5 Safety mistakes in sport climbing that almost everyone makes
Sometimes explained by laziness and sometimes by ignorance, but many climbers has certain bad habits, the signer of this article included. After checking them, we would love to know if do you agree with us.
#1 Abandon a route
You just have to see the majority of people's harness to realize that almost nobody does this maneuver properly otherwise they would carry a sling.
The most common way to leave a route where you weren't able to reach the top is to abandon a maillon in the last bolt reached, and then go down collecting the rest of quickdraws. But after taken away one or 2 quickdraws, your life is pending from only one bolt and maillon.
Using a sling with a prusik knot will give you a second opportunity. Check image.
This procedure is specially recommended when the bolt from where we are descending is not in good condition.
#2 Taking off your helmet after climbing
Climbing helmets are designed to protect against loose rocks more than lead climbing falls, especially classic helmets.
Maybe you feel that your head is more in danger while climbing, but most of the cases, the risk is higher when staying below someone that is climbing.
In the picture of the left, Alex Huber is doing free solo in the Dolomites. Logically he didn't expected that the helmet will work on a 300 meters fall.
#3 Finish top rope with extra safety
When top-roping a route, you have to unclip the quickdraws that are guiding the rope. So, when you unclip the last one, you are depending only from the top anchor. If you don't want to be caught only from one point in case of fall, just clip the last quickdraw to the belayer side of the rope. Check pics.
Never forget to do it if you are the last that climbs the route and you will dismantle it.
#4 Partner Check
Most of climbing accidents are caused by mistakes that could have been avoided with a correct partner check.
#4 Have a quickdraw with screwgate carabiners
If the route you are trying has a crux in the first meters, where the chance of ending in the ground depends in just one anchor, you should mind using one of these.