Whether you're new to the sport or more experienced, we sometimes skip a few steps in the excitement of hitting the real rockface on the first few outings of the season. Here's a quick guide to remind you of some essential points for your first outdoor climbing trip so that everything is in order for a safe and fun outing.
Depending on how often you climb, it is crucial to take the time to check your equipment a few times per year. Some items wear out more quickly and can put climbers at risk.
The rope and harness have a maximum lifespan, but this can vary depending on the frequency of use, exposure to certain external elements (water, sun), the type and number of falls... Here is an article written by MEC to guide you on the choice of rope, the lifespan and to recognize when it is necessary to replace it
Here are some key points about the lifespan of climbing ropes:
The same principle applies to your harness! Here are a few key points to check (all the verification steps on the PETZL website)
To avoid unpleasant surprises when you arrive at the climbing site, make sure you have all the necessary equipment for the climbing you want to do. No matter what kind of climbing you want to do, you must have at least this equipment. Here is a small checklist:
Double validation: Before each climb, it is essential to double-validate the climber's knot and the belayer's carabiner. Pay attention to this step, even if you are on your 350th knot...
Communication: when handling, it is essential to communicate in a simple and clear manner. Sometimes the climber is out of the belayer's sight, and the external elements make the voice much less audible; communication according to established standards is important in these situations. Here are some examples of the jargon to use:
* Avoid using long sentences and the word "OK" which can be confusing
Stay focused on the climber: When belaying, it can be tempting to engage in conversations around you; however, you need to keep your focus on the climber at all times (Refrain from creating your Instagram stories until you are done belaying).
Wear your helmet at ALL times
These are habits that can be lost over time, but can make a big difference in the safety of your practice. Happy climbing!