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General Climbing Discussion

Lead Sign-off at Hard Rock Nunawading

2:11:04 PM
So apparently Hard Rock in the city don't do lead sign-offs anymore (maybe will again in the future, but not at present). I was told I needed to go to Nunawading on a Tuesday night to do it. My current climbing partner already has his signed off and can't make it to Nunwading on Tuesdays, so I need to find someone to belay me and let me belay them just for the sign off.

What do people think the chances of finding someone on the night are if I just turn up with my rope and gear? I've lead climbed/belayed before (a lot in the UK, but only a bit recently) so hopefully it won't take long.
2:27:14 PM
That's a tough one... I'd say you'd probably be able to find someone, especially if you booked into one of the later slots rather than the very early ones. There are typically quite a few lead climbers there on Tuesdays, so the chances of finding someone willing to belay are good.

As for the test, they'll get you to do a multi-choice written test, then climb 3/4 of the way up a wall and take a fall. You might also need to demonstrate that you can belay. It'd probably take 5-10 minutes for the actual climbing.
3:47:07 PM
Can anyone comment on why Hardrock make it so f*cking hard to get a lead pass? Do none of their staff climb? Do they just not want climbers there because it takes away the "adventure" for the kids parties and bogans? What? And is there seriously a written test? Am I being unreasonable in comparing it to Altona, where you can arrange it with via a phone call and get signed off by a competent staff member with no hassles at a time that is convenient to you (the paying customer)?

4:02:38 PM
I agree. I was shocked when I went into Hard Rock last night (after carrying my rope with me on the tram to work and then down there). I assumed incorrectly that I could just turn up and sign up for a lead sign-off at some point during the night (I understand that they can't do it everytime someone asks - so thought it'd be scheduled). They will sign off the top ropers in several groups a day, but do not provide a single option at the city facility for lead sign off.

I think they just know that the regular leaders are likely to buy an annual pass and will not make them as much money as the casuals that turn up for a few gos and pay full price for entrance AND gear hire. That's $30 for entry, shoes and harness. Compared to $16.20 per visit for someone with a 10 visit pass, and $14.40 per visit for someone with an annual pass that goes twice a week.

As long as the place is packed with noobs (like it was last night), I'd prefer to have full paying people in my gym too.

Doesn't make me happy though.

4:12:57 PM
Will, there's a written test for Altona as well. Overall, the two assessments are very similar, the big difference is just that Hard Rock don't have anyone at their city gym who is authorised to supervise the test.

4:24:42 PM
Any idea why not Dave?
4:32:40 PM
I think both gyms have only one person capable of administering the lead assessment, the difference is that Cliffhanger has one gym while Hard Rock have two. As for why there's only one person who can administer it, you'd have to ask them.
9:01:49 PM
The whole "lead test" thing is really annoying. Is this something to do with stricter insurance laws here for climbing walls, compared to the UK for example, or just a random irritation?

Anyway, I've been meaning to do it myself, but haven't got round to it yet either. If you want to head up some time let me know.

9:55:35 PM
On 15/03/2013 plumb-bob wrote:
>Compared to $16.20 per visit for someone with a 10 visit pass, and $14.40 per visit for someone with an annual pass that goes twice a week.

$14.40 for a VCC member with a 10 visit pass too.
9:01:51 AM
On 15/03/2013 Dave_S wrote:
>...the big difference is just that Hard Rock don't have
>anyone at their city gym who is authorised to supervise the test.

Which has always begged the question to me of how the people at the city gym can supervise lead climbers every night of the week. If you can't sign off that a 'new' leader knows what they are doing how can you competently make sure that all the lead climbers there are actually doing the right thing?
9:03:13 AM
On 15/03/2013 Will_P wrote:
... Do none of their staff climb? ...

For the most part no, at least not outside of the gym.
10:13:07 AM
From reading this thread a lurker has passed me a rather sternly worded email about the conduct of a lead climbing proficiency test held at Hardrock city back in the day.

Whilst I've been specifically barred from posting it, the email alleges the nominated staff member didn't turn up the first day and then was rather, um, not with it the second time and didn't seem to give much instruction or really even testing.

The email specifically asked for an instruction and assessment course for leading at Hardrock, instead of the unstructured procedure they had back then.

Could this smoking gun of an email be the start of the Hardrock lead climbing assessment system?

PS I should also mention they ran a series of lead check off sessions a the city gym for the leading ladder comp, I'm surprised they didn't tell you about them. I suspect those have finished now.

PPS I have no problem with the written test. Seriously if you didn't get most of the questions right I'd probably question your suitability to lead climb / belay ... It's just multiple choice pictures, which is right, which is wrong, stuff like where to stand, a picture of a back clipped draw, etc. It's a good, safe and fast way of checking if people know what's wrong without making them do it / demonstrate it. A friend of mine managed to pass and thinks she got almost all of them right just from me telling her how to do things and pointing at people in the gym when they were doing things wrong, without actually doing any reading or study.
One Day Hero
11:19:04 AM
Wait a second.........are you idiots paying $1500/year for climbing gym membership?!?

11:36:07 AM
$1570.00 for an adult to both gyms, $1495 to one gym. $1330 and $1395 for students.

For that to be worthwhile compared to 10 visit passes, you'd need to be going more than twice a week, every week of the year, to just those two gyms.

9:09:52 AM
Holy Hell! Sydney indoor only charges $936 for 12 months and those gyms are WAY better than hardrock. I feel sorry for you mexicans - youre getting rorted! Even my gym ( which has no lead mind you) is only $702 a year!
1:23:09 PM
On 19/03/2013 Sonic wrote:
>Holy Hell! Sydney indoor only charges $936 for 12 months and those gyms
>are WAY better than hardrock. I feel sorry for you mexicans - youre getting
>rorted! Even my gym ( which has no lead mind you) is only $702 a year!

Whilst I think the prices are high, Hardrock City and Nuna both seem to be pretty much at capacity on most weeknights and pretty busy on weekends.

Cliffhanger, despite cheap Mondays (with a free sausage sizzle!), and regularly cheap deals on Cudo etc is at most half full when I've been there.

Given there seems to be a much higher proportion of newbies in the city, depending on the deal with Verve, HR must be making a killing on that venue, but if both their gyms are full there's no incentive for them to lower prices.

Whilst it'd be awesome if there was another gym in Melbourne (preferably in the northern suburbs), given (from my observation) the lack of success Cliffhanger's currently going through, I don't know if there's the numbers to support it.

If someone wants to build a decent gym somewhere between say Clifton Hill to Thomastown and charge $1000 a year for membership I'd probably join :P

1:30:58 PM
how i wish Hobart just had a gym, any gym! Rather than individuals hell bent on shutting it all down!

The flip-side thinking to getting your lead pass is :
wow, i'm amazed they can get insurance to let someone undertake such a 'risky' activity with no formal training or qualifications. I'm glad their insurance company doesn't stipulate a mulit-session training course prior to allowing lead climbing to happen! I think proper risk assessment should be documented prior to each climb, counter-signed by the approved gym delegate.

Seems every other part of our Nanny state country is fast becoming too dangerous to get out of bed in the morning!!

1:46:34 PM
If you fail the test you do have to do their lead course.

2:01:47 PM
Looks like I'm just going to have to book in and head out there to do it one night. Fingers crossed I can find a climbing partner for five minutes.

How big is the bouldering area out there? Big enough to warrant me driving out to Nunawading and paying the entrance fee on my lonesome?

10:02:14 PM
It's a decent size but not as big as lactic. There used to be a good bouldering roof route, not sure if ithat route is still there, it was 12 months ago that I was last there

As to turning up by yourself, just rock up and then approach anyone in a group of 3 or by themselves and say g'day. I've road tested this approach in Australian and NZ gyms when away for work and it not only works at getting a climb in but you also meet people with a common interest. :)

There are 20 messages in this topic.


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