What are the climbing licenses ?

The in Germany and Austria implemented climbing licenses approve the successful participation in a climbing course. The licenses are divided in top-rope and lead-climbing for climbing on artificial walls and the licenses for outdoor climbing. These licenses are of no legal relevance and not necessary to do rock climbing or climbing gym.

In Austria the idea of climbing licenses appeared first in 1999. After the implementation it was thought about mandatory licenses for outdoor rock climbing, but it was not put into action because of the resistance of the climbers. Now there is only the voluntary outdoor climbing license “classic” besides the indoor licenses.

The first indoor climbing licenses (top-rope and lead-climb) in Germany were done in climbland courses for the Humboldt University Berlin after an exam based on the content of 12 dates à 2 hours.
Meanwhile the DAV has implemented indoor climbing licenses too (since 2005; 3x3 hours) also the association of the climbing halls (since 2008; 2x3 hours). Comparative new are the climbing licenses for top-rope and lead-climb of the Association of German Mountain and Ski Guides (VDBS) that are certificated by mountain guides after outdoor courses of diverse providers.
For the annual conference 2012 the German alpine Association (DAV) also announced the introduction of outdoor climbing courses, but until now there is no further information regarding the content of these, because this project is still in development.

In general a climbing license can only document the knowledge and skills in the moment of the end of the course. The possession of such a license is no proof for the current safety knowledge of the owner. The running and composition of the course for getting a climbing license is crucial for the safety skills after the exam. This also depends on the content of the course whether all or only some safety skills were imparted. For example the content of the DAV and climbing hall association courses has been reduced to a minimum. Despite a climbing license does not take the risk of getting too lazy with the safety and belaying techniques in praxis, hence regular updates in these techniques and the use of the equipment are necessary.

More and more climbing licenses are mandatory for the use of climbing halls. For climbing in nature the indoor climbing licenses are not really a good preparation. The outdoor licenses can also only approve some skills in standard situations, but there are many and diverse of them in nature.

The Climbland licenses are predominantly necessary and approved as a certificate for further climbing courses at national and foreign universities.


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