If you already have belaying experience with a GriGri, you may opt to "challenge" the Belay Certification. Belay Challenges are held at the Climbing Wall (CW) throughout the summer during Climbing Wall hours. You may request a "challenge" to the Belay Certification from a CW supervisor on duty.
What is Belaying?
In rock climbing ‘belaying’ is the term to describe the technique used to manage the rope of a climber. The belayer can catch a climber’s fall, provide tension on the rope through tricky sections, and lower a climber back down to the ground. It is a huge responsibility, as you literally have your partner’s safety in your hands. At the AppState climbing gym, we typically utilize a top-rope climbing system. This means that the rope travels from the belayer, through an extremely strong anchor system at the top of the climbing wall, back down to the climber tied to the end of the rope. The belayer uses a belay device, also called a "Gri-Gri", to control the rope, alternating between taking in slack and paying out rope. The "Gri-Gri" is an assisted locking aperture device that attaches to the belayer's harness, controling rope speed by utilizing friction by adding bends in the rope and through the assistance of cam mechanism that pinches the rope. Prior to climbing, the belayer and climber perform a safety pre-check on one another to ensure that all gear is safe. Climbers and belayers use pre-established climbing commands to safely communicate. At a wall as busy as ours, it is important to be clear with the climbing commands. Belaying is a great way to provide support to the climber and can be a lot of fun!
Belay Workshop Itinerary
- Orientation to our facility and some of the common hazards to avoid
- Introduction to the proper use and care of climbing equipment: shoes, harnesses, helmets, ropes, carabiners, and belay devices
- Knots used to tie into climbing rope
- Safety pre-climb check (between belayer and climber)
- Introduction to basic top rope climbing systems (belayer, climber, top anchor, etc.)
- Signals and belay contract commands
- Belay skills to include: safely loading belay device, anchoring when needed, belay technique, catching a climber’s fall, and lowering climber
- Basic climbing technique
Belay Clinic & Challenge
- Belay Workshops: Mondays & Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
- Belay Challenges: Thursdays & Fridays from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
The Belay Workshops are an introduction to the proper use and care of climbing equipment: shoes, harnesses, helmets, ropes, carabiners, and belay device. Additionally you'll learn the basic belay skills to include: safely loading belay device, anchoring when needed, belay technique, catching a climber’s fall, and lowering climber and much more.
- Cost: $5.00
- Registration Required: Visit the Outing Center to register and inquire about times
Lead Climbing Clinic & Challenge
Lead Climb and Belay workshops and challenges: Every other Wednesday from 10:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.
Lead Workshops will teach you the basics of proper clipping techniques and avoiding basic clipping errors (i.e. back-clipping, z-clipping, back-stepping). Lead belay skills will include loading belay devices, evaluating pros/cons of anchoring, spotting, belay technique that maintains brake hand on rope, catching a climber’s fall, lowering climbers, and much more.
- Cost: $5.00
- Registration Required: Come to the Outing Center to register and inquire about times
Student Recreation Center
150 Bodenheimer Drive
Boone, North Carolina 28608
First Ascent Summer 2018 registration has started. These programs fill rapidly. Join us on Appalachian State Univeristy's only Wilderness Orientation program this summer!