Date of Incident

01/07/2003

Country

Wales

Route

Incident

Leader was climbing the second pitch of a multi-pitch route. Out of sight of the belayer. Leader got pumped and started down-climbing to his last runner. As down climbing and about to fall off due to pump he shouted 'Take!'. Belayer thought the leader was shouting 'Safe!' and so shouted up 'Off Belay!'. Luckily, the belayer's habit was to shout off-belay before actully taking the leader off belay. So the leader had time to shout back that he needed to take. Disaster averted, just.

Lessons

Miscommunication between leader and belayer. 'Safe' and 'Take' sound too similar at distance and when out of sight can lead to dangerous misunderstanding.. 'Off belay' and 'Take' perhaps a better system of calls.

Activity

Trad rock climbing

When

Ascending

Injury

No injury

Causes

Miscommunication

Anonymous?

Yes

Reported By

Partner

Wearing Helmets?

No

Rescue Services Involved?

none

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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.