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Home » Groups » Boulder » Basic Rock Schools » BRS Test Out Procedure

Basic Rock Climbing School Test Out Procedure

For members with prior climbing experience, you may qualify to test out of BRS. Contact the BRS Director at


To allow experienced rock climbers to advance more rapidly into becoming Rock Leaders or qualifying to take Rock Lead School while avoiding the cost of unnecessary courses.
Test Descriptions

The BRS Director is responsible for administering the Test Out Procedure, with the assistance of a senior or assistant BRS instructor. There are two parts of the procedure: the Technical Knowledge Demonstration and the Field Exam. The Technical Knowledge Demonstration can be scheduled any time at a mutually convenient place (probably the Clubroom), but the Field Exam needs to be scheduled on the same day as the field trip for that class. The test out procedure will rigorously test applicants for all the skills required to pass each module.

Single Pitch Climbing

Technical Knowledge:

  • Top Rope belay (Pull-Break-Under-Slide method), Munter belay
  • Rappel with auto-block backup, rappel with Munter
  • Knots:
    • Basic knots: Overhand, Half Grapevine, Figure 8, Backpacker coil, Girth Hitch
    • Tie into Anchor: Overhand on a Bight, Figure 8 on Bight, Clove Hitch
    • Belay/rappel: Munter
    • Friction Knots: Autoblock
  • Field Exam: takes place during field trip. See class calendar or contact BRS director for field trip meeting time/place


Rock Self Rescue

Technical knowledge:

  • Knots
    • Friction Knots: Prussik, Klemheist, Bachman, Alpine Butterfly
    • Tie two ropes together: (Flat Overhand, Figure 8 Bend, Grapevine/Fisherman)
    • Munter (in context of rappelling)
    • Mule knot (ATC and Munter)
    • Escape belay (Mule knot)
  • Rappel with Auto-block back up (if not also testing out of Single Pitch Climbing)
  • Ascend/descend rope with prussiks
  • Passing a knot on rappel
  • Pulling rappel rope
  • Low angle Hasty-Arm rappel
  • Field Exam: takes place during field trip. See class calendar or contact BRS director for field trip meeting time/place

Rock Seconding School

Because this class expands upon the former BRS multi pitch field trip, we do not recommend testing out of this class. However, if you are solid with the following skills, we will be happy to schedule a test out:

Technical knowledge

  • Review of skills from Rock Self Rescue
  • Lead Belay and catching leader falls with the understanding of the following concepts:
  • Attentiveness
  • Anticipation
  • Communication
  • Understanding Forces and Movement (zippering)
  • Top belay (off anchor in autoblock mode or Munter with prussik backup, direct off harness)
  • Communication (rope tugs, etc)
  • Removing gear (Cams, tricams, stoppers, hexes)
  • Belay changeovers
  • Cleaning sport anchors (waived if you have taken or are enrolled in either the Top Rope Anchor class or Sport Lead Clinic).
  • Field Exam: takes place during field trip. Catching lead falls will take place in a gym. See class calendar or contact BRS director for field trip meeting time/place.
  • Test Preparation Materials

The primary reference is the BRS Handbook, supplemented by three videos. In particular, the Escaping the Belay and Passing The Knot tests should be studied in detail. Study reference: BRS Handbook


Prusiking -- Senior instructor Eileen Monyok demonstrating how to ascend a fixed rope with two prusik slings
Passing the Knot -- Assistant Franceso Sangiorgi demonstrating how to get past a knot in a rope while on rappel

Escaping the Belay -- senior instructor Eileen Monyok demonstrating how to escape a belay of a climber that has been injured and cannot complete a climb

Special thanks to assistant instructor Aaron Nichols for creating the videos.

Testing Technical Knowledge

The exam will be administered by the BRS Director, with at least one BRS instructor observing. There may be more than one applicant being tested at a time. The applicant must pass this test to take the Field Exam.


If you are interested in testing out, contact the BRS Director: