On 13th February my partner and I climbed the Downfall Route up on Kinder. After climbing the first pitch and arriving at the belay ledge I saw the team above - the leader already climbing the final section whilst being belayed by his partner on the same ledge as my belay. I was shocked that his belay consisted on a single ice-screw and warthog, both placed in poor quality ice. The climber had clipped with a carbineer directly through (not even in) to the sling use to equalise the 2 gear placements. Therefore, if the warthog had ripped (it was flexing) the large carabineer would have slipped directly through the sling resulting in a ground fall. When told that his belay was not built correctly and that he was not attached, the climber refused to admit any wrongdoing.
Making people aware of incorrect belays/belaying in a polite/non judgemental way is important for both the participant safety and your own wellbeing if an accident did happen, that could have been prevented by a polite reminded.
Belaying failure or error, Incorrect belay building
Rescue Services Involved?
20 April 2021 at 09:48:11
For more advice and guidance on good practices visit BMC skills
All reports are self-submitted and have not been edited by the BMC in any way, so please keep an open mind regarding the lessons and causes of each incident or near-miss.