Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

New OAC Pre-Climb Check

Please be aware of changes to the belay processes at the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC). First, you can expect a new Pre-Climb acronym and a greater emphasis to be placed on traditional climbing commands (“On belay?”/ “belay is on.”).

The new Pre-Climb Check acronym is T.A.L.K and is meant to be:

  • A verbal pledge between climber and belayer to assess readiness to climb
  • Completed before every climb, in addition to the OAC Climbing Commands

T = tied-in & threaded

  • The rope is attached to climbers harness through both tie-in loops (not the belay loop)
  • Both harnesses are double-backed and worn properly

A = anchor & apparel

  • We are climbing on the correct rope
  • Does the belayer need to anchor in?
  • Do either of us have any loose clothing or jewelry on?

L = locked & loaded

  • The carabineer is locked through the belay device & belay loop of the harness
  • The rope is properly loaded through the belay device

K= knot & know how

  • The figure 8 follow-through is tied properly (5 pairs with a tail)
  • We know proper belay technique and beta for the route

All patrons need to amend their climbing habits to meet these standards by the end of Fall Break (October 14). This also means all patrons will need to re-challenge the belay test by October 14 and any new test/clinics will incorporate these new expectations. Prior to October 14, climbing patrons can expect reminders about the new standards from OAC staff so long as existing expectations are met. This new approach is designed to reduce risk and potential errors.

Any questions can be directed to Matt Hartman at