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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Gris Gris banned at Sydney Indoor 5-Jul-2006 At 1:17:01 PM cliffhanger
mmmmmm..... any thread involving gyms seems to generate very long threads, a bit of interest and quite a lot of opinions - so here's my two bits worth too!!!

I guess it wasn't a kneejerk reaction (given the 2 incidents) but I think it's a COP OUT!

Yes there are lots of opinions, but porbably as Kezza, Red, Dalai and Neil have mentioned, it's really a BELAYER (human) issue not a device issue and I believe it is seriously a SUPERVISION issue.

In response to other issues mentioned:

GYMS PROVIDING LEAD ROPES, ETC - If they start doing that, then a trip to the gym is going to be expensive. Not only do the gym have to provide the gear, they have to inspect it and effectively monitor it while it's being used - not only would it piss you off having and instructor standing next to you the whole time, their $20 (plus oncosts) per hour would be built into your gear hire or entry rate. I suggest you bring your own but TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT, both its condition and use.

WHY AM I PAYING GYM ENTRY TO WEAR OUT MY OWN GEAR? are you blind? you are paying gym entry to cover the cost of using the facility provided! in some cases this is around a million bucks worth of facility.

INSURANCE INFORMATION, not sure what other gyms do, but we record every incident or accident on a report form, and then regularly submit these to our insurer, so our insurer knows exactly what's happening or not - no paranoia there.

I digress, anyway back to the GriGri's in gyms issue...

I've seen several lead climbing incidents where the GriGri has save a life or serious injury, inlcuding one with a well know pair of Australian climbers. Cause of accident - cutting corners/being sloppy, the thing that saved him - GRIGRI locking up when the belayer had a FUBAR and let go of the brake rope.

Yes Lead Climbing was banned at Cliffhanger, albeit temporarily a few years back. The ban was in place to allow us to do the following:
- Put in place a new systems based approach to managing lead climbing in the gym, which consisted of:
- Make all Lead Climbers complete a new Waiver Form specifically for Lead Climbing,
- Give all lead climbers an updated copy of our Lead Climbing Rules,
- Re-test all Lead Climbers for proficiency (and on which device they were tested, including verifying use of Grigri if needed).

We now use this information as part of our Lead Climbing Procedure - this involves printing customers lead climbing "status" on their membership card, we then issue them a Lead Climbng Pass which they must Hang on their harness while lead climbing or belaying (and return at the end of the session).

We only have a limited number of these Lead Passes, which therefore controls the number of patrons that can lead climb at any given time - therefore allowing ADEQUATE SUPERVISION of these patrons. If we have limited staff on a particular night, we can reduce the number of available passes to ensure safety.

This intiative was introduced with the blessing of our previous insurer, and by taking a systems approach to the issue it was resolved with nor fear or favour to any device, just dodgy belayers!

We have just about completed negotiations with a new insurer to separate our PLI insurance into top rope and lead roped activities. This means we will have a"user pay" system for our lead climbing insurance which will minimise any impact from the 4 or 5 recent lead climbing accidnets in gyms in Australia if they go to court - remembering they have 7 years to consider bringing a case after reading all the threads on Chockstone!!!

People Lead climbing at Cliffhanger now pay a $1.50 Lead Climbing Levy (effective July 1st 2006) in addition to their entry fee, unless they have a prepaid membership of some form. Anyone found belaying dodgily automatically looses their lead climbing status and is prohibited from leading in the gym again.

Seems to work for us.

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