5 Lead Climbing Basics That Every Beginner Should Master

Rock climbing is an adrenaline-pumping sport. As challenging and exhilarating as it is, there are also certain risks involved with rock climbing. Without proper, adequate training, the risk of injuries is also significantly higher.

But, that’s the beauty of climbing, isn’t it? Every novice rock climber aspires to master the lead climb. If you are one of those climbers, you are in for a treat.

Before you plan to learn lead climbing, you should be comfortable and proficient in other climbing skills such as clipping withdrawals, lead belaying, and placing the trad gear. If you think you have mastered these essential skills, you can move forward to learn lead climbing.

To lend you a hand in your quest, here are five lead climbing basics that you need to know and understand. Take a look.

1. Get the essential training

No matter how excited you are to start the lead climb, you need to hold your horses and get proper training from a certified training center. Accredited training centers have highly qualified climbing trainers to ensure you get the best training with essential skills.

They will train you in the above-mentioned critical skills that you need to learn before you think about lead climbing. It’s also necessary to practice the skills inside the gym before you start climbing the rocks.

2. Be mentally prepared

No matter how much your climbing buddies provoke you, you must be mentally ready before you start lead climbing. They may not have an idea about your skills or experience. It involves many risks, and if you aren’t mentally prepared, it may be a bad idea to go through with it.

It’s okay to be nervous initially, because, unlike top-roping, lead climbing is more demanding. So, you must be mentally prepared to manage the rope, clip gear, and stay calm at all times.

3. Communicate with the belayer

Communication is the key to safe lead climbing. The climber and the belayer are both responsible for communicating with one another.

From double-checking each other’s harnesses, knots, and belay setup to having an open and clear discussion about the experience, there are a number of essential steps that will help make lead climbing a safe and fun experience.

When the climber clips at each draw, they should inform their buddy. In addition, the belayer should highlight any errors made by the climber.

Many times the belayer fails to alert the climber when they make a mistake. The belayers often assume that the climber will be alright. Just to be sure, it’s best to call out whenever you feel like it, even though it may not look serious. It’s better to be wrong than sorry.

4. Stay close to the wall

Beginners often stay far away from the climber. It adds slack in the system, which can be harmful to both the climber and the belayer. Never be more than 6 feet away from the wall. It also increases the chances of hitting the ground if you fall.

5. Try a mock lead

Climbing a route on the top rope while simultaneously leading up with another rope is known as using a mock lead. A mock lead is a fantastic alternative for first-time lead climbers.

It lets you concentrate on setting up gear, clipping bolts, and handling the rope on a lead while knowing that you have a top rope to catch you if you fall. Mock lead requires two climbing ropes and two belayers.

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