Verification FAQs

Posted on Posted in Facility Announcement, Rock Climbing

Dear Climbers

Thanks for your questions and feedback about the new Verification Process. We have consolidated the common concerns in this FAQ and hope it will assist:

1. I already have a SNCS Level 1 / 2 certification, do I still need to be verified?

The verification is intended as an additional level of facility checks to ensure climber proficiency before usage of the Top Rope or Lead walls.

Given the recent increase in climbers, we feel the need for this additional level of checks for the facility to better manage the risks arising from climber & belayer inexperience and/or complacency.

CC believes that the overarching theme for the recent changes is raising of safety standards. Aside from the introduction of assisted braking devices (ABDs) and checking that customers know how to use an ABD, we also hope to check that all climbers /belayers are generally proficient in what they are doing.

Climbers are still encouraged to take top rope or lead courses (e.g. the SNCS level 1 / 2 classes) and attend ABD workshops to help you attain the skills that are necessary to pass the verification test. The pre-requisite for taking the test is still attendance at a course and /or years of previous experience.

2. Where will the new verification tag be recognised?

The new verification tag will be recognised at Climb Central, Climb Asia and Onsight. This is not a certification card and should you visit other climbing facilities outside of the above gyms (locally / overseas), you may still need to demonstrate proof of competency in climbing and belaying according to their own facility standards.

3. Is the old lead tag still valid?

CC will continue to recognise the old lead tag until 31st May 2017.

A new lead tag will be issued upon passing the verification. From 1st June 2017, Climb Central will require climbers to display the new lead tag when using the lead wall or top rope walls (if you wish to use belay device attached to harness). For requirements of other facilities, please refer to them directly.

4. Who are people who are included in ‘’1st time free (till 31 May 2017) if you have previously passed a lead verification test at CC’’

The fee waiver is only for people who have paid $10 to take a lead verification assessment at Climb Central. It does not include people who have exchanged their Level 2 cards for a lead tag at CC.

5. What happens if I can’t make it for any of CC’s verification slots by 1st June 2017?

We will be monitoring verification signup during the next few months and will open more slots if needed. In addition, we do intend to conduct verification on a regular basis even after 1st June for those who require it.

6. I still have questions that aren’t answered…

If you still have any other questions or queries about verification please email us at We seek your understanding in advance that we may not be able to respond to every social media comment /question but will do our best to reply to individual emails, answer your questions over the counter and to consolidate/update these FAQs.

ABD Lead Workshop Recap

Posted on Posted in Adults & Youths, How to Climb, Programmes

In Feb 2017, we organized a series of ABD workshops to introduce different ABDs and talk about their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a summary of what we shared.

Note: This workshop was tailored to lead climbers (because we’re focused on ABD lead verification), but some of the general principles may be useful knowledge for top rope climbers too!

What is an Assisted Braking Device?

Traditional belay devices use friction to assist you in managing the weight of your climber when you need to catch a fall. Assisted belay devices take this one step further and assist in holding a falling or hanging climber.

Classification of ABDs

Active ABDS

  • Assisted braking relies on pinching mechanisms within the device
  • Have moving parts within the device
  • Independent of the position of the brake hand
  • E.g. Petzl Grigri, Madrock Lifeguard, Camp Matik, Trango Cinch, Edelrid Eddy

Passive ABDs

  • Assisted braking effect is due to pinching of rope between the carabiner and the device
  • Triggered by a slight pull of the rope and is generally dependent on the type of carabiner used
  • Only works if brake rope in a specific direction (brake hand in brake position): This means that if you let go of your brake hand during a fall, the device may not brake
  • E.g Edelrid Megajul, Mammut Smart, ClimbTech Click-up

Why ABDs?


  • Active ABDs might help to arrest fall even if belayer gets knocked unconscious
  • Minimizes incidents from climber letting go of rope due to rope burns or not being able to catch full force of fall


  • More complex device to learn especially for feeding rope (lead climbing) and lowering
  • Risk of uncontrolled lowering if climber is not proficient in use of device
  • More costly than most friction based devices

How to use an ABD?

Basic Things to Note for Lead Belaying

  1. Setting Up the Device – Follow the diagrams on the device to guide you. Do a tug check by pulling fast on the climber end to check that it catches
  2. Feeding Rope – Feed consistently and let the hand on the climber end of the rope lead the way. Avoid fast movements as the ABDs might lock. And always always remember to keep one hand firmly on the brake position in braking position.
  3. Taking In – The usual 5-step belay is sufficient.
  4. Arresting a fall – Give a dynamic belay by moving in a controlled manner in the direction of the pull from the fall.
  5. Lowering – Varies from device to device. Please refer to manufacturer recommendation. Generally, always keep your master hand on the braking rope.

