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Top Managed Belay Site Setups

Instructional Rock Course Menu
- Rock Climbing Home Page
Rock Climbing Anchors 101 & 201
Rappelling Setups & Techniques
Intro to Sport Climbing
Top Managed Belay Site Setups
Intro to Traditional (“Trad”) Climbing
Single Pitch Self Rescue

During this course climbers learn more than just how to set up a top managed belay site and belay from the top of a cliff or route. The instructor delves into topics that are geared towards mitigating risks that can arise when belaying from the top. Additionally, the instructor reviews in detail skills and techniques the belayer can utilize to assist a climber, such as lowering considerations and methods, assistance skills including raising systems and related rescue skills.

This course is generally for a wide audience as the scenarios and reasons why a climber might belay from the top of a cliff or route are numerous. This course is great for climbers who are on the path to becoming independent trad climbers, because setting up and managing a top belay site is required of a trad climber in order to belay the second. This course is also great for climbers who climb routes or at crags that present safety concerns with belaying from the cliff bottom. Such safety concerns may include, among others, rope stretch, falling rock, steep ground or sea cliff environment.

This is not an anchor course. The climber should be familiar with building anchors using natural features and artificial gear.


Course Length: 1 Day | 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Course Size: 1:6 guide to client ratio course with a maximum of 6 clients

Pricing: $115

  • 4 climbers required to run the course. However, if there are less than 4 climbers, we can run the course under the below pricing schedule. The advantage is more personal time with the instructor. Since we understand that the increase in cost can be a barrier, refunds and rescheduling options are available for climbers who do not want to take the course with less than 4 climbers.

- 3 climbers – $145/climber

- 2 climbers – $175/climber

- 1 climber – $275

Instructor: Instructed by a certified American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor

Topics Covered:

  • Master point placement
  • Direct belays
  • Lowering considerations and methods (Grigri and Munter hitch)
  • Assistance skills including raising systems
  • Rescue skills including escaping the belay
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the top site belaying
  • Risk management for belayer and climber on top of crag: tethers & fixed lines
  • Station management

Special Note: The Top managed Belay Site Setups course is not a certification course.

Recommended Experience:

  • Familiarity with the following climbing knots and hitches: Figure 8 follow through, figure 8 on a bight, bowline, double bowline, bowline on a bite, double fisherman, munter, clove hitch, girth hitch, prussic, auto block, klemheist. Refer to for reference.
  • Prior outdoor rock climbing and rappelling experience
  • Experience building anchors using natural features and artificial gear
  • VTS Rock Climbing Anchors 101 & 201 courses or similar experience
  • VTS Rappelling Setups and Techniques course or similar experience
  • Solid belaying technique
Dates: June 8 @ Ralph Stover

Top Managed Belay Setups