Top Rope Belay Test

New climbers and belayers: you must pass our compulsory Top Rope Belay test. Climbers must be 13 years or older.

Upon completion of the test you will receive an Orange Top Belay Test tag which must be displayed on your harness at all times. Note: We only use the Grigri belay device for all Top Rope climbing. If you are not familiar with the Grigri we do offer a 10 minute refresher.

You may not take your top rope belay test the same day you do the introductory course, as we need to ensure you retain the knowledge for an extended period of time. We discourage friends teaching friends, our instructors are qualified MDT wall supervisors and the introductory course ensures you get an in-depth understanding of the safety systems.

The video will take you through our Top Rope Belay Test. If you do not know what we are talking about in the video you will need to take our Introduction Course.

Safety Check for Climber and Belayer

Below is the checklist that you will be tested on:

  • Harness fits correctly and above hips.
  • Waist belt and leg loops fitted snugly and double backed if applicable.
  • Harness not twisted.
  • Carabiner attached to belay loop.
  • Carabiner locked – squeeze test.
  • Grigri belay device attached to carabiner.
  • Correctly tie a double figure eight through the correct tie-in points.
  • Stopper knot tied at end of figure eight.
  • Knot tied close to harness.
  • Buddy check.
  • Clear communication before climbing.


  • Take up of all excess slack before the start of the climb.
  • Maintain a tight rope throughout the climb.
  • Safe and controlled taking up of slack.
  • Clean locking off the brake end of the rope.
  • Controlled swapping of hands on the brake end of rope without letting go
  • .Instant lock off when climber falls.
  • Controlled lowering of the climber with Grigri lever and hand on the brake end of the rope.
  • Belayer positioned close to the climbing wall.
  • Constant visual communication between belayer and climber.
  • Ground anchors to be used in the event belayer is lighter than climber.

Yellow Tag: Kids’ Top Rope Climbing and Belay

This tag indicates that a child under the age of 13 has passed a top rope belay test, and is allowed to belay children their own weight in the Mayhem area. Children with this tag are also allowed to climb on the high walls, but only when belayed by an adult. They may also make use of the adults bouldering section but under the supervision of a parent, guardian or coach at all time. Bouldering is inherently more dangerous so we encourage spotting of climbers, and kids are not to play or walk under other climbers. Please watch our bouldering safety video for more info. In order to be tested for this tag, the child must either:

a) have completed one of our CityROCK kids courses
b) been trained one-on-one by one of our coaches

While inside our facility, regardless of climbing ability, all children under 16 must be supervised by a parent, guardian or coach.