Rock climbing is a fun and exciting sport if you know what you are doing. On the other hand, if you are a beginner climber it can take a dangerous turn without you even knowing. We have ten tips that will help you cover the bases of safety so you are less likely to be hurt or worse.
- 1. Check out the area before you try to climb it
- 2. Make a checklist and bring the gear you need
- 3. Never climb without a climbing helmet
- 4. Inspect your harnesses
- 5. Always watch the leader
- 6. Faithfully check the knots
- 7. Inspect the rope and the belay device
- 8. Use a rope that is long enough and climb with it over your leg
- 9. Correctly clip the rope
- 10. Make sure your anchors are safe
1. Check out the area before you try to climb it
It’s recommended that you first take a look at the place you’re going to climb so you can personally inspect it. If it’s too far away, then use Google Earth or other online pictures that let you see it from all angles. This will help you to decide how difficult the climb will be and what kind of gear you will need to bring with you.
2. Make a checklist and bring the gear you need
Before heading out on your rock climbing adventure, make a checklist of every piece of gear you will need. Make sure that you bring everything you could possibly need. Don’t skip something that may end up saving your life. If you don’t have it, then go get it first. Don’t just take somebody else’s word for it, especially if they’re not expert climbers. It’s better to have a few extra items than to put your life at risk by coming up short of the necessities.
3. Never climb without a climbing helmet
Make sure you have an approved climbing helmet to protect your head in case you fall. This is an essential piece of gear and you should secure it to your head before you even get started. It can save your life if you take a tumble on hard and jagged rocks.
4. Inspect your harnesses
Make sure your harnesses are in excellent condition before you leave on your trip. Then check them again after gearing up at the base of your climbing route. After they’re tied into the rope at the base, make sure that the belayer’s and climber’s harness buckles are correctly doubled back. The leg loops should also be snug. If not, adjust the leg loops.
5. Always watch the leader
When climbing you should always pay attention to the leader above you. This person is the one who is leading the rest of the climbers. He or she is also at risk of a fall. Avoid all distractions such as talking on a cell phone or visiting with a buddy. Keep your attention on the leader because where this person is climbing is where you will soon be. Keep the leader on belay until you are certain that they are tied into the anchors and it is safe to do so. Wait until you receive the all clear signal that he is ready to rappel or lower.
6. Faithfully check the knots
Make it a habit and a ritual to check the knots before you start climbing. If you checked them once, check them again to ensure that the leader’s knot is correctly tied. It must also be completed with a backup knot. Also, make sure that the rope is threaded through the waist loop as well as the leg loops on the harness.
7. Inspect the rope and the belay device
When you are leading a climbing route, make it your practice to double check the rope just to make sure it is correctly threaded through the belay device. You must also ensure that both the rope and belay device are secured to the belay loop on the belayer’s harness with a sturdy locking carabiner.
8. Use a rope that is long enough and climb with it over your leg
Make sure that the rope you are using is long enough. If you’re unsure about how long this should check with an expert rock climber that you trust. When leading a route, check to ensure the rope is over your leg. You don’t want it behind one leg or between the because a fall will flip you on your head.
9. Correctly clip the rope
The rope should always be clipped through carabiners on quickdraws properly. Do not back clip the rope so it is front to back. it should be back to front in the carabiner. The gate of the carabiner should face opposite of the way you’re traveling on the climb so it won’t come unclipped. Only use locking carabiners for this placement.
10. Make sure your anchors are safe
You should use a minimum of two anchors and preferably three on the top of a route or pitch. It may seem like overkill but the extra care could keep you alive. Remember to use only locking carabiners when you’re lowering down.
Watch this video to learn more about the basics of climbing safety:
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