During the month of October we had to take down our Auto Belay units for inspection. We would like to provide information on why we removed the units so that you have a better understanding about our protocol for maintaining Auto Belay in our gyms.
AUTO BELAY UNITS
Our Auto Belay units come from Perfect Descent, they contain a flat coiled piece of thin metal called the spring. It is responsible for retracting the lanyard as you climb up the wall. The spring is not solely responsible for your safety. The lowering mechanism, responsible for catching and lowering the climber is a separate part and even it has a safety back-up.
Recently, the spring in one of our Auto Belay units was functioning improperly so we immediately suspended all Auto Belay use. Our protocol is that if there is an incident with one of our Auto Belay units, we inspect all units with regard to the safety of our climbers. This case was no exception so all Auto Belay units were taken down and inspected, those without new replacement springs were returned to Perfect Descent. Springs were replaced in Auto Belay units of the same generation that had not been recently replaced, regardless of their condition. After inspecting all our Auto Belay units, we are now back up and running as before.
Climb Nashville does not expect further issues with Auto Belay retraction. In fact, we are now replacing the springs in our Auto Belay units more often than the manufacturer recommends. However, climbers should always be aware of the issue and stop climbing and alert staff if you encounter an auto belay device that does not retract. We hope this clears up any confusion about our protocol and risk management regarding our auto belay units, and always feel free to reach out to us here!