01690 720214

Taking a Friend Climbing

By Baggy Richards


Every climber finds him or herself in a position where they want, or are expected to take a friend climbing. Often this means taking a complete beginner or novice climber on a multi-pitch route. Here are a few tips aimed to make sure you both have a great time and neither of you ends up dreading the idea of it happening again.


Information

Taking a Friend Climbing

Your friend is likely to be either anxious or excited about the adventure that lies ahead, which is not a good state of mind for absorbing information. So avoid bombarding them with advice at the bottom of the crag. Tell them the simple things they need to know and then get them moving. Give them other pointers on the route (like for example explaining climbing calls). As each new situation arises talk to them and explain what's going on. It will make more sense 'in situ' and help lead to a more interesting and enjoyable day for them.


Crags

Taking a Friend Climbing

Think about the type of climbing a particular crag or route offers. Avoid using a venue that is too steep and look for a more 'slabby' crag, which allows your friend to build confidence. Although they may have climbed before, indoor walls have little relevance in the real world of multi pitch climbing. Obviously it's subjective but in principle - the more exposed the route, the lower the grade should be.


Ropes

You may use double ropes when you climb yourself but in this instance they're likely to overcomplicate matters for your friend. Remember, any problems that occur will have to be solved by you so it's probably better to keep things simple and go for a full weight single rope.


Belay Plates

Make sure the belay plate is appropriate for the size of rope you have chosen and consider giving the belayer a more 'grabby' device which will be more forgiving if you slip off.


Gear

Consider the rack you take with the second's ability and experience in mind. Leave Cams, RP,s and other specialised equipment like offset nuts behind. These often prove awkward to remove and result in the second becoming tired or frustrated.


Stances

Taking a Friend Climbing

On each stance it is essential to maintain visual contact with the other climber. Just because a guidebook says to belay at a specific place doesn't mean you have to do so. However, wherever you choose, make your belay is suitable (i.e. not a hanging stance).


Belays

Create single point belays with 120cm slings (not 240cm slings ) when possible, making the stance simple and easy to understand.


Descent

Taking a Friend Climbing

Often the descent can be as tricky and sometimes even more daunting for your inexperienced friend. If they have no hillwalking or scrambling experience make sure that your descent will not become too harrowing and ruin a good day out. If in any doubt, choose a different venue.


Time

Allow much more time than you would normally. And have a few contingency plans up your sleeve. Think in advance about what you will do if the weather changes, light fades, time runs out, or your friend simply gets cold feet.


Yourself




Comments



Got A Date Available - Need An Adventure To Match?

Find out what's going on at the National Mountain Sports Centre between any date range on this handy new search page



Latest News

TRY OUR FREE NATURE TRAIL

Try Our Free Nature TrailTo help visitors to Plas y Brenin discover more about the local area, we've developed the Plas y Bre....



NEW AUTUMN FAST TRACK INSTRUCTOR SCHEME OPTION ADDED

New Autumn Fast Track Instructor Scheme Option AddedWe've added another option to our Fast Track Instructor Scheme. Until now, the course has always run....



FAST TRACK INSTRUCTOR SCHEME
OPEN DAYS

Fast Track Instructor Scheme<br/>Open DaysJoin us for a free information day on May 1st and find out how the Fast Track Instructor Scheme can ....



NEW MOUNