15 common climbing mistakes




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  • 15 common climbing mistakes
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added by admin on 07.09.2017

A selection of 15 common mistakes done equally by beginners or more experienced ones.

 Sursă poză: theactiveplace.com 
1. Not making a proper belay station. It is important to have redundancy in a belay system, either you have 2 bolts, pitons or cams/nuts. Your system must be equalised in the 2 or more pieces that you have and anchor yourself in the mater point of the system.



2. Climbing a sinuous multi pitch climb with just one rope and short quickdraws. You will have a considerable rope drag and most likely ending up in the middle of a pitch and manage yourself an intermediate belay station. It is best to climb on such routes with 2 half ropes and long quickdraws (60cm at least)



3. Not double checking with your partner. Always double check all your belaying knots, your figure eight knot, your belay device is installed properly, carabiners are locked. Also do the same thing for your partner. Make this a habit on every climb, most importantly indoor, where everything becomes routine. Real life event: One famous double-check mistake was Lynn Hill’s accident in Buoux, France, in 1989, when she was distracted by a conversation. Her unfinished knot slipped through her harness and fell 75 feet to the ground but survived.

4. Top roping with a figure eight knot linked with a carabiner to your harness belay loop. This is a common practice to some climbing gyms. It is not ok, as the carabiner may unlock itself during a climb and it can easily open up at some moves, or you can fall on the shorter edge of the carabiner. Also it is dangerous because it requires less attention on how you install it on your harness. Real life event: a climber, in the climbing gym, tied his carabiner with figure wight knot not to his belay loop, but to his gear loop and fortunately noticed it when he arrived at the top of the climb.

5. Tying with a Bowline (Bulin) knot without backing it up at the end. Many climbers still use the bowline knot, but it is essential to have a backup knot at the end as it can slip, this being the reason it has been replaced in competitions by the figure eight knot.



6. Not making a knot at the end of the rope. Always knot the end of the rope, either you are sport climbing single pitch routes or rappelling. Make this a habit, even in climbing gyms, especially if it's not your rope. Make this a habit, as this type of errors are very common form the beginners to the most experienced ones, and the consequences can vary from minor injuries to fatality.

7. Not wearing a helmet. Regardless if you climb multi pitch routes or easy sport climbing routes or adventure in easy scrambling on alpine terrain always wear a helmet. On alpine terrain a small rock, 1-2 cm in diameter is enough to make you unconscious for 1-2 seconds and fell down. In sport climbing you can always flip up and fell with your head down. In winter climbing and ice climbing a helmet is mandatory and life saving as any fall is likely to put you head down as your crampons will catch small hold and flip you over. You can skip wearing the helmet on long, hard and overhanging sport climbing routes, where all you have beneath you is air.

8. Rope behind your leg while leading. Anytime you traverse, go out an overhang, or do a step-through move, you’re in danger of putting your leg behind the rope. If you fall in this position, you’ll likely be flipped upside down. Be aware of your feet position on every moment of your climb.



9. Dynamic belaying. Many accidents, including in the gym, are due to the belayer, who doesn't know how to belay dynamically. At the time of the fall, the leading climber does not fall perfectly straight down, but draws a arch, and then he hits (in the case of non-dynamic belaying) the wall bellow. At the time of the fall, the belayer must give another 0.5-1 meter of rope to the lead (attention, do this when the rope is stretched, during the fall, not slack before, that will be of no use) to "extend" the arch and not hit the wall. One of the common mistakes is that the belayer scares and makes a step backwards, shortening the "arch" resulting in the leader hitting the wall more violently. The best way to learn dynamic belaying is in the gym, supervised by an instructor or someone with experience.

10. Back-clipping. When clipping the rope into a quickdraw pay attention on how you put the rope in the quickdraw, always having the rope from your harness away from the wall. Otherwise there’s a high chance that the rope could unclip itself from a carabiner during a fall.



11. Toproping through fixed anchors. Anchors will wear much faster because of repeated toproping and lowering through the rings or chains. Always toprope through your own carabiners. Take in consideration the money and time the opener of the route put in that route and try to preserve it for other climbers who will come afterwards. Also last climber can lower off himself, rappelling down with a reverso.

12. Letting your dog run free at the crag. This can impact other climbers experience and also can be dangerous in some cases. Real life event at Veliko Tarnovo: Dog was running loose through the climbers and one climber (who was belaying) stepped back and stepped on the dogs paw. Instinctively the dog bite the climber who was belaying, and on the same instinct the belayer took off his hands from the belaying device and tryied to protect himself. Everything finished well but this could have had a tragic ending. If you bring your dog, be sure it is not running free between the climbers.

13. Not protecting your second on a traverse. The only thing worse than leading a difficult traverse is following a traverse that the leader didn’t protect. Be sure to leave gear along the way to prevent a giant pendulum in case the second slips.

14. Lowering directly off webbing or nylon slings. Never lower off directly through a sling without putting a carabiner or metal ring between the sling and the rope. The sling can burn in seconds.

15. Correct clipping of quickdraws into bolts. More important than the direction of the carabiner compared to the direction of the route (for example, if the route continues to the right, it is advisable to have the rope carabiner pointing to the left) is how the upper carabiner is in the bolt. As not all bolts are perfectly placed, some can generate enough torsion force to break the carabiner in case of a big shock.

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