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Belaying

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Belaying Basics

Tying-in to the climbing rope and moving as a member of a rope team increases the climber's margin of safety on difficult, exposed terrain. In some instances, such as when traveling over snow-covered glaciers, rope team members can often move at the same time, relying on the security of a tight rope and "team arrest" techniques to halt a fall by any one member. On steep terrain, however, simultaneous movement only helps to ensure that if one climber falls, he will jerk the other rope team members off the slope. For the climbing rope to be of any value on steep rock climbs, the rope team must incorporate "belays" into the movement.

Climbing Commands

Communication is often difficult during a climb. As the distance between climber and belayer increases, it becomes harder to distinguish one word from another and the shortest sentence may be heard as nothing more than jumbled syllables. A series of standard voice commands were developed over the years to signal the essential rope management functions in a belayed climb. Each command is concise and sounds a bit different from another to reduce the risk of a misunderstanding between climber and belayer. They must be pronounced clearly and loudly so they can be heard and understood in the worst conditions.

Belaying Links

Web Sites

Videos

The Climber's Bible