Gym Top Rope Climbing

Gym Top Rope Climbing

This ClimbingTechTips video series teaches straightforward steps for Gym Top Rope Climbing. A climber's first roped experience typically occurs via Top Roping, often in a gym setting. Even the best climbers in the world usually started with Top Roping.

Gym Top Rope Climbing is an approachable category of the sport. Climbing gyms offer the required personal gear, plus the climbing ropes and anchors are already in place. Supplemental instruction is available, as needed. These beginner skills are building blocks for all indoor and outdoor roped climbing. Newer climbers (or anyone needing a skills refresher) should view and understand our entire Gym Top Roping video series before attempting to gym climb.

Let's get started! Our Gym Top Rope Climbing video series is below. Be careful, and have fun!

Know & Go with

Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk

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Gym Top Rope Climbing
  • Gym Top Rope Climbing: 1. Gear Considerations

    In this video we cover the gear considerations for indoor top rope rock climbing. The gear covered in this video should be considered whether top rope climbing or lead climbing.

    1. Harness - An ideal climbing harness is lightweight, yet contains enough padding to be comfortable. Harness safet...

  • Gym Top Rope Climbing: 2. How to Correctly Put on a Climbing Harness

    In this video we review how to correctly put on a climbing harness to ensure both the climber and the belayer are properly secured.

    Step 1: Place your feet into both leg loops, as if you were stepping into pants. Make sure the waist loop above the leg loops, and pull the harness up above your ...

  • Gym Top Rope Climbing: 3. How to Tie in to your Harness

    In this video we review how to correctly tie into your harness as the climber.

    Step 1: Create enough rope length with which to tie in. The ideal rope length should measure approximately 1 arm length and across your torso.

    Step 2: Tie a figure eight knot as demonstrated in the video above.

  • Gym Top Rope Climbing: 4. Belay Device Fundamentals

    In this video we review the belay device fundamentals required for the belayer. To begin, you’ll need a locking carabiner and a belay device.

    If using a passive belay device, which requires the belayer to manually arrest the climbers fall, see below (and the video) for instructions:

    Step 1:...

  • Gym Top Rope Climbing: 5. How to Top Rope Belay

    In this video we review how to top rope belay. To begin, position your hands by grabbing onto the rope with your non-dominant hand (feeler hand) about chin level, and your dominant hand (brake hand) three fingers below the belay device.

    Step 1: The feeler hand and the brake hand move past each...

  • Gym Top Rope Climbing: 6. Partner Inspections

    In this video we review partner inspections, which occurs after the climber has tied into the rope and the belayer has clipped the rope into the belay device.

    The belayer will check the climber to make sure that:

    1. Harness is properly above the waist

    2. Harness is two fingers tight


  • Gym Top Rope Climbing: 7. Verbal Commands

    In this video we review the verbal commands between the climber and the belayer. This occurs before and during every climb. Communication is critical to ensure climber safety!

    Before climbing:

    Climber: asks the belayer if they are, “On Belay?”

    Belayer: (if ready) responds with, “Belay On...