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Problem Solver - August 2011

Boost Your Climbing Wall's Potential


Whether you have a climbing wall in place or you're considering adding one to your facility, you need to plan up front to maximize its use—along with the revenue it draws. One way to boost your wall's earning potential is with an auto belay system.

Top-rope climbing usually involves two people: a climber and a belayer. With an auto belay system, you won't need a human belayer. This will allow multiple people to climb, with just one person supervising from the ground.

Q: How can an auto belay system improve our facility?

A: An auto belay system will allow you to increase revenue because more climbers will be able to ascend the wall. At the same time, you will reduce both your cost and the risks.

An auto belay system will attract single climbers, and at the same time, it will attract first-timers who may feel intimidated by climbing. Auto belays eliminate the need for belayer training and testing, allowing new participants to clip in and get started. And, because climbers won't need to have a partner every time they visit, single climbers will be able to come whenever their schedule permits.

On top of this, you'll find you can host more classes, parties, clinics and other programs on your wall without having a dramatic impact on your staffing needs. Simply move the auto belay devices to the area where they are needed. Fewer staffers will be needed to belay or supervise climbers.

Experienced and inexperienced climbers will also appreciate the auto belay as it gives them a chance to get in a more intense workout. In the traditional two-person system, one person must wait while their partner climbs. With an auto belay in place, everyone gets an intense workout, without having to wait their turn.

Q: How can an auto belay system reduce our risk?

A: The biggest risk in a climbing facility is falling due to human belayer error. An auto belay device will remove that factor from the equation, reducing your risk.

Q: What should we look for?

A: Talk to your manufacturer. The key is to find an auto belay that meets safety standards for fall arrest devices and has undergone extensive safety testing. You want to find a system that is reliable, accommodates a wide range of climber weights and has no sacrificial wearing parts.

Look for a product that is easy to install and move around. This will make it easier for you to change the position to accommodate different programming needs.

Finally, ask about maintenance requirements. You will occasionally need to replace webbing, but you should be able to find something with low maintenance requirements and costs.



FOR MORE INFORMATION

TRUBLUE Auto Belays: 877-565-6885
www.climbtru.com