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Chris Johns
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A Pragmatic way to approach this is to suggest a 'warm up' where you both have a couple of goes at deliberately dropping off the wall just above the ground and then go to a few metres.

This will give you some sense that your partner knows what they are doing and is in any case a perfectly sensible way for both of you to get your eye on the ball and gain a sense of each other's weight which not a bad idea no matter how experienced you are.

I have certainly had problems belaying a random climber who just shot up off the wall simply because I had no feel for how much they weighed and they decide to fall off 3m into the route I was perfectly able to catch them but its was a bit abrupt because it was a reaction to the fall rather than a premeditated assist.

similarly you want to tell people that you want to communicate when you are attempting something difficult and might fall as opposed to cruising up an easy bit where you want plenty of slack.

The other side of this is new partners who magically expect you to know both when they want slack and also be able to catch them instantly if they fall off.

It is also fair to say that partners who don't know each other well won't have the same sense of when the climber is likely to get into trouble and need more or less slack quite apart for actually falling off so a controlled practice before any serious climbing makes perfect sense.

A Pragmatic way to approach this is to suggest a 'warm up' where you both have a couple of goes at deliberately dropping off the wall just above the ground and then go to a few metres.

This will give you some sense that your partner knows what they are doing and is in any case a perfectly sensible way for both of you to get your eye on the ball and gain a sense of each other's weight which not a bad idea no matter how experienced you are.

It is also fair to say that partners who don't know each other well won't have the same sense of when the climber is likely to get into trouble and need more or less slack quite apart for actually falling off so a controlled practice before any serious climbing makes perfect sense.

A Pragmatic way to approach this is to suggest a 'warm up' where you both have a couple of goes at deliberately dropping off the wall just above the ground and then go to a few metres.

This will give you some sense that your partner knows what they are doing and is in any case a perfectly sensible way for both of you to get your eye on the ball and gain a sense of each other's weight which not a bad idea no matter how experienced you are.

I have certainly had problems belaying a random climber who just shot up off the wall simply because I had no feel for how much they weighed and they decide to fall off 3m into the route I was perfectly able to catch them but its was a bit abrupt because it was a reaction to the fall rather than a premeditated assist.

similarly you want to tell people that you want to communicate when you are attempting something difficult and might fall as opposed to cruising up an easy bit where you want plenty of slack.

The other side of this is new partners who magically expect you to know both when they want slack and also be able to catch them instantly if they fall off.

It is also fair to say that partners who don't know each other well won't have the same sense of when the climber is likely to get into trouble and need more or less slack quite apart for actually falling off so a controlled practice before any serious climbing makes perfect sense.

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Chris Johns
  • 6.2k
  • 30
  • 23

A Pragmatic way to approach this is to suggest a 'warm up' where you both have a couple of goes at deliberately dropping off the wall just above the ground and then go to a few metres.

This will give you some sense that your partner knows what they are doing and is in any case a perfectly sensible way for both of you to get your eye on the ball and gain a sense of each other's weight which not a bad idea no matter how experienced you are.

It is also fair to say that partners who don't know each other well won't have the same sense of when the climber is likely to get into trouble and need more or less slack quite apart for actually falling off so a controlled practice before any serious climbing makes perfect sense.