is in a standard belay test? My guess would be tieing in, setting up the belay device, safety checks and demonstrating proper belay techniques. Some things that have slipped my mind are the belay commands (I will google them though) and wonder if that would be part of the belay test at most gyms? Thanks for any info you can share about basic belay tests you've had at any gym.


cleavoncox


Sep 12, 2012, 1:21 PM
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Re: [kwdrysdale] Standard Belay Tests [In reply to]
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You have it spot on. In my gym I also had to have my climber fall and I had to show that I handled the belay device properly.


kwdrysdale


Sep 12, 2012, 1:35 PM
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Re: [cleavoncox] Standard Belay Tests [In reply to]
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Thanks! I just would not want to end up at the gym and be missing one key skill. I will refresh myself in the belay commands and get myself tested!! :) To the GYM!!! Laugh


climbingaggie03


Sep 12, 2012, 3:09 PM
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Re: [kwdrysdale] Standard Belay Tests [In reply to]
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Also It's ok to ask questions about how they want you to do it, it clarifies their expectations and makes you look knowledgeable about different techniques.

Depending on the gym, the belay commands aren't that important as much as making sure everything is good between you and the climber.


jeepnphreak


Sep 12, 2012, 7:13 PM
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Re: [kwdrysdale] Standard Belay Tests [In reply to]
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Check out the gym. I have been to our local gym a couple of times now and once in a neighboring town and both had a sheet on the wall of belay expectations for the test.


DemolitionRed


Sep 13, 2012, 4:40 AM
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It always amazes me that in the UK, depending on what gym you go to, you may be tested rigorously or you may not be tested at all.
We were at a gym last night when a couple came. The guy obviously knew his stuff and went about teaching her how to belay on a regular tubular device. After 10 minutes he started to climb the wall and he didn't pick an easy climb where the likelihood of him falling off was well, unlikely!
She was on her own and looking terrified. It was very obvious she wasn't going to catch him if he fell and at one point I got up and went and held the brake rope. When he came down I said, 'do you mind if I stand with her and guide her?' and he was cool about that but there was nobody running the gym and noticing dangers like this.
I have been to gyms where people just climb up without rope or harnesses and nobody stops them and I have been to other gyms where they are so strict, even a very experienced belayer thinks they are going to fail!

Good to hear you have got it right over in the USA


kwdrysdale


Sep 13, 2012, 8:06 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions of checking the gym or calling them. I honestly didn't think about either option. lol

I can't imagine a gym that wouldn't verify belayer's ability. A few major accidents could ruin a gym in my opinion.


JimTitt


Sep 13, 2012, 8:10 AM
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kwdrysdale wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions of checking the gym or calling them. I honestly didn't think about either option. lol

I can't imagine a gym that wouldn't verify belayer's ability. A few major accidents could ruin a gym in my opinion.

Ive never been in a gym that does check, difference between the land of the free and Europe I guess!


madkiki


Sep 25, 2012, 10:20 AM
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I don't believe in "Belay Test" I do believe in "Belay Skills" and the most important thing to look for is "Hand-Rope Coordination" and the skill of "Locking Down" the rope in order to catch a fall.

It is great idea for beginner belayers to experience a climber falling with a back-up belayer such as the instructor.

Instructor should NEVER be the climber, they should be on the floor as back-up and coaching the belayer.

"Belay Test" can be pretty lame depending on who is giving the test. I rather teach a life saving skill than to rush a simple set of rules.


kwdrysdale


Sep 25, 2012, 10:57 AM
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Yes...belay skills are way more important than being able to pass a test. Testing is for gym purposes only, and it's to cover them for insurance reasons. The gym I tested at did a really good job, as far as I'm concerned. They expected top quality belaying and tested everything that I had been taught in a course I took.


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