Safety Tips For The Novice Climber
These essential safety tips should help novice climbers get into good habits early on.
Gear up away from the crag. There's always a chance that someone may drop something on you from above or dislodge a rock. While you are gearing up you are not likely to be paying attention to what's happening above you, so you will be more at risk if you are at the foot of the crag.
Always put your harness on over the clothing you are wearing. If you try to put on or tie into a harness, which is concealed by a baggy sweatshirt, fleece or jacket you are more likely to do so incorrectly.
When tying in, always thread the rope down through the waist belt of your harness first. That way you can be sure you are tied into the most important part first.
Make a conscious decision to always clip your belay plate around the back of your harness. If the belay device is not available towards the front of your harness you should never end up accidentally belaying off a gear loop.
Get into the habit of checking each other before you climb. Don't be offended if your partner checks your harness and knot, that's the kind of healthy paranoia that keeps you alive.