Starting April 8th, we’ll begin requiring Assisted-Braking Devices (ABDs) such as the Petzl GriGri and Black Diamond ATC-Pilot for all belaying in the gym. This means that for all top-roping and lead climbing, the belayer must use an approved ABD.
While this can be inconvenient for some, we want to help alleviate as much stress and financial burden as possible. I have outlined the following steps we are taking to make this transition as seamless as possible:
All top ropes will be outfitted with GriGri belay devices. You will not need to purchase your own device or rent one for use if you do not already have one.
All persons who are already top rope belay certified will be offered a complimentary class on how to adapt their current belay skill to effectively belay with the Petzl GriGri.
All non-certified persons will still need to take a belay class. The classes stated above are geared toward currently certified climbers. The complimentary classes are not a substitution for a full belay class.
All persons who are currently lead climbing certified will also be offered complimentary classes to adapt their current belay skill to effectively belay with an Assisted Braking Device. While the general class will be geared towards Grigris and ATC Pilots, other devices such as the Edelrid Jul, the Mammut Smart Belay and their variations will be discussed, and welcomed to be used if already owned.
All non-certified persons will still need to book a lead cert class. The classes stated above are geared toward currently certified climbers. The complimentary classes are not a substitution for a full lead class.
Beginning March 20th, all Assisted Braking Devices in our Pro-shop will be discounted by 25% in order to lift some of the financial burden of this transition. This discount will continue April 21st, and then prices will return to normal.
Due to the number of members and customers we currently have at the gym, we hope to get all of this done in a timely manner. We will offer one-on-one sessions without reservations as time permits, as well as small-group sessions at specified times that will be both posted in the gym as well as online. These small group sessions will be first-come-first-serve.
I know transitions like this can be frustrating, so please let me know of your concerns. I don’t make decisions like these lightly, and I always do so with my best intentions for our climbers and community. Switching to Assisted Braking Devices will continue to push our community towards better risk mitigation, while maintaining the spirit of the gym. Thank you for your continued support throughout the years, and I hope to see you at the gym! -Nathan Zwerling, Operations Director