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Are You A Master Of Belaying? Learn What You Need To Belay Properly Now

The belayer is a very important individual on a climb.

Belaying is the act of controlling the weighted rope in a fall or lowering. There are three types of belaying in climbing.

This stuff is kinda boring, but really important so pay attention.

There is direct belaying, semi-direct belaying and indirect belaying. The belayer must be attentive at all time and feed rope at an appropriate pace. The belayer must anticipate when the leader needs slack or the rope tightened.

In a fall, the climber is not always able to give a warning and the belayer must be ready at all times.

In direct belaying, the load of a fall is transferred to an anchor without the weight being taken by the belayer first. This is common when the belayer is above the climber such as after the leader has reached the summit and the second climber is coming from below.

Whatever anchor is used must be one hundred percent safe. A sling on a solid spike, rock or tree is commonly used. Do not use a tree or rock if its sturdiness is questionable. A friction device such as an Italian hitch is better in a direct belay.

A belay device may not work from this angle. The belayer is positioned in front of the anchor with a top rope when operating the direct belay.

A semi-direct belay is the most common method of belaying in rock climbing either traditional or sport climbing. This method incorporates the tying to anchors from the front of the harness and belaying from the rope tie-in loop.

In a fall, the weight is transferred through the belay device and the rope to the anchors. The belayer will only experience a small proportion of the load.

The indirect belay is when the belayer takes the load in the waist but the belayer is supported by the anchors. This method is also used if you attach to the anchors from the back of the harness and belay from the front. This system can be uncomfortable for the belayer as they take the whole load in their waist.

This is commonly used when the anchors are weak.

Most climbers use the semi-direct belay method, but their may be some cases when you need to use a different method. The person belaying should be very comfortable doing so and experienced with the method that is used.

They also need to have full concentration on the belayer, there is nothing more frightening to a leader who feels like their belayer is not paying attention to them as they climb a route.

Climb safe climb strong

Ryan Coisson

Submitted by:

Ryan Coisson

Ryan Coisson is the founder of http://www.rock-climbing-for-life.com and the co-author of Mastering the Rock be sure to download your copy at http://www.rock-climbing-for-life.com today.


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