Rock Climbing: Belyaing Tips and Basics

by on February 2nd, 2015
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Belaying is one of the most basic and important skills that you’ll learn when rock climbing. The belayer is the person who stays on the ground to help keep the climber safe. When top-roping, a rope is anchored to the top of the wall by safety gear and the ends of the rope are attached to both the climber and the belayer.

If the climber falls, it’s the belayer’s job to keep him safe. If he slips off the rocks, the belayer will hold onto the rope and keep him from hitting the ground where he could be seriously injured. The rope is attached to the belayer with a belay device that makes it easier for the person to hold the weight of the climber.

The Belayer’s Job

The belayer’s job is a very important one that needs to be taken seriously. Your partner is depending on you to keep her safe and protect her from hitting the ground, which could cause serious injuries. A crucial part of belaying is keeping your footing, especially if the climber weighs more than you do. If you lose your footing, you could be pulled into the air if the climber falls.

You’ll also need to keep the slack out of the line as the climber ascends but you need to feed the line so he’ll have enough rope to climb. Once he reaches the top, the belayer will use the rope to help him descend back to the ground.

The Two Main Rules a Belayer Must Follow

Belayers need to have patience and they shouldn’t be distracted easily. They have a job to do and if not done correctly, it could have an adverse effect on their partner. There are two main rules a belayer must always follow.

Pay attention- You don’t just hold the rope. You need to watch the climber so you’ll know when to loosen the rope, when to pull tighter and when it looks like she may be in trouble. This will help you to be more prepared in case of a fall. Never talk on a cell phone or be engaged in conversation with someone else when belaying. Your partner is depending on you to give her your full attention.

Don’t let go- You need to hang onto the rope with one hand while you lock the rope into the belay device with the other. Once the climber is secure, you wait for his instructions on what he needs you to do next. Following these two rules can help ensure the safety of your partner so he can enjoy the climb and not worry about what you’re doing. Climbers must have a belayer they can trust to do the job correctly.

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