Under Construction

Belay Devices<
See: How to Choose Belay Devices | REI.com

Setting up an ATC for Belaying:
  1. Clip a locking carabiner through both the groin loop and the waist loops of your harness (the same loops you tie into).
  2. Take a loop (bight) of rope from the end which the climber is not tied into and pass it through one of the two slots in the ATC (both slots are identical).
  3. Clip both the wire cable on the ATC and the bight of rope into the locking carabiner, and screw the gate of the carabiner shut.
  4. For indoor climbing. Clip a second carabiner into your harness at the waist and groin loops on the side opposite your braking hand. Clip this carabiner into one of the pre-tied loops on the anchor ropes attached to the floor at a point which offers the least slack in the anchor rope. This prevents the belayer (you) from being pulled off the floor in the event the climber takes a fall (or if the climber weighs more than you do).
Top rope belaying:

Climber: "On belay?" (Are you ready to belay me?)
Belayer: "Belay on." (Slack is gone and I'm ready.)

Climber: "Climbing." (I'm going to climb now.)
Belayer: "Climb on." (I'm ready for you to climb.)

Climber: "Slack!" (Pay out a little rope.)
Belayer: (Pay out rope and pause to see if climber asks again.)

Climber: "Up rope." (Pull in rope slack.)
Belayer: (Pull in slack and pause to see if climber asks again.)

Climber: "Tension." (I want to rest by hanging on the rope now. Some use "take" instead.)
Belayer: (Remove all slack and hold tight.) "Gotcha."

Climber: "Ready to lower." (I'm done climbing.)
Belayer: (Reposition both hands to brake.) "Lowering."

Climber: "Off belay." (I'm standing securely on the ground.)
Belayer: "Belay off." (I've stopped belaying you.)

Other Important Commands: If you hear these shouted by a climber,
 with or without a name, ready yourself.
  • "Rock!" This is for anything, natural or manufactured, that gets loose. When you hear this, look down (not up) so your helmet can protect you.
  • "Watch Me!" This means a climber thinks a fall is likely.
  • "Falling!" Means exactly what you think it means.

How to Belay | rei.com
How to belay: Top Rope Basics
Good Technique On Top Roping And Belaying | BayAreaClimbers.com
OA Guide to Belaying at the Climbing Wall (Princeton Outdoor Action)
Mountaineering and Mountain Survival - Belay Techniques

Return to climbing

last updated 20 Sep 2012