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USA Climbing Statement on Belay Practices for Speed Climbing

USA Climbing Statement on Belay Practices for Speed Climbing

USA Climbing Statement on Belay Practices for Speed Climbing

As was reported in USA Climbing’s May 16th statement (and in CEO Kynan Waggoner’s May 18th open letter to USAC stakeholders), USA Climbing’s Risk Management Committee has been evaluating, among other things, the potential use of auto-belay devices for Speed climbing competition.  The evaluation process has been ongoing for several months, and has involved an extensive review of existing “classic” (or manual) belay practices as well as the possibility of using auto-belay devices.  

Based on the Risk Management Committee’s review and recommendation to USA Climbing’s Board of Directors and Operations Staff, USA Climbing, in conjunction with its Rules Committee, has decided to amend Rule 7.2.1, effective immediately, to eliminate the requirement that speed climbing routes must be “belayed from below.”  At this time, Host Facilities are permitted to employ their preferred means of belaying speed climbing competition, consistent with their own internal safety and risk assessment policies and procedures.


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