Industry News 10/15/2015

B$Z: Petzl Technical Institute & Climbing Wall Association Introduce Certification for Gym Employees

The Climbing Wall Association (CWA) today announced a Work-at-Height Certification Program for gym owners and employees. The new industry training is designed to reduce the risk of at-height accidents and injuries and will be offered to CWA members at its second-annual Certification Summit at the Petzl Technical Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 26-30.

The certification course, developed jointly by CWA and Petzl, draws on Petzl’s technical experience in the professional work-at-height industries and applies similar solutions to operating and maintaining modern climbing facilities. The Certification Summit will offer attendees certification in first aid, PPE inspection, and as Climbing Wall Instructors.

“The new certification contains tools and techniques borrowed from rope-access, tower climbing and technical rescue standards,” said Jesse Williams, Petzl Technical Institute manager. “Petzl designed the training to provide gym employees with increased security, efficiency, and comfort, as well as satisfy an employer’s need to provide a managed work-at-height program.”

In 2014, Petzl opened the 15,000-square-foot technical training center to promote the proper application of technical skills, allowing everyone from climbing wall instructors to arborists to exchange best practices and work with the gear manufacturer on approved use methods.

Petzl’s North American headquarters is based in Salt Lake City, UT. The family-owned company traces its roots to underground exploration. In 1956, founder Fernand Petzl set a world depth record of -3,681 feet (1,122 meters) in the Gouffre Berger, an extensive cave system near his home in France.

The Petzl Technical Institute is a continuation of Petzl’s original mission: to enable and educate people on how to safely access some of the most inaccessible places above and below ground. The facility features a 55-foot tall climbing wall with multi-pitch capability, more than 5,000 square feet of exposed structure climbing for tower rescue, and three classrooms capable of accommodating up to 200 people, among other features.


The Petzl Technical Institute is a place to train, learn, and advance safety standards for all vertical communities: rope-access technicians, fire/rescue professionals, arborists, military special operators, cavers, and more. The state-of-the-art verticality facility features customizable and job-specific training facilities to re-create a wide variety of real-world scenarios.

Petzl operates a similar training facility at its worldwide headquarters in France.