Assisted Braking Device Policy

What new policy is being implemented at TRC facilities?

We now require all patrons to use an assisted braking device while lead belaying.

When will this policy take effect?

This policy change will begin on Saturday, September 1st, 2018.

Why is this policy being implemented?

The safety of our climbers remains our top priority. We regularly evaluate our safety and risk management procedures that impact members, guests, and staff.

By requiring an assisted braking device for Lead Belaying, we’re able to further mitigate the inherent risks in climbing while still preserving the enjoyment and satisfaction that climbers experience inside the facility.

What styles of devices are allowed?

TRC will allow modern assisted braking devices manufactured for climbing.  Examples include but are not limited to, Petzl GriGri, Black Diamond Pilot, Mammut Smart, Madrock Lifeguard, and the Ederid Jul/Mega Jul.

What if we still prefer to use a regular ATC, will we be able to?

No, use of an assisted belaying device will be required for all climbers while Lead Belaying at TRC. TRC will provide a limited supply of devices for belayers to become accustomed to.

How will this policy change the TRC Lead Belay Check?

Passing the Lead Belay Check will require use of an assisted belay device in the gym and the age limit will still be 12 years old. Participants will be required to verbally explain the differences between belaying with a standard tube style device, assisted braking device, and the limitations of both.

Will I need to retake the Lead Check if I have already passed either?

No, if you have passed the current TRC Belay and/or Lead Checks by September 1st you will not need to retake these checks to lead climb after the policy is implemented.

What if I don’t know how to properly belay with an Assisted Braking Device?

We encourage signing up for our free “Lead Belaying with an Assisted Braking Device” clinic. This clinic is offered at all locations and is free for members! Classes can be found by visiting:

How does this policy relate to outdoor climbing and the education of new climbers?

The individual preferences and individual objectives of climbers often inform what belay devices they prefer to use outside. We recommend seeking professional instruction through an accredited guiding agency for a more in-depth instruction on climbing outside.

Are there any other climbing gyms who also have this policy?

Yes, this is a practice at many climbing facilities in the United States with many of the largest gyms in the country requiring patrons to use an assisted braking device while lead belaying.

Are there any additional policy changes moving forward?

Our goal is to continue providing an enhanced value to TRC’s Membership. This goal is second only to proper, industry standard, risk management techniques. At this time, no additional changes are scheduled. However, we will continue evaluating our policies and procedures to ensure we are able to continue mitigating risk without negatively affecting our members’ experience at TRC.

Will you have any assisted braking devices available for members at the front desk?

Yes, we will have a limited number of Black Diamond Pilots available for use with our lead ropes at each facility.

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