Three-Strike system
Individuals may receive strikes for lead climbing or belaying infractions. Infractions may include but are not limited to:
  • Skipping any clips (climbers are permitted to only clip one of the two carabiners at the anchor)
  • Spiking climbers
  • Dropping falling climbers too far
  • Improper belay technique
  • Climbing after improperly tying in or setting up the belay
  • Tying in with the wrong knot or belaying with the wrong device
  • Any infraction that would warrant a “fail” during a lead test

Climbers may be administered 3 strikes or have their privileges revoked for major infractions such as...
  • Dropping climbers to the floor
  • Major belay infractions
  • Gri Gri loaded backwards
  • Gri Gri not properly loaded

A climber or belayer who receives 3 strikes will have their approval revoked and must take a Climb lead clinic before being able to take a lead test.
  • Starting Jan 1, 2021 only a Grigri 2 or newer device may be used for lead belaying in a Climb facility
  • Climbers may only tie in with a figure-8 follow through and should not “finish” the knot in any way
  • Climbers are not allowed to skip any quick draws
  • Customers must adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines on any gear they are using
  • Back leading is not allowed in Climb facilities
  • Top roping from a lead anchor is not permitted
  • Climbers and belayers are responsible for their own decisions
  • Lead instruction is not allowed by anyone other than Climb Instructors in any Climb facility
  • Lead/Belay tags must be displayed at all times
  • Persons under the age of 13 are not permitted to lead climb or belay
  • Recommended that belayers are 70% or more of climbers weight
  • It is recommended that climbers/belayers use an Edelrid Ohm to make up for great differences in weight
  • Climbers and belayers must adhere to lead test standards at all times
  • Lead belayers are encouraged to wear close-toed shoes when belaying
  • Lead approved members are able to mock lead with a mock lead rope from the front desk

Any individual who has participated in a lead clinic provided by Climb instructors may mock lead climb. The same individual must pass the lead test with an approved tester (not their lead clinic instructor) their next visit to the gym before lead climbing.
  • A short mock leading rope is available for checkout at the front desk
  • Climber must be clipped into auto belay or be belayed on top rope
  • Mock belaying is not allowed to prevent entanglement and other hazards


1Why is back-leading not allowed? What if I want to climb a route I am unable to lead, but want to practice and improve?
In most of our facilities, top ropes and lead climbs overlap with enough frequency to allow for a climber to get a route "dialed in" on top rope first. We do not allow climbers to back lead because in the back-leading "top rope" scenario, the rope is not securely fixed to the anchor and may be unclipped at any time by the climber. In an effort to mitigate the risk to the climbers in our community, we ask that our customers only top rope in scenarios that have been set up, managed, and inspected by Climb staff.
2Why is mock leading not allowed, aside from those that have taken a clinic with us?
Lead climbing is inherently more risky than top rope climbing and learning that skill comes with a whole other set of skills, abilities, and aptitudes that are necessary to perform it well. We want to make sure that individuals learning to lead climb in our facilities are adhering to best lead climbing practices and developing habits that will meet the high standards of our lead climbing test.
3Why do we not allow a finish knot on the figure-8 follow through?
Requiring the use of a finishing knot (sometimes known as "safety knot") implies the figure-8 follow through knot needs a back-up or redundancy, which it does not. The existence of a finishing knot is not at all necessary to the integrity of the figure-8 follow through so one must ask themselves, "Why have it?" It is not in a climber's best interest to introduce unnecessary variables into the high-risk climbing scenario. When certain finishing knots are tied incorrectly they can, in fact, compromise the figure-8 follow through and it can make it harder for our staff to identify properly/improperly tied knots. It is not uncommon for an experienced lead climber to clip a quickdraw into their finishing knot, which inhibits their ability to climb freely and correctly on the wall.
4Why Gri-Gri only? What if I'm left handed?
Our recommendation would be to master the method of paying out slack where you simply feed the rope through the device. Using your thumb on the cam is only for rapid response and is not essential.
Check out Petzl's recommended technique for lefties here

We require the use of assisted braking devices (ABDs) in Climb facilities because the use of ABDs significantly reduces the risks associated with belaying. We require lead belayers to use a Grigri for a few reasons:

1) Grigris are hung on all Climb top ropes. This makes the transition from top rope to lead belaying smoother for our customers.
2) Visibility and consistency are key factors in managing risk. We require every belayer in Climb facilities to use Grigris. Therefore, any approved belayer can easily spot an improperly loaded grigri (and perhaps even a misused grigri) and alert the user.
3) We train our staff to help mitigate risk by keeping eyes on our community at all times. The use of a singular belay device aids in the speed at which a staff member (or community member) can assess its proper use and make sure the belay methods being used by our community are sound and in line with our teachings.
5What if I'm unable to climb the test-out route?
Climbers are required to climb the lead test route clean (without falls) because the route tests a myriad of skills required of competent lead climbers such as clipping positions, rope management, fitness, etc. Climbers that are able to climb the test route clean will display a level of competency, aptitude, and risk management skills that prove they can venture into the high-risk world of lead climbing (in our facility).
6Will the Gri Gri damage my rope? Will you lend out ropes for lead climbing?
The Gri Gri will not damage a climbing rope. We are unable to lend out ropes because of the difficulty with managing how they are used, tracking falls, and ensuring the safety of users.