Many people regard rock climbing as a pretty dangerous sport, and it is especially for beginners. But don’t let this frighten you from giving it a try because there are climbing safety measures you can take to mitigate the dangers involved in this sport and even avoid them completely. Just keep the following rock climbing safety guidelines in mind and you’ll see that rock climbing can be just as safe as it is enjoyable.
Top 10 Tips for a Safe Climb
Before you start any climb, be sure to go over these ten tips with your climbing buddy to ensure that you reach the top safely.
1. Never Go, Solo
As a beginning rock climber, you are strongly advised against doing solo climbs. Sure, rock climbers who do the solo climb in climbing movies may look cool and all in but that doesn’t mean that what they’re doing is safe. Besides, we all know how movies work.
So be sure to have a climbing buddy with you in all of your adventures. This will not only give you peace of mind knowing that there’s a reliable person beside you but also ensures that there’s a ready pair of hands that you can count on when something goes amiss.
2. Always Wear a Climbing Helmet
A high-quality climbing helmet is a basic requirement for every rock climber. Wearing one will help you avoid serious head injuries caused by falling rock and debris and dropped equipment. It also protects your head when you accidentally flip upside down or slam against a rock face after a big swing.
3. Bring More Rope than You Need
In general, a 70-meter climbing rope should be enough to cover your needs for a regular rock climbing activity. However, it is a wise idea to bring some extra ropes just in case. You don’t want to run out of ropes while you’re in the middle of a climb, and you don’t want to make compromises because this can make rock climbing not only difficult but dangerous as well.
4. Check Your Gears
Always check the condition of your gears and equipment before you start any climbing session. This is even if you already checked them before you left home. Inspect your climbing ropes and make sure that there no tears or frays. Make sure that your climbing harness and belt are tightly secured. If you need to use climbing chalk, double-check that the chalk bag doesn’t come loose and fall off.
5. Don’t Get Distracted
One of the best things about rock climbing is the stunning views you get not only at the top but also along the route. There is nothing wrong with this and it is, in fact, one of the reasons why rock climbers do what they do. The problem happens when you get caught up in the scenery that you lose your focus and get distracted.
Needless to say, being distracted is never a good thing. Climbing safety guidelines strongly require climbers to always be on their feet and pay attention. Whether you’re climbing up or clambering down, and especially when you’re belaying someone, never engage in small chit-chats about the best rock climbing shoes or climbing pants or anything else that can cause you to lose focus. Save the story-telling once you reach the top or are back on firm ground.
6. Keep an Eye on Falling Rocks and Debris
Always be on the lookout for falling rocks and debris. These are serious hazards that can lead to equally serious injuries like head trauma or can cause you to lose your hold and fall. This is especially true if you plan to climb after rain.
7. Double-Check Your Knots
Tying a knot requires skill and focus, and even then you should always double if the knots are secure. A loose knot can spell disaster once it comes off. It is also a good idea to have your climbing buddy check your knot, and of course, you’ll want to repay the deed by checking their knots, too.
8. Know and Practice Belaying
Belaying is one of the most important skills that any mountain climber should learn and master. Not only is it necessary for a successful climb, but sufficient knowledge of belaying will help to further ensure your safety along the route.
It is strongly suggested that you enroll in a climbing course conducted by a professional climber. Because of its significance, this is one skill that you can’t and shouldn’t study merely by watching online video tutorials. Enrolling in a proper belaying course will allow gaining actual and first-hand experience on belaying, something you won’t get from watching online tutorials.
Along this line, you should choose a belaying device that you are most comfortable with. Whether you use a basic ATC device or an assisted-braking device, you should be comfortable and knowledgeable about using and operating it.
9. Redundancy Is Okay
Redundancy is frowned upon in many circumstances, but not when it comes to rock climbing. Redundancy is celebrated and is considered an important factor when it comes to rock climbing safety.
So inspect your gears and equipment again before any climb even if you already went over them at home, hotel, or wherever your accommodations may be. Check your climbing backpack and see if there’s anything you may have left behind. Go over your climbing routes again just to make sure that you’ve chosen the best and safest path possible. Remember, rock climbing can be rather dangerous so spending a few more minutes double-checking your things can help mitigate these hazards.
10. Communication Is Crucial
When it comes to rock climbing safety, clear and proper communication between you and your climbing partner is of utmost importance. Remember, you are both relying on each other to keep you safe during the climb, and you won’t be able to do this if you can’t understand each other.
So take some time to make sure that you are both on the same page. Discuss the commands and terms you’ll be using to pass vital information. As a beginner, this is quite important because there are many rock climbing terms and slang that you may not be aware of.
Also, if you are not sure what your climbing partner just said, ask him or her to repeat it. This is much better and safer than just making assumptions because this can lead to mistakes that can lead to serious injury or even be fatal.
Q: Is rock climbing a safe activity?
Rock climbing can be extremely dangerous, and every climber will experience at least one minor or even major setback throughout the course of their career. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the hazards involved in the sport like following the climbing safety guidelines set by officials, using reliable climbing gear and equipment, and others.
Q: What are the risks of rock climbing?
Rock climbing comes with certain risks, the most feared of which is falling down. Depending on the severity of the fall, climbers can either walk away with a few scratches or bruises, break a limb or even die. Aside from that, there’s always the risks of falling rocks that can hit climbers in the head, climbing ropes breaking, and others.
Q: What safety procedure should you follow when entering a climbing wall?
Climbing safety procedures always start by checking your gear and making sure that they are in excellent, working condition before using them. As a climber you’ll be relying largely on your gear to keep your safe while climbing. In addition, having someone supervise the climb can further ensure safety and reduce the chances of accidents.
Q: Is rock climbing safe for kids?
Rock climbing is generally safe for kids so long as it is done under the supervision of an adult and all rock climbing safety guidelines are observed. It is also important that the climbing activity is suitable for the age and skill level of the child. Climbs that are overly difficult and demanding for the child can lead to injuries.
Globo Surf Overview
Proper climbing gears and equipment coupled with the right techniques are crucial when it comes to climbing safety. Ignoring any of the rock climbing safety guidelines mentioned above can lead to unfortunate incidents, some of which can be fatal.