We’ve covered 3 devices during the workshop and participants got the chance to try lead belaying with all 3 devices. Here are the manufacturers’ videos for your ease of reference.

EDELRID Mega Jul (Available for rental at CC)

MAD ROCK Lifeguard


Choosing a device

Some factors to consider…

  • Where will you be using the device? Indoor use only (consider the Jul2) versus an option that will work outdoors too (consider the Mega Jul which allows for abseiling)
  • How much are you willing to spend? Cheaper option (consider the Mammut Smart) versus more expensive (consider Petzl Grigri). Remember that expensive doesn’t mean better though.
  • Ease of Feeding / Ease of Lowering / Handling Errors. This may be a little bit more subjective so it’s best to try out the device for yourself before committing.

Check out this useful comparison table for some of the more common devices:

Whatever device you choose, smooth handling is definitely something that comes with familiarity and practice. And of course, no device is a substitute for bad belaying!

Bonus for the Tech Junkies

Find out what’s new and upcoming in 2017:

Key Takeaways

  • ABD effect varies between devices. Each device is also affected by factors such as rope diameter and stiffness.
  • When in doubt, always refer to manufacturer’s specs or demonstration videos
  • The device is only as good as the person using it. Keep practising, keep learning and don’t get complacent!



More about Verification

Posted on Posted in Facility Announcement

Dear Climbers,

Thanks for your patience. Here’s sharing more about the upcoming verification process at Climb Central:

Verification Objectives

Introduce an additional layer of facility checks to reduce risks arising from climber & belayer inexperience and complacency.

Verification Standards

CC will be adopting the Climbing Wall Association standards and staff conducting verification will be trained according to the certification standards for climbing wall instructors. More information on CWA Standards can be found at the following link:

Verification Requirement

By 1 June 2017, CC will require all lead climbers & top rope climbers (using belay device attached to their harness) to be verified according to the new standards. Verification will need to be done on an assisted braking device (ABD) and you are free to choose the ABD you are most comfortable with.

Test Matrices Lead Climb & Belay

Link: Verification Matrix – Lead

Top Rope Belay

Link: Verification Matrix – Top Rope

Test Pre-requisites
  • Age 13 and up


  • Attended prior course /training; or
  • Has at least 3 years lead climbing & belaying experience
  • Age 13 and up


  • Attended prior course /training; or
  • Has at least 1 year climbing & belaying experience
Card entitlement Display card to use Lead Walls & TR walls (using belay device attached to  harness) Display card to use TR walls (using belay device attached to harness)
Re-test For failures /revocation:

Next test can only be taken 1 month after last test; or upon proof of attendance at a course.


 ABD Lead Verification Signup

Who? Orange /White & Monthly Pass holders All
When? March 2017

·         Tue /Thu, 7-10.30pm,

·         Fri before 5pm

·         Sat, 5-8.30pm

April & May 2017

·         Tue /Thu, 7-10.30pm,

·         Fri before 5pm

·         Sat, 5-8.30pm

How to sign up Pre-booking required. Email link will be sent to you by 28 Feb 2017. Sign up in pairs! Pre-booking required. Link will be available on Facebook from 15 March 2017. Sign up in pairs!
How much?


1st time free (till 31 March 2017) $$10 verification fee per pax for each verification.

1st time free (till 31 May 2017) if you have previously passed a lead verification test at CC.

What should I expect during verification? Verification should last about 20-30 mins/pair. Climbers should check-in and meet at the grass patch 10 mins before your timeslot. Bring your own equipment. If required, free Mega Jul & rope rental will be available during the test.

*Do note that during these 3 months, CC will not be able to accommodate peak hour verification outside of the fixed timeslots. As there are limited timeslots available, we also seek your cooperation to not change your timeslot after signing up.

Not sure about how to use an ABD or if your belaying skills are up to scratch?

We’re planning a mix of intro and practice sessions to provide refreshers and climbing /belaying tips. Stay tuned for our classes launch in April!


Update 6 March 2017:

Verification FAQs

What’s in a climber study trip?

Posted on Posted in Adults & Youths, Climbing Trips, Rock Climbing

In December 2016, we visited Salt Lake City (UT, USA) to learn about route-setting best practices, equipment management and Climbing Wall Association standards. Here’s a quick snapshot of our experiences!

