Righto beloved brethren,
this is the thread that has been dying (no pun intended) to be outed publicly. It's high time we took a step back from the intoxifications of sending successes and social cameraderie...and instead gave sober thought to our own behavioyurs and actions (regarding safety) at the crags.
To be clear from the very start, THIS IS NOT AIMED AT ANYONE OR ANY ONE INCIDENT IN PARTICULAR, though I know there will be some who think it is. Actually it's not, and I didn't want to be the one to start this thread
, but I got this message:
i have no doubt that people would not take it wrong if uncle jake were to start the thread. im certainly not going to post it, but you have an authority and respect among the group that would not be taken lightly or criticized.
Frankly I think that's a nonsense, a kind nonsense and well intentioned but I'm just a dude who climbs (badly enough) for fun. No better than anyone else. So, egos and sensitivities aside - take no hurt or offence anyone - this is just because I, we, everyone, wants everyone else to stay healtthy, happy and alive. Got it? Sweet.
Belaying and ettiquette a the crag:
When a person is belaying, don't distract him/her with excessive chat, flashes of cleavage or slaps and tickles. They have a deadly serious job to do, and chatterboxes etc are putting the climber at risk.
Watch your feet and where you walk. DON'T tread on ropes ever, especially not when someone is using that rope to belay/ climb etc.
When you belay, make sure you have a clear area about you (as much as possible). Be aware of where things are so you don't trip and pull off the climber. It happens!
Think. Think again. If you are belaying someone much heavier, then tie in! Tie in to a tree, a belay bolt or get someone to hold you. If a heavy climber falls you can get jerked off your feet into the wall and lose control. Even happens just lowering someone, so be careful!
If you are uncertain about how to use a beay tool, or are just feeling "uncomfortable" ask someone to help you/ watch you/ back you up.
Climber and belayer should use SIMPLE CLEAR signals. "Hey, yeah you know like I'm groovy so you right to gimme the catch down, eh?" Is a fast way to die.
AGREE on all climb signals before climbing with a partner, especially if they are not your regular partner. Different people have different calls.
If you see someone doing something imperfectly, or dangerously standby to intervene! You don't have to humiliate them, berate them or feel embarrassed to correct them....just try and do it asap in a quiet and friendly way. "Hey I just thought I'd show you another way to do that..."You looked OK, but try this instead, maybe it'll be easier/ more comfortable for you...etc etc. BUT watch carefully anyone who is doing things a bit dodgily.
If you have a small group of KOTRers etc in your area, set up a practice safety skills day (or even a half hour before cragging/ lunch time) and get old hands to join in, just like newbies - it makes everyone feel more equal and less singled out.
ALWAYS KEEP A HAND ON THE BRAKE even with a Gri-gri.
Climbers: DOUBLE-CHECK your belayers are paying attention before lowering, taking, setting off etc. Look and check if possible. Their "OK" may be directed at someone else!
Climber and Belayer MUST always check each others harnesses and tie-ins EVERYTIME! Do you?
If the 1st bolt is high, belayers should spot the climber till the first bolt. The belay is useless till they clip that 1st bolt! KEEP THUMBS TUCKED IN!
OK now add your own thoughts and ideas. Every KOTRer should think about these issues and share honestly with all.