If the climber will instead drop down from an overhang into free space or swing into the wall, you have to do a soft catch (see below). If you fall with the rope between your legs, it can flip you upside down, causing you to hit your head on the wall and get 'rope burn' behind your knees. Learn more and join us, Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply, get approved and make any purchase within 60 days of card approval.Details, Mon–Fri, 5am–10pm PT Sat–Sun, 6am–9pm PT. I double check everything, I'm quick. Flake out the rope to make sure there aren’t any knots or kinks that might hang up as rope pays out through the belay device. Belaying is a foundational skill that climbing classes teach early on and instruction from a qualified teacher is essential. Fight the fall, performing a top-rope style catch by pulling your brake hand down hard while tightening your grip; your body, harness, rope and belay device must work together to absorb the force of the fall. Do it faster by stepping forward as you work, but be careful not to lose your footing. Because a leader falls twice as far as that climber has ascended above the last clip-in point, falls can be long and consequential. Lead climbing requires a whole other level of confidence that top rope climbing does not need. The force of the fall is likely to be greater than a top-rope fall, though, so you’ll be pulled toward the wall or all the way up against it; be prepared to bend your knees and brace your feet against the wall. During the lead test, participants will be required to climb a 5.9, take a fall, demonstrate proper lead climbing and belaying techniques using PBUS (pull, brake, under, slide) only. Make sure not to let go of the brake rope! A lead climbing belay requires more attentiveness and rope management skill than a top-rope belay. As always, add your partner’s name to avoid confusion with other climbing teams. AAC Universal Belay Standard: Lead Belaying. Funny: Pull—A Story About Lead Climbing. E-books are payable by donation. Note that belaying a lead climber is quite different between a tubular and a brake-assist device, so you need to learn and master the technique for your device. With the climber secured to a top rope, the mock lead belayer can practice feeding slack without the pressure of catching the climber if they fall. Learning to lead climb is an exciting next step for climbers that already know how to top-rope belay and have a basic understanding of climbing technique (we strongly recommend you be comfortable climbing 5.9 at G1). $10 verification fee per pax for each verification. When a fall happens, you must react fast. Read up on Lead Verification Matrix here. The second should give three affirmative tugs back before unplugging the belay and climbing. Lead climbing is a climbing style, predominantly used in rock climbing. Learn to Climb Trad: Leading and Following. REI and the REI Co-op logo are trademarks of Recreational Equipment, Inc. 28 reviews with an average rating of 4.75 out of 5 stars. When belaying, tug back three times to show comprehension. Focus on the center of the climber. Also, don’t set up too far from the wall or you risk injury from impact. In this video Julie Ellison, Climbing Magazine Gear Editor, shows how to belay a lead climb. Get ready to fly, especially if the fall is a long one—taking a quick hop toward the wall helps you direct where you’ll end up. You must be 5 years of age to use the Auto Belays and children under the age of 10 must use a … Be sure you’re practiced in proper techniques and safety requirements before you climb. But in a lead climbing context, belaying with correct technique is far more complicated than with an ATC. The dynamic belay is less than intuitive but very helpful. It's also possible to have a top rope set up in addition to the lead rope. Find a Climbing Class at REI Outdoor School. Any belay device for top-rope belaying is also appropriate for lead belaying. ALWAYS. Let the fall’s force pull you into the air, keeping knees bent and feet forward to brace as you plant them against the wall, several feet off the ground. And shout loudly so your partner is certain about your command. * Try to start out climbing for 100 feet total or setting a timer for 5 minutes of straight climbing. * All lead class participants must be a 5.9 or higher climber at MetroRock (climb 5.9's with out falling or weighting the rope). The ability to take and give slack quickly and precisely is important to ensure a good belay — especially when close to the ground. This article is part of our series: Confidence. Finally, just as you do for top-rope belay, set up at least a step away from being directly under the climber’s route. If it’s shorter than this, you’ll run out of rope before the climber can be lowered all the way back to the ground. If an obstruction like a ledge or the ground is directly in the climber’s fall line, you’ll have to do a quick, hard catch (see below). Slow up or stop when the climber nears a bolt and needs to clean (remove) the quickdraw; also slow up near obstructions and near the ground. Because climber falls can be far more forceful in lead belay than in top-rope belay, proper position is also more critical: Commands are the same as top-rope climbing, although a belayer hears “Slack!” far more frequently. Practicing in the gym with your partner will help immensely. Before the climber begins the ascent to the first bolt, run through your initial belay commands: Once the first bolt is clipped, quickly get ready to belay in earnest. A GRIGRI is a great choice for belaying a lead climber, but the technique is slightly more complicated than belaying with a more traditional tubular-style device like an ATC. You assume the standard belay stance, with your non-dominant foot forward, your knees bent and your whole body relaxed yet ready. Next, slide your guide hand back down so it’s directly above the device again; then regrip the rope. Step 1. Familiarize yourself with the Lead Climbing systems before you agree to get on belay. © 2020 Recreational Equipment, Inc. All rights reserved. This means you can practise the techniques of leading, with the increased safety of a top rope.Ask a qualified member of staff for help with this.Once you've learnt these basics, you can progress to being a better belayer. Belay devices are a must for lead climbing. Intro to Sport Lead Climbing. When belaying for lead climbing, the rope starts on the ground and you are feeding it through the belay device to the climber as they climb. Use both hands to shuffle rope upwards through the belay device.Then slide your hands one at a time back down the rope so you are ready to give more slack. Verifies that you can lead climb and lead belay. When lead climbing above a quickdraw, make sure the rope is running over the side of your leg. REI Outdoor School Instructor Matt Vodjansky has AMGA SPI (American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor) certification, along with years of climbing experience. They must also be top rope certified at MetroRock, or be able to pass a MetroRock top rope test with an ATC-style belay device. If the rope is wire-straight out of the device, you have too little slack. If the belayer is using a grigri, the brake lever must be held with the non-brake hand to release the tension in order to lower the climber. Learning Lead Climbing Basics on Auto Belay. Allows you access to the lead wall. In top-rope climbing most of the rope is initially running up the wall or cliff to a top anchor and back down to the climber. As a top rope belayer, I've always been very conscientious and confident. 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