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10 Safety Tips for Rock Climbers

Climbing can be a really dangerous sport, especially if you are fresh to the sport and an inexperienced climber. That’s why all of the young and new climbers must follow the rules given by their climbing instructor and use as much safety gear as possible in order to avoid the danger. Rock climbing, especially, requires a great physical strength and condition and years of experience if you want to establish a solo ascent. Every climber must respect the dangers that might take place, and should learn how to climb safe in order to avoid them. After all, it’s your life that depends on it. If you take more safety gear with you, and use it properly, you will have many safe climbs without experiencing the danger. But, this doesn’t mean that you should relax and think that the dangers will overpass you and go on a climb without the appropriate gear next time. It is only a positive experience that has shown you the importance of the gear and its safety measures.

03-climb via flickr by Tom Fahy licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The number one tip would be to wear A HELMET. The head is soft and the rocks are hard. The helmet protects the head from falling rocks or from having a fall on the head as well. Because experiencing a fall like this might have a serious life changing impact on your health.

Tip number two is to always use a LONG ROPE. A rope that will be long enough to get to the anchors and lower back down to hit the sport route. And when you are hesitating that the rope might be shorter than enough, then you should practice to always tie a stopper knot at the end to prevent to be dropped on the ground.
While we’re here discussing the rope, let’s not forget to remark that you should always CHECK THE ROPE AND THE BELAY DEVICE. The rope must always be properly handled through the belay device, and these two must be attached with a locking Carabiner to the belay loop.
Going along with tip number four. You must always double check before you go on with the climbing that THE LEAD CLIBMER IS TIED CORRECTLY and it’s finished with a backing knot. The rope should be treated through the leg loop and the waist loop as well.

Bitten by the shore via flickr by Sébastien Launay licensed CC BY 2.0

After gearing up and buckling in the rope, the next check you should make is if THE CLIMBER’S AND THE BELAYER’S HARNESS BUCKLES ARE DOUBLED BACK. Also, check and adjust the waist loop and the leg loop to be snug to you.

The sixth tip is to ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION TO THE LEAD CLIMBER. You must abide by the instructions he/she gives you and never strike him/her off belay.
The next tip would go for the leader. If you are a leader of a climbing group then you MAKE SURE THAT THE ROPE IS OVER YOUR LEG and not between your legs or behind. Because an accident might happen and you can slip, and if the rope is not over your leg, then you can hit with your head on the rock. That’s why helmets (our first rule) must be applied in order to protect yourself from sudden events like these.
We will mention another tip connected with the rope. You should KNOW HOW TO CLIP THE ROPE CORRECTLY. Try to avoid the back clipping, just practice front clipping. The Carabiner should face opposite of the your direction or the rope might get unclipped. It’s recommendable to put locking Carabiners on important placements.
And at the end of the climb, it’s better to USE 2-3 ANCHORS. More is better. And if you’re doing a sport climb, then don’t forget to use the locking Carabiners if you’re getting down and off the anchors.
The final tip and the most significant one would be to ALWAYS BRING ENOUGH GEAR with you. It is never too much or too less. It can keep you safe and prevent you from facing any risks. You are the one that knows the best what would you need. Take a good look at the rock you’re about to climb and make a visual verification of what and how much you need to take. Simply, it’s never too much. It’s better to bring more and feel more secure than fear during the whole climb that you might need something that you lack.

Day 11/365 - Climbing Hardware via flickr by Richard Perry licensed CC BY-ND 2.0

Rock climbing is lots of fun, but can be a real dangerous sport as well. It carries a vast amount of risks with it. Just a tiny mistake or a little insecurity can bring danger. Every time you go climbing you risk that you might not return home at the end of the day. But, that’s why these safety points are for. If you stick to them and receive the correct equipment with you all the time, then the chances of risk are way lowered and you will experience more interesting and safer climbs.

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