ABD Policy

As of February 1st, all Vertical World gyms will REQUIRE assisted belay devices while lead climbing, unassisted belay devices will NOT BE ALLOWED.


Customer FAQs for New Lead Belaying Policy; Assisted Braking Devices (ABD) only when lead belaying


Why is Vertical World making this Lead Belay policy change? 

New technologies, methods, and devices are a perpetual part of our industry. Vertical World is continually assessing our policies to stay at the forefront of the industry’s best practices.  The industry has been moving toward assisted braking devices for indoor climbing facilities. Vertical World will join this practice and begin requiring Assisted Braking Devices (ABD) while lead belaying. This decision was influenced by the following: 

Advances in technology have increased accessibility to assisted brake device systems  

Assisted belay devices add redundance in case of human error 

Will I need to retake my lead test?

No, you will just need start using (if not already) an ABD starting February 1, 2023. If you are not familiar with ABD’s then it is your responsibility to become experienced in order to lead belay within the Vertical World Climbing facilities.

What devices are allowed? 

Assisted Brake Device List 

All lead climbing equipment must be provided by customers

What if I don’t know how to use a device?

That is no problem! We will be holding multiple weekly clinics in both mechanical and passive assisted belay devices. Clinic schedule will be advertised online

You can also learn from the manufacturer of your new device

Ask for advice and quick tips from the front desk 

What are the available devices to purchase? 

Petzl GriGri and GriGri + 

Edelrid Jul2 and MegaJul 

Black Diamond Pilot 

Mammut Smart

Others, as they become available 

Are there any cheap options? 

In general, passive assisted braking device will run $40-80 , while mechanical assisted braking devices will range from $80-150. 

If I have only used the ATC, what ABD’s are easiest for me to use? 

We recommend using passive assisted belay devices. These devices are set-up like the ATC. While taking in slack is not different, feeding out slack, unblocking the devices, and lowering requires practice and attention to belay methods.

What if I am not ready to buy a new device? 

All lead climbing will require an assisted brake device starting February 1st. During the transition leading up to and after this policy change, Vertical World will provide an assisted brake device loaner system. Inquire at the front desk for more information.

In addition to loaner belay devices, we will offer free clinics with device orientations for customers needing to make the change to an assisted brake device. Clinic information can be found online

Are there any deals on new devices? 

Yes, we will offer 20-30% for the month of February 2023 on all in-stock ABD’s. Check your local gym for availability.

AS ALWAYS, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT AND BELONGINGS. You are responsible for knowing how to use, inspect and ensure the equipment you bring is fit for use and complies with all manufacturer requirements. Vertical World is not responsible for inspecting or otherwise ensuring your equipment is fit for use. Ensure that your rope is at least 35 meters long before lead climbing. Also, be sure to always wear your Lead Belay tag OR Lead Climbing tag when doing so.

Remember, Climbing is Dangerous!