Climbing hall only allows semi-automatic belay devices

On the 18. In January, an 33-year-old climber crashed on the ground from a height of ten meters in the climbing hall of St. Gallen. The casualty suffered severe bruises and a laceration at the back of his head. The event causes the hall operators to take a drastic measure: From 1. Janaur 2019 only fault tolerant devices are allowed.

Accidents in climbing gyms are not a new phenomenon. In most cases, including the incident in the St. Gallen climbing hall, there are no serious injuries. “The causes of the accidents mostly lie with the users,” writes the managing director of the St. Gallen climbing hall, Diego Lampugnani, on the website. Other hall operators also confirm that accidents can often be traced back to faulty safety knots or improper use of the safety devices.

Partner check lowers risk

The risk of an accident could be significantly reduced with a simple measure: Partnercheck. In most climbing gyms it is pointed out several times to apply the partner check consistently. The partner check is about checking the knot by the climber and the correct threading in the belay device by the climber before climbing.

Second source of error: belay device

The risk of incomplete or incorrect integration can therefore be clearly reduced by consistently adhering to the partner check. In order to reduce the risk of the second very common cause of accidents - operating the belay device - the St. Gallen climbing hall has also decided to only allow more fault-tolerant belay devices from the following year. "These devices block the safety rope or support the braking effect in the event of a fall, even if the belayer violates the braking hand principle," writes Lampugnani. However, the support of the braking effect or blocking of the safety rope only works if these devices are operated correctly. The St. Gallen climbing hall recommends the Grigri, Smart and Jul 2 devices to its visitors.

Patronage or sensible decision?

The opinions, whether the decision of the hall operator is now radical or reasonable, probably go far apart. What is your opinion? Here's the discussion on Facebook.

Credits: picture infocard.ch, Opinion climbing gym St. Gallen

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1 comment

  1. HMS is probably the most vulnerable to chain of custody. The braking force for the brake hand is low. In the rock with insecure hooks, friends, etc. a security advantage. Beginners should also practice this in the hall.

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