Day 1: Reporting for class at the Petzl Technical Institute.
After a morning of registration and briefings, we entered the fun part of the CWA /Petzl Working at Heights in a Climbing Gym course.
Notebooks and camera phones out to record and learn as much as we can.
Course content included best practices for front of wall work and lots of hands on practice.
We also talked about back of wall work and rescues.
Sharing and learning with other gym operators & managers. We did a lot of that during the CWI Provider course.
Definitely a little bit of sit down and discussions /lectures during the course too.
Here’s an interesting tidbit from the Petzl PPE training course: It’s recommended not to have stickers on safety equipment, especially helmets. Cracks may be hidden under the stickers!
View from the top while checking out the Petzl Technical Institute’s facilities: They host firefighter training and also a little bit of equipment testing.
Break Stuff night! Playing around with this fancy machine to find out how well our old equipment holds up to extreme static loading!
Climbing gear (steel) is pretty strong! Left: See wire gate snaplink carabiner with plenty of surface rust. Fractured at 25.88kN. Right: See toy carabiner: NOT FOR CLIMBING! Fractured at 0.59kN (may be inaccurate due to slippage).
Playing and comparing 3 generations of Petzl’s assisted braking device: GriGri, GriGri2 and the new GriGri+ (prototype)
Online shopping at during Cyber Monday. None of the climbing gyms rent lead climbing ropes due to increased liability from having to maintain rental ropes. Excuse to purchase additional climbing gear!
And of course no day is complete without a visiting a climbing gym after work!
The Front: Understanding the gym’s registration and facility rules before we start the climb.
Taking a verification test at The Front to get our Verification Tags!
Newest Salt Lake City additions to our collection of verification tags! Gotta collect ’em all!
Momentum Climbing: More gym visits!
Momentum Millcreek: Testing out the Edelrid Ohm with a lead belay on their super incline wall.
Momentum Lehi: A spacious boulder-only facility with both angular wall profiles (left) and rounded top-out boulders (right)
Momentum Youth Team training in progress: Mock Comp Day!

We’re applying what we have learnt, with some adaptations to what we think will work best for Climb Central and the CC community. So if you do see some changes around, you’ll know the reasons why… Climb safe and keep learning! =)

More ABD updates!

Posted on Posted in Facility Announcement, Rock Climbing

Dear Climbers

Thank you for your feedback the past few days. We have discussed your comments and would like to share the following clarifications /updates:

  1. Use of tubular belay devices will be accepted on CC top rope walls
  • Our top rope systems are unique from the other climbing facilities as there is an additional friction device at the anchors.
  • If you use the belay method taught during our safety briefing, there are no changes and you are free to continue to do so.
  • If you choose to use your own method of attaching your own belay device (only Assisted Braking Devices or Tubular belay devices) to the system, minimum of top rope verification tag will be required from 1 June 2017.
  • More details on verifications and signups will be released at a later date.


  1. ABD Lead Workshops in February will be conducted for free
  • We will waive the $5 charge to allow lead climbers who are unfamiliar with ABDs to learn more about the devices and how they should be used for lead climbing.
  • Open to climbers with an existing lead verification tag.
  • Check-in for the day to enjoy this free workshop
  • Sign up early to reserve your slot (max 12 per session)
  • Link:
  • Additional sessions of ABD lead workshops and ABD top rope workshops will be considered at a later date.


  1. Rationale for the MegaJul as a rental device
  • The usage of MegaJul / Jul 2 is similar to a tubular device and this will facilitate transition. For the process of giving slack, you can use it exactly as you would use a tubular device. Both devices work well with our lead rental ropes.
  • As the local prices for MegaJul and Jul^2 were the same, we decided to go with the MegaJul so that climbers learning the device will have the flexibility to proceed beyond single-pitch climbing in future.
  • Read more here


  1. Speak to us to find out where to get an ABD
  • CC does not do retail. However,  speak with any of our staff to point you in the right direction to get one. In addition,  there will still be free rental of the Mega Jul until 1 June 2017.

Why the Change?

Posted on Posted in Facility Announcement

Dear Climbers

Here’s some insight into Climb Central’s decision-making process on the move to introduce assisted braking device (ABDs) and improve belaying standards.

