Date of Incident
On an unusually mild day of in early November a group of three climbers turned up next to us and began setting up to climb a classic route. We got on well and I chatted to them as my partner climbed. Their leader was strong and talented but appeared not to have much trad experience- he placed little pro and when he did his mates had to yell up to him to let him know how to correct the glaring mistakes he was making. We all found this very funny and his partners joked that "he hates gear!".
He finished the route with ease but I expressed my surprise to them that they weren't supervising him as he built the belay. Shortly afterwards, when the second climber was halfway up the pitch there was shouting from the crag top- I didn’t see the belay myself but it was apparently so inadequate that a passing climber had warned him of potential disaster and was helping to correct it. This changed the mood somewhat.
If an inexperienced climber has trouble protecting themselves while leading it’s likely that they’ll have the same trouble constructing a safe belay and should be helped.
Trad rock climbing
While the second was climbing
Belaying failure or error
Rescue Services Involved?
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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.