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General Climbing Discussion

St Peters new lead belay pass requirements

8:16:23 AM

I helped a friend get her lead belay pass the other day at St Peters. The staff member informed us that due a recent insurance company investigation all people who pass their lead assessment must return in a months time to be have a final assessment before being signed off as safe. During the one month probationary period people applying for their lead pass are allowed to climb in the gym to gain experience.

10:13:19 AM
Cheers for this - I'm curious to know whether this applies to only newly accredited climbers or do all existing climbers need to be reassessed as well.

Also is there any restrictions on what device you can use?

Interested as here in Singapore a number of gyms are now requiring people to be reassessed using assisted belay devices citing new insurance requirements. Not everyone is happy arguing an assisted device doesn't make up for incompetence. This "probation" approach seems an interesting way to tackle to try and address this. What do others think?

10:54:36 AM
Only newly accredited leaders are affected. People who've held their ATC lead pass prior to the new ruling do not have to be re-assessed. This was confirmed by the staff member.

St. Peters now permits assisted belay devices which you need to be assessed for independently from your ATC. If you want a pass for both you need to be assessed for both, two different assessment processes. This was confirmed by the staff member.

The staff member also said as I'm already ATC accredited (had it for 9 years) and I wanted to do my assisted belay device assessment I would need to come back after one month to be re-assessed. The one month period was referred to as a probationary period. Everyone at all levels are obliged by the new rules.

8:53:07 PM
well this bodes very poorly for visiting climbers :(
9:41:31 AM
Does this mean a visiting climber will or will not be able to climb lead at the gym? Surely the staff of St Peter's are experienced enough to tell from an assessment if someone has experience or requires a watchful eye?

4:17:22 PM
Despite my general inclination for people to be accountable for their actions/incompetence I can see the need for having a process/test to accredit people to lead climb in gyms that are running as a business with liability issues. And travellers should suck it up.

Not sure it happens in oz but in Singapore your pass works for quite a few gyms so you only need to be tested once. But then again my thumbprint is my passport which is kind of creepy.

If you are going to get huffy about tests I reckon you should focus efforts on making one test universal and also tests more quick and efficient than moaning about the fact you (or travellers) need to take one.
5:23:06 PM
Not getting huffy about tests. Just trying to understand what exactly this probation period means.

Does it mean that even if you "pass their test", you are still deemed not to be safe to lead climb? Or does it mean you can climb and the staff will monitor what you are doing?

I'm sure plenty of climbers travel to visit friends and would hit up the local indoor gym.

7:24:32 PM
sorry that was a general "you" not a specific you.

Dave Stone
2:57:20 PM
To clarify our policy at SICG St Peters, we now have a 1 month probationary period for any new lead assessment. This means that if the climber passes the test they can lead in the gym as normal but need to be reassessed in a month to get a permanent pass. If they fail they can't be reassessed for a month.

We accept only ATC style devices or Grigri 2. Both need a separate assessment. We don't supervise you during the probationary period. Travelers can still get a lead pass and aren't treated differently from anyone else. Existing lead pass holders aren't affected.

6:31:21 PM
Maybe one of those helpful chockstone users that pops up now and then to share their counterfeit degreees and passports and degreees could offer fake lead climbing passes instead. Know your market.

[Moderator edit: Only if I don't get to disabling them here first!]

9:51:58 PM

How open are you/the industry to accepting passes from other gyms either around Sydney interstate or at a stretch overseas?

As I said above I can see the need (and have seen the need!!!) for some sort of competancy check. But the need for constant retesting at new gyms is a fkin pain once you've been climbing safely for a while.

5:47:41 AM
Thanks Dave for the info. Sounds very reasonable.

Competency/safety tests is a difficult topic. How can gyms balance self responsibility, safety, liability without inflicting over onerous requirements on climbers.

When I go to the pool, I'm not made to demonstrate I can tread water and swim before being allowed in the deep end. On the other hand, to dive you need to do a course before being allowed to hire equipment or go on charter dives. Having a ticket also does not mean someone is competent.

I think what most gyms do is reasonable. A combination of a brief assessment and having staff keeping a watchful eye. I wouldn't like to have to go down the path of getting a ticket nor do I think it should be necessary.

5:49:17 AM
This would be driven by insurance companies so doubt they would accept just using other gyms passes as certification simply because there is no set would they know they had the same standards as other gyms?

When you climb outside i assume you don't just blindly trust a new climbing partner to belay you without checking skill set and this process is much the same except in one size fits all treat everyone as a newb until proven otherwise.

With public liability the way it is i cant see it changing anytime soon as in the end the whole process has to hold up in court should someone sue..and the line "yeah but they had an unaccredited lead pass so thought they were right to go"..isn't much of a legal argument not matter how many waivers you had that person sign.

5:10:58 PM
I get the insurance thing but still can't see what the problem is if folk got their shit together.

Probably same insurers covering multiple gyms and can't see why with a bit of organisation a few gyms can't get together and recognise each other's accreditation. Like I said it's done here in Singapore and they'd be dealing with the same international underwriters. Agree international agreements are a big stretch but would be so much better as a customer (local, interstate or otherwise) if you only had to take the test once.

There are 14 messages in this topic.


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