  1. Usage of ABDs may result in an increased margin of safety
    ABDs are designed to assist a belayer to hold a falling or hanging climber. A report by the German Alpine Club shows that usage of ABDs results in an increased margin of safety. The rate of observed error falls from 1.09 errors per person on a non-ABD, to 0.5-0.75 with the ABDs that were tested. See full report here.
  1. Proficient belaying, education and training are still important
    An ABD or any belay device, is only effective if used in the intended manner. When using a new belay device, climbers will not only need to be a proficient belayer but also need to learn about manufacturer’s usage recommendations, as well as the advantages and limitations of each device. As the number of new climbers increases, we need to do more if current levels of education, training and checks are insufficient.
    Climb Central will run ABD workshops on the Click Up, Mega Jul and Lifeguard. Sign-ups are already open here. We want you to understand the limitations of each device, practice using them and be equipped to choose your own.
  1. Other climbing gyms have taken this step to manage risk. Should we follow?
    Despite our best efforts, some risks will remain inherent. We know of some facilities in US, Canada and Australia that only allow ABD or have pre-equipped all lanes with GriGris as an additional precaution (e.g. BKB Chicago, Allez Up, Junction Climbing, Bayside Rock Climbing). While these are not a majority, the central question is how we can reduce or eliminate as many risks as possible. One injury could affect the reputation of the entire sport of climbing. It could also be an injury to someone we know.
    Climb Central has committed to 3 x per week evening re-verification to ensure you are able to confidently climb /belay and also use your preferred ABD. This will be done between March to May, before our ban on 1 June 2017. We are also working towards a system where verification is focused on skill proficiency and not attendance at classes.
  1. Change will continue to happen.
    Time, energy and other resources will be required for every change. Nonetheless, manufacturers are consistently improving their technology and introducing new belay devices. Regardless of how we feel, we should not be ignorant of these developments. Find out more about 2017 ABDs launches here or learn about manufacturer thinking here.
    Climb Central will not restrict or recommend any particular ABD. However, for operational ease, we will only be renting out the Mega Jul. Rental will be free until 1 June 2017. We will also be training our staff on general principles of ABD usage and to conduct verification in accordance to recognized standards. It should be noted that ABD usage does not change core principles of belaying. It remains the responsibility of climbers using any personal equipment in the facility to use the equipment in accordance with manufacturer guidelines.

We hope this answers some of your questions and addresses some of your concerns. Please feel free to speak to us if you would like to know more.

General Announcement: Introduction of Assisted Braking Devices and Improvements to Belaying Standards

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Facility Announcement, Rock Climbing

Dear Climbers

Climb Central is planning some changes in the next few months to introduce assisted braking devices (ABDs) and improve belaying standards!

Mid-Feb 2017: Join an ABD Lead Workshop

Who is it for Existing lead climbers (with lead tag) that want to learn more about the different types of ABDs and practice using them. CC staff will be sharing about the Mega Jul, Click Up and Lifeguard.
Cost Entry for the day + $5 workshop fee

Update 14 Feb: we’ll be waiving the $5 workshop fee

Dates /Times ·         Weekdays: 16, 21, 23, Feb (Tues /Thu),  7-8.30pm and 9-10.30pm

·         Weekends: 18 and 25 Feb (Sat), 5-6.30pm, 7-8.30pm

Sign up Sign up at or at the CC counter. Max of 12 pax per timeslot on a first come first serve basis. No cancellations or change of date after payment.


Mar 2017: Take the ABD Lead Verification

Who is it for Orange /White Pass or Monthly Pass Holder? Previously passed a lead verification at CC?
Cost 1st time free verification

(till 31st Mar 2017)

1st time free verification

(till 31 May 2017)

Dates /Times ·         Off Peak Timeslots: Before 5pm on Fridays

·         Peak Timeslots: Tues, Thu and Sat evenings

Sign up ·         Eligible holders will be emailed with link to book your preferred timeslot. Timeslots are available on a first come first serve basis.

·         Verification can be done on any ABD but it should be the one that you are most familiar with and that you will be using regularly. Bring your own ABD or borrow a Mega Jul from us (free rental for duration of verification).

·         CC will not be able to accommodate peak hour verification outside of the fixed timeslots.


Apr 2017: Take the ABD Lead Verification /ABD Top Rope Belay Verification

  • Open to everyone. $$10 verification fee per pax for each verification. 1st time free verification (till 31 May 2017) if you have previously passed a lead verification at CC.
  • Follow our Facebook page /website for announcement of timeslots and signup
  • Update 25 Feb: Click here for more information on verification.
  • Update 15 Mar: Click here for link to verification signup

Apr 2017: Join our Lead or Top-Rope Belay Classes

  • Failed the verification or looking to learn how to lead climb /belay or top rope belay in an indoor gym setting? Look out for our classes launch!
  • Update 15 Mar: Click here for link to Lead Practice classes. Lead Practice classes focuses on those transitioning to an ABD, belayer positioning, dynamic catching, and efficient clipping, amongst other things. More classes coming soon!

1 Jun 2017: Display a new Verification tag and use an ABD!

  • New Lead Verification tag and use only ABDs for lead climbing at Climb Central, Climb Asia and Onsight.
  • New Top Rope Verification tag and use only ABDs at Climb Central top rope walls (if you are using your own belay device).

Questions? Check with our staff or look out for updates.


Links to all other ABD /Verification Update Posts

Update (11/2): 

Update (14/2):

Update (25/2): 

Update (15/3): Sign up for Verification here or for a Lead Practice class here.