Some elementary things to remember to prevent making stupid mistakes when rock climbing

April 20, 2009

The ‘essence’ of climbing is what enthralls most avid climbers as in borne out by this video from Extreme57

We’re all for ‘getting out there’ and doing, rather than sitting on our bums and merely thinking. However, there is no point in taking unnecessary risks especially where extreme sports are concerned.

So here are a few elementary points to bear in mind next time you head for a rock face…

  • This one is obvious, but needs repeating… avoid climbing beyond what you consider your acceptable limit and don’t let peer pressure push you into it…
  • Remember – you are not invincible – always warm up before starting a climb…
  • It’s your choice, but protection equipment is a good idea…
  • Always check your equipment before you start climbing and don’t lose concentration. It is an important element to the climb. Check your harness buckle doubled back, helmet on, belay device properly rigged, etc. Visually check your climbing partners safety and belay checks too…
  • When climbing, don’t automatically accept your partner’s decisions. Critically evaluate your circumstances and apply your own common sense if needs be…
  • Rock climbing equipment is there for a reason. Don’t use it inappropriately but do double up on such things as anchors…
  • Where safety is an issue – never cut corners…
  • We’ve done this one before – but again, it’s worth repeating! Don’t confidently walk up to the cliff edge to set up an abseil – make sure you are tied into a reliable anchor or being belayed before you do so…
  • Don’t drop gear or ‘clean’ as you climb. There might well  be others below you who could be injured by falling debris…
  • And lastly, always make sure that your climbing partner understands your terminologies and expectations, particularly if they are newbies. In fact, always demonstrate a technique to a newbie and get them to repeat it before the climb begins so he or she knows how to do it.

Otherwise this could happen…. with thanks to SSMolokai for posting it. As he himself says: “I wasn’t paying attention to how much rope I had out, or how far past the last clip I was, or how unstable of a clipping position I was in. It was also the belayer’s gym test at the time.”

Or this, from modestflea

Or this one from  papasmurfuk76 , let it be a salutary lesson to warm-up.


One comment

  1. Hi, good post. I have been pondering this issue,so thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely be subscribing to your posts.

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