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Lead climbing: video with key tips

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Alpine sales advisor, Transa store Europaallee Zurich
© Fotos

When you’re lead climbing, you’ve got to handle your carabiners and rope correctly – and you need the right knowledge in terms of safety and equipment. In the video, you’ll find key tips for staying safe in the climbing park or gym.

You probably started climbing using a top rope. This means you didn’t need to worry about clipping and could focus squarely on climbing. Top rope climbing is also easier if you’re the person belaying. However, if you want to try lead climbing, whether in a climbing gym or climbing park, there are a few other things to remember.

In the video, mountain guide Fabian from Höhenfieber and sales advisor Beni reveal the key tips to bear in mind when lead climbing.

It’s worth practising these tips on a simple route that you’re familiar with. That’ll enable you to advance along the route almost without thinking, so you can focus on lead climbing itself. If you’re not sure, practice in a group of three: one person climbs, one belays as the lead climber and one has an additional top rope. To start with, it’s definitely worth doing a guided course with a pro such as the courses with our partner Höhenfieber.

Climbing equipment: what you need to bear in mind

Your equipment also plays a role in ensuring you’re climbing safely. Check your climbing harness, rope and climbing helmet regularly to ensure they’re not damaged. And if you rent your equipment, make sure it’s in good condition. Depending on how often you go climbing and where, you should replace your equipment after a few months or years. Manufacturers will state how long their products can be used for.

There are all kinds of different safety devices available, but you’ll probably get used to using one particular type over time. Ideally, only use the device you feel comfortable with to secure yourself. If your companion prefers a different safety device, take both with you, or carefully practice how to use the other device.

Equipment for the climbing park

Fall training – so you stay calm in an emergency

Climbing and falling go hand in hand, but the right safety precautions can minimise the risk. Practice how to fall so you’re no more frightened than you would otherwise be when you fall for the first time. This is important for the climber and the belayer alike. The person on the route can announce that they’re about to fall, so the person on the ground can prepare for this. You can also let yourself fall without prior warning – as if you were climbing.

When they’re falling, the climber shouldn’t grab the rope or an express under any circumstances. It’s hardly possible to hold yourself, and you’ll probably do yourself further injury. It’s better to prepare to push off the wall, with your legs slightly bent and your arms spread wide.

Be aware that the drop height is slightly greater than it appears. A loose rope can then stretch until it’s taut and the climber is sitting in their harness.

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