Indoor Lead Climbing

General information

On this page you will find everything about the indoor lead climbing course. The course and the corresponding course material are following up on the indoor toprope course. Having passed indoor toprope is required for this course. The indoor lead climbing course consists of 3 course evenings and 1 exam evening. To pass the course you have to be able to comfortably lead climb at least three routes on the concrete climbing wall. Furthermore you must pass a written exam. Upon passing the course you will be allowed to climb the UT climbing walls without supervision of a zaalwacht.


The material for this course at the TSAC is mostly based on the course material from the NKBV for indoor lead climbing. The literature the NKBV course is aimed at a situation in which an instructor guides students. The NKBV does not provide literature for self-study.

Additional information

Upon passing the course you will gain the status KVB-IV at the TSAC. With this status you are allowed to climb on UT climbing walls without supervision of a zaalwacht under certain conditions. To properly and safely climb on UT walls you will need to apply the techniques listed below. It is also required that you know the rules regarding use of the climbing walls and the procedures for handling emergency situations. For more info on this, see the zaal- en buitenwandreglement (dutch).


Belaying a lead climber is much harder than belaying someone on toprope, the video below demonstrates what can go wrong when utilising bad technique.

The World's Worst Belayer [EN] Bad belaying techniques from Petzl-sport on Vimeo.


Clipping quickdraws

When climbing on the concrete wall you will need to clip quickdraws (setje in dutch) yourself. This is briefly mentioned in the material from NKBV, but we will take a closer look at it.

A quickdraw is made up from two carabiners connected with a stitched express-sling, also known as a dogbone. The carabiner that is able to rotate is for clipping into bolts whereas the fixed carabiner is for clipping your rope. Do not mix this up! The bolt-side of the quickdraw will get scratched up by using it, if the rope rubs over these scratches during a lead fall it could be severely damaged! If you have to reassemble a disassemled quickdraw make sure that the carabiner with the straight gate is used for the bolt side (the big loop on the dogbone) and the carabiner with the bent gate or wire gate is used for the rope side. The video below demonstrates what the effect of doing this is.

Carabiners and Damage to Ropes from DMM Climbing on Vimeo.

In addition to this the bolt side can rotate freely on purpose to avoid restricting freedom of movement. If you were to restrict the rotation you would increase ropedrag and increase the chance that the quickdraw gets loaded in a weird way which may cause it to break due to leverage.

Leverage caused by clipping a quickdraw with the rope side in the bolt. Source: Petzl

It is also import to look which you will climb above the quickdraw; make sure that:

  1. The gate of the rope side carabiner faces away from the climbing direction.
  2. The rope enters the carabiner on the back and exits on the front, make sure the dogbone is not twisted.

When failing to follow these steps there is a chance that the rope will unclip itself during a fall.

The dangers of a bad clip. Source: Petzl

Foot placement errors

It can be difficult to identify a foot placement error (voetfout in dutch), the video below demonstrates how a foot placement error can happen en what you can do to recover or avoid these errors.

The most import thing to remember is to always keep your rope between you and the wall. If you are scared to make an error due to a sideways movement or twisting your hips you can carry the rope with the top of your foot, make sure that the rope does not go behind your heel. Contrary to what the NKBV says, never let the rope run across you thigh.

Converting to toprope

see also OV-material (dutch).

After lead climbing on the conrete wall you can convert the system to create a toprope. To do this create an anchor for yourself (Do not call off-belay, you want to be lowered by your belayer); Now take a bight of rope from back to front across the belaying bar and make a rethreaded figure of eight knot in the bight. Connect your belay loop to the knot using a safebiner or two opposing screw carabiners. Ask your belayer to take and check your knot. If you are tied in correctly, remove the knot tied in directly to your harness and then remove your anchor.

While lowering take the quickdraws out of the wall. First remove the quickdraw from the bolt and clip the draw to your harness, then remove the draw from the rope. Do this for all but the quickdraw at the bottom, for this draw we remove the rope side first to avoid it from sliding down the rope and hitting the belayer. It is possible to connect a quickdraw between your belay loop and the rope to keep yourself close to the route. Remove this quickdraw before unclipping the bottom most quickdraw. Always make sure that there is a knot in the end of the rope to make sure that the rope does not slide out of the belaying device.

Using the outdoor climbing wall

You need at least 3 people to open the outdoor wall, this is because you need someone who is able to get help in case of an accident. When there is no zaalwacht on site everyone climbing needs to have a status of atleast KVB-IV to climb on the outdoor wall.

The Sportcentrum wants to keep track of the usage of the outdoor wall, because of this you are obligated to send an email to after using the wall containing the start and end times. It is in our best interest to do this, since the Sportcentrum can use this to justify the costs for the climbing wall.


The key (number 99) kan be picked up at the reception of the sportcentrum using your student card. The keyring has 1 key (blue label) for the storage in which you will find ropes and cones. A second key is for the gate. The third key is used to open the locker for the light tower, so you don't have to climb in the dark.

Setup and takedown

After opening the gate, use the cones and the chain to cordon off the area around the wall to avoid potential viewers from walking under climbers.

Cover the sharp edges of the gate using the plastic covers and two buckets. It is recommenden to do this with 3 people. Make sure all sides of the gate are covered, even if you are only climbing on one side of the wall. Only remove the covers after everyone is done climbing and the ropes have been removed from the wall.

For further instruction, see the guide (dutch) from the Sportcentrum.

Clipping quickdraws

It is required to clip every bolt up to the first anchor (except the first bolt sometimes) to avoid making a grounder. After the first anchor bolts can be skipped at your own discretion.

Make sure to keep your second (naklimmer in dutch) in mind during a traverse. When you skip a lot of bolts during a traverse to avoid ropedrag you can induce dangerous situations for your second. Your second will also have to skip the bolts, this can possibly lead to big swings in case of a fall. This can cause many complications, it is better to just have a bit more ropedrag during lead climbing.

Other rules


In case of an emergency, call 112 first! They can coach you and send an ambulance. After calling 112 call Charlie (UT security located in Spiegel), they can escort the ambulance. Enter the phonenumber for Charlie in your phone: