We care about you.
Please keep it tight!
It’s easy to feel over-eager on your first few rock-climbing outings of the season. Stoke could obscure the fact that you are rusty. Over the winter, your skills and finger strength may have faded.
Here are five reminders for a safe and excellent rock-climbing season:
Perform a Quick Belay Test
If you and your partner are new to climbing together, be sure they will belay you as you like. No one outside at the crag is checking for belay cards or competency. It is up to you to be sure your belayer can do their job.
Share your Plan
If you plan to “clean” the anchor, have a conversation with your belayer about your intentions before leaving the ground. Be sure the plan and the commands are clear to avoid any problems.
When climbing action is happening, limit your conversation. Unnecessary dialogue may confuse a situation. Be respectful that constant yammering can be very distracting to others.
ALWAYS double-check your systems. Have a systematic way of moving from one system to the next. I recommend keeping the first system weighted and clipped until you have visual confirmation that the new system is in place. Once you have confirmed the new system, then detach from the old. Most importantly, don’t rush!
Review on the Ground
If you have any questions about a skill, be sure to review all the relevant information on the ground. Dangling 100 feet up in the air is no time to ask for clarity.