The following describes what might be described as a near miss event when I was climbing with another club member, ClimberX, at a sport climbing crag in May 2021.
I had been climbing all day with ClimberX in the quarry which is all bolted
All routes finish with two bolts or staples on the headwall
At no stage in the day did I (or ClimberX to my memory) ever shout safe. Take and slack were the only calls I used – as is the protocol for sport as you are only safe once back on the ground
On the last route I followed the usual routine to lower.
- Clip one bolt with a cows tail
- Thread a bight of rope, without untying
- Tied in to the bight on a krab
- Untie the original in knot
- Shout take – rope moved
- Unclipped cows tail about to fully weight rope
Looked down and found Climber X had unclipped me from the rope even though that had left me hanging on a single bolt 100ft up. At no stage did ClimberX check with me to see if it was OK to take me off belay.
At that moment there was a bit of shouting, ClimberX froze and the team next to us stepped over and put me back on belay
What this shows is that despite climbing regularly for many years, ClimberX has serious limitations on knowledge of safe protocols and/or very limited understanding of the underlying systems in play (both comms and ropes).
better understanding of call protocols/ rope systems/ protocols by belayer
more thorough comms re readiness for lowering off by climber (me)
Sport rock climbing
Belaying failure or error
Rescue Services Involved?
only the team on the nest route for which I am v grateful
16 June 2021, 09:00:19
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.