As you delve into the world of rock climbing on your next vacation, it is important to remember that rock climbing, like any sport, is dangerous! Beginner climbers are always more vulnerable to accidents than experienced pros. Once you have enough experience with a trained professional, here are 8 things to remember for staying safe while you climb.
1. Bring Enough – When it doubt of how much gear you need, it’s always best to have extra than not enough. Visually verify how many quickdraws you will need and prepare yourself accordingly. Find a Moosejaw,
or REI coupon, and grab extra gear. If you don’t need it now, you will always use it in the future.
2. Check Your Harness - After you are geared up and ready to climb, double check that both the climber’s and the belayer’s harness buckles are doubled back and ready to support your weight.
3. Always Check Knots - Keep an eye on the integrity of your knots. Before you begin climbing, double check all tie-in knots to ensure that they are tied and backed up. Also, make sure your rope is threaded through both the harness’ waist loop and leg loops to ensure maximum safety.
4. Remember Your Helmet - Surely your mother reminded you to protect your noggin! The same applies to sport climbing. In the incident of a fall, your helmet is your best friend. Additionally, helmets are useful in protecting from potentially falling rocks. While some experienced climbers leave the helmet on the ground, to do so would be foolish.
5. Know Your Ropes - Always check that the ropes are properly threaded through the Belay device before leading a route. Keep an eye on the wear and tear of your rope as well. Your rope should be carefully inspected for cuts, frays, and wear before and after each climb.
6. Use Enough Rope - If you run out of rope, you’ll be dropped to the ground. It is important that you have enough rope to reach the anchors, as well as to lower you back down, and you should have a relative amount of excess left over. It is recommended to tie a knot in the tail end of your rope to avoid being dropped to the ground in the event that you should run out of rope.
7. Pay Attention - When you’re Belaying, pay attention to your climber. You are in charge of his safety. Your full attention should be on the climber, and nowhere else. Never untie the climber unless he is tied in to an anchor and asks you to untie him.
8. Watch Your Rope - When you climb, it is important that your rope goes over your leg, rather than behind or between your legs. If you fall with the rope between your legs, you will flip upside down and will probably hit your head.
If you’ve read and remembered these safety tips, you’re ready to climb! Always remember, climbing is dangerous! Respect the rock!
Author Bio: When Mark Lindstrom is not in the office, he enjoys rock climbing and being fit.