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Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under??
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Deerty


Sep 29, 2011, 8:28 AM
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Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under??
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Okay so I have been in a debate with a good friend of mine who climbs with me. We both learned to sport climb by different people and we were both taught different ways. My question is, when you are lead belaying someone, after you let the climber get the second bolt and you go on belay, should you stand under the climber a few feet straight back from the wall? Or should you stand to the left or right of the rope/climber a few feet away from the wall? What ever the answer may be, can you please explain why that way is correct?

Thanks!!


olderic


Sep 29, 2011, 8:56 AM
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Re: [Deerty] Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under?? [In reply to]
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There are very few arbitrary rules and the only right answer is "it depends" - although I am concerned that you imply that you don't belay until he clips the second bolt. Care to explain that one?

Assuming you are not anchored in - do you want to open the whole can of worms on the pros and cons of that one? - you are going to be moving around - assuming you are not going to trip and/or fall off something - a lot to give maximum advantage to your climber by at least trying to keep the rope out of his way. The typical problems you see when the gym rats lead belay is too much slack and standing too far from the wall especially when the climber is low on the route.

But again I will say that the answer to your question is context specific and there are few one size fits all answers in climbing.


Deerty


Sep 29, 2011, 9:06 AM
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Re: [olderic] Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under?? [In reply to]
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Well if you cant tell im faily new at climbing and I was taught that you should try and spot your climber until they get conected l to the second bolt because if they fall there is to much slack in the rope for you to be able to catch them with the rope if they fall. And I see what you mean about how the situation my vary by where you are climbing but im just looking for a general answer for when there is plenty of space for the belayer to walk around. If you had a preference where do you stand?
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olderic


Sep 29, 2011, 9:28 AM
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Re: [Deerty] Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under?? [In reply to]
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Be careful about generalizations. In some cases when they are clipping the 2nd bolt they are in danger of decking, sometimes not. It depends on the spacing. But in anycase the first bolt is there for a reason. I would recommend you become familiar with a stick clip.

Personally I try to guess where the climber will be when he is clipping to first bolt and pick a position so that the rope will be in the best place for them to do so. If I am spotting I need to be in position for that with "just enough" rope out for them to make the clip without having to adjust it


jae8908


Sep 29, 2011, 9:36 AM
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Re: [Deerty] Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under?? [In reply to]
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If you learned to sport climb/belay in a gym, then the bolts are generally closer together with the first one closer to the ground than they are outdoors. So, usually where you start belaying at the second bolt in gyms its the first outside. I agree as said above. Stand whereever is the best to make it easier for the climber as well as the safest.


djlachelt


Sep 29, 2011, 9:54 AM
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Re: [Deerty] Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under?? [In reply to]
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Here are some general considerations:
* You want to keep the rope out of the way so the climber is less likely to fall across it, causing them to either straddle the rope or get turned sideways.

* You don't want to be in a spot that they might fall onto you (that would increase the likelihood of you losing control of the rope).

* You may have to move as the route wanders. Sometimes you start on one side, and then realize that it would be better to be on the other side.

* Consider what's going to happen when they take a fall. The belayer is going to get pulled directly toward the first clip. The further you are away from being directly under the bolt the more likely you are to get pulled unexpectedly off your feet, regardless of whether you are away from the wall or to the side. You must maintain control of the belay side of the rope. So think ahead of how you'll react. What will you get pulled into? How you protect yourself?

Assuming you are outside, if the ground is not level then I would normally try to stand on the down-hill side. That way my feet are more likely to maintain purchase with the ground. But that might change depending on the stability of the terrain. Sometimes it might actually be better to leave the ground and just be ready to absorb the swing against the wall with your feet.

In general, just be aware of your surroundings, so that you aren't surprised when you do get pulled up.


shockabuku


Sep 29, 2011, 10:54 AM
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Re: [Deerty] Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under?? [In reply to]
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In addition to what he said above, particularly for the first couple of bolts, and if there is a runout where the climber may fall low enough and the belayer might be picked up toward the climber, I try to think how our two flying bodies will incur the least damaging trajectories. If the climber is going staight up, it's not much of an issue, but if the route overhangs or traverses the climber will pendulum.


jeepnphreak


Sep 29, 2011, 7:53 PM
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Re: [Deerty] Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under?? [In reply to]
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I dont like to be directly under a climber unless spotting. mainly because of rocks, dropped gear and other stuff knocked loose. There is less chance of something beaning me on the helmet if I'm a bit off to the side.


kiwiprincess


Sep 29, 2011, 8:52 PM
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Re: [Deerty] Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under?? [In reply to]
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Standing slightly to the side is so the Climber a) dosn't land on you when they fall off(mainly when low) b) so if they drop something/knock a hold off you are not directly in the firing line. I stand closer for the first couple of clips as extra rope could mean a ground fall then as they are higher stand in a safe comfortable position, unless they are on trad then you need to consider the rope pull on the bottom piece and staying in close is usually safest.
Keep questioning. The most dangerous people are those with no understanding(sometimes they are experienced people)


Deerty


Sep 29, 2011, 8:57 PM
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Re: [kiwiprincess] Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under?? [In reply to]
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Thanks I plan on learning as much as I can from these forums!


jt512


Sep 29, 2011, 9:34 PM
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Re: [Deerty] Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under?? [In reply to]
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Deerty wrote:
Well if you cant tell im faily new at climbing and I was taught that you should try and spot your climber until they get conected l to the second bolt . . .

That's wrong. You should spot them until they clip the first bolt. After they clip the first bolt you should belay them.

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 . . . because if they fall there is to much slack in the rope for you to be able to catch them with the rope if they fall.

Then don't keep too much slack in the rope, and be ready to shorten the fall by sitting, running back, diving to the ground, or instantly hauling in slack if they fall before the second bolt (and, often, before the third).

Unless you're spotting, you rarely want to stand directly below your partner: you don't want him to fall on you or pull rocks down on you. It's usually safer to stand just off to the side.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Sep 29, 2011, 9:37 PM)


blueeyedclimber


Sep 30, 2011, 7:23 AM
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Re: [Deerty] Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under?? [In reply to]
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Jay is correct. The only thing I will add is that which side of the bolt you stand only matters at the start of the climb. You want to stand so that you do not put yourself or the rope going from your belay device to the first bolt in the fall zone of the climber.

Josh


ablanchard17


Oct 4, 2011, 12:17 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] Lead Belaying? Stand to the left, right, or directly under?? [In reply to]
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you can absolutely catch someone on the first bolt. It takes still and fast belaying. and your sense of when they might fall if they are going to.


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