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You wish to start climbing, but have never done it before or you are not sure about the skills? Not to worry!

UQMC has developed a skill development card system that keeps track of your progression, skill level and the competencies that you have acquired. It is also a way for you to show the UQMC Executive team (Execs) what your skills are and where you can help. Every time you reach a new level of skill, you receive a new coloured tape. Simple, right?

Skill Tapes

What is a Skill Development Card?

These cards are indicate a member’s skill-set by displaying each of the tapes they have obtained, and help you to identify which members have the skills needed to help assist or instruct you. All members are required to have their cards with them when participating in club activities. We recommend that you attach it to your harness so that everyone can see it.

The cards also act as membership cards and allow you to get discounts with our sponsors.

How does the competency system work?

Each competency level allows you to perform a specific set of tasks unsupervised during club activities. These levels are represented by a coloured strip of tape on a member’s card, to be visible to others. To obtain a particular competency level, members will need to demonstrate to an approved instructor that they have mastered a certain set of skills.

The skills required to obtain each competency are listed below. It is recommended that these competencies are completed in the order shown, however this is not strictly necessary. If a colour competency requires prerequisite skills, then this is noted below.

Who is an approved instructor?

Most Execs are approved instructors. The Exec is also able to appoint other approved instructors at their discretion. However, you will need to be assessed by a member of the Exec team in order to successfully receive your tape.

How do I learn the skills required to gain new competencies?

As a club, passing knowledge from members to other members is the best way to learn. Any member who has completed a competency is able to teach you the skills required for that competency, so do not be afraid to ask around if you are keen to learn.

If you wish to obtain a competency, approach one of the UQMC Execs or an approved instructor and they will test your comprehension and ability to perform the target skills. Before you do this, you will have to learn the skills needed and read through the appropriate theoretical material. The skill specific pages contain the theoretical knowledge needed.

What happens if I lose or forget to bring my card?

If you do not bring your card, then you will be treated the same as a new member. This means that you will need to be supervised when participating in all club activities.

If you lose your card, there is a $5 replacement fee.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask us anything during our Kangaroo Point Top Rope sessions or shoot us an email to uqmountainclub@gmail.com

Tape levels

Unskilled Members (No Tape)

All new members of the club start without any colour competencies.

As an unskilled member, you will still be learning the basics of rock climbing. You will need to be supervised at all times by members who have completed the appropriate competency level. For example, the yellow tape competency if you are belaying or climbing on top rope, or the blue tape competency if you are learning how to set up. Every time you tie in, you will need to get your figure-eight knot checked by a member with yellow tape.

Top Roping (Yellow)

Once you have obtained your “Yellow Tape”, you can do the following unsupervised:

  • Climb on top rope;

  • Belay a top rope

Bouldering (Orange)

Once you have obtained your “Orange Tape”, you can do the following unsupervised:

  • Appropriate boulder pad placement

  • Spot a climber with the correct spotting technique

  • Safely ascend and descend a climb

Top Rope Setup (Blue)

Once you have obtained your blue tape, you are able to set up top ropes unsupervised. Please note, it is UQMC practice that all top ropes are still to be checked by a member with Vertical Rescue qualifications. It is a prerequisite that you have already obtained your yellow tape competency.

Novice Lead Climber (Green)

Once you have obtained your green tape, you can lead belay without supervision and lead climb with supervision. It is a prerequisite that you have already obtained your yellow tape competency.

Experienced Lead Climber (Red)

Once you have obtained your red tape, you can lead climb unsupervised. It is a prerequisite that you have already obtained your green tape competency.

Multi-Pitch Leader (Black)

Once you have obtained your black tape, you can lead multi-pitch routes unsupervised. It is a prerequisite that you have already obtained your red tape competency.

Trad Leader (White)

Once you have obtained your white tape, you can lead trad routes unsupervised. It is a prerequisite that you have already obtained your red tape competency.

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