A few things that I have nodiced as well particularly while lead belaying:
We were at the Daejeon wall and a child decided to ride the "up rope" where it drooped as a horsie. Right when she did, her momma took a fall and little baby went a FLYING. Lucky for her, she had a strong little grip and caught the rope. Only injury was a bruised toosh, and a slight head bang.
Second - when someone is lead climbing, get your a** in to the wall. Don't stand back so you can check out what they are doing, thats what verbal communication is for (obviously some circumstances will require you to move out to see whats going on). If the leader falls, and you are far out from the wall, you will probably break a world record for the 10m dash as you get pulled up and in.
When the first starts to climb past first bolt (and you are done spotting), get in to the wall, but OFF TO THE SIDE. If they fall, they fall ON YOU if you are right under 'em (not a good idea).
As they progress up the wall, and make 2nd or 3rd clip (common sense rules), then moove your toosh under the first bolt. That way, if they fall, the only way that you are going is up.
Too many times, on the Daejeon wall (massive ovehung section -about 10m horizontal) we have seen belayers who have come all the way out to see where the first is on the face when they take a fall, and the belayer literally is RUNNING towards the wall (being pulled) and the first almost decks because of all the extra slack that is being paid out by their sprinting belayer. TSK TSK!
That being said, Im far from a perfect belayer. I appreciate, and request anytime that anyone sees something unsafe, or even THINKS its unsafe, to come and talk to me about it. Climbing shouldn't be about pride, in my mind anyways, its just about fun and the good vibes (and safety!).
So brush up on those knots folks! and remember, practice on your girlfriend.
- know what knot to use, AND WHEN to use it!
Good on ya for starting this thread Jakester. God knows how many times you have caught me putting the rope into my reverso backwards....