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Cornell University

Belay Certification

Anyone wishing to use an Auto Belay, provide a top rope belay, or sport lead at the Lindseth Climbing Center must pass our Belay Proficiency tests. Belay tests must be taken at the start of your class, and can be requested at check-in. If you do not pass your test, re-testing can be done after 24 hours. Complete policies are listed below, followed by helpful resources.

Auto Belay Certification

For Auto Belay, you must demonstrate competence and confidence with:

  1. Understanding of Harness components and fit

  2. Proper understanding of Auto Belay policies

  3. Proper understanding of potential hazards of Auto Belay climbing

  4. Proper attachment to Auto Belay system and checks

  5. Proper releasing of the climbing wall

  6. Proper descent on the Auto Belay system

Auto Belay Policies

  • Auto Belay users must wear a UIAA approved harness designed for rock climbing.
  • Climbers above the posted bouldering limit at an Auto Belay station must be secured to an Auto Belay lanyard.
  • Auto Belay users must receive orientation and demonstrate proficiency in order to use the auto belay systems.
  • Auto Belay users will be issued a tag indicating their status as an Auto Belay certified user, which must be displayed on their harness.
  • Children under 13 years of age cannot receive Auto Belay certification, and must be supervised by an Auto Belay certified adult.

Auto Belay Resources

TRUBLUE Auto Belay Overview

Further instruction is available in from our desk staff.

Top Rope Belay Certification

For Top Rope Belay, you must demonstrate competence and confidence with:

  1. Understanding of Harness components and fit

  2. Tying in as a climber with a Figure 8 Follow Through
  3. Setting up the Belay Device and Closing the System
  4. Instructing use of Belay Commands
  5. Partner Check
  6. Safe and efficient Belay, Catch, and Lower of climber using PBUS method

Top Rope Test Policies

  • A person must be 13 years of age to take a top rope belay certification test.
  • Only LCC Wall Monitors and COE Climbing Instructors may administer the test.
  • The test must be taken cold, without practice directly preceding the test.
  • Wall Monitors and Instructors must provide a backup belay during the test.
  • Belayer must demonstrate complete proficiency with all skills to pass the test.
  • Certified belayers may receive coaching, correction, or have their certification revoked if their technique does not meet the standard of the test.

Top Rope Resources

Top Rope Setup Overview

Top Rope Setup Video

Further instruction is available in our Learn to Belay class.

Sport Lead Climbing Certification

For Sport Lead Climbing, previous experience lead climbing and catching lead falls is required. As a belayer and as a climber, you must demonstrate competence and confidence with:

  1. Efficient Clipping Methods

  2. Understanding of Clipping Hazards and how to avoid/correct them
  3. Planning and Setup for a safe and dynamic Belay
  4. Partner Check
  5. Safe and efficient Belay, Catch, and Lower of climber using an Assisted Braking Device (ABD)
  6. Safe Climb of a tall 5.9, with one mandatory Fall from finish hold

Sport Lead Policies

  • A person must be 15 years of age and have Top Rope certification to take a Sport Lead certification test.
  • Only LCC Wall Monitors and COE Climbing Instructors may administer the test.
  • The test must be taken cold, without practice directly preceding the test.
  • An assisted braking device (ABD) designed for technical climbing must be used when belaying a leader.
  • Wall Monitors and Instructors must provide a backup belay during the test.
  • A person must demonstrate complete proficiency with all belaying and climbing skills to pass the test.
  • Lead Climb Only certification is available for minors ages 13-15, with prior approval from the Wall Manager.
  • Lead Belay Only certification is available for belayers unable to climb at the 5.9 level, with prior approval from the Wall Manager.
  • Certified belayers and climbers may receive coaching, correction, or have their certification revoked if their technique does not meet the standard of the test.
  • Personal climbing ropes are not permitted. Lead ropes are available at the front desk, once both climbers are present.
  • Following, Downclimbing, and Downleading are not permitted.
  • Back-cleaning off-route clips is permitted as long as all draws on route stay clipped.

Sport Lead Resources

Sport Lead Overview

Sport Lead Clipping Video

Further instruction is available in our Learn to Lead class. 

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