Belay Device Policy

As of February 1st, all Vertical World gyms began requiring assisted braking devices while lead climbing.

Non-assisted belay devices are no longer allowed.

Customer FAQs for New Lead Belaying Policy:


Why did Vertical World make 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 joined this practice and began 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 braking devices add redundancy in case of human error.

If I haven’t belayed at Vertical World with an ABD, will I need to retake my lead test?

No, you will just need to start using an ABD. If you are not familiar with ABDs then it is your responsibility to become experienced in order to lead belay within the Vertical World Climbing facilities.

**Please note that all belay tests expire after one year with no check-ins.

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! Just ask us.

You can also learn from the manufacturer of your new device.

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 ABDs will run $40-80 , while mechanical ABDs will range from $80-150. 

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

We recommend using passive ABDs. 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.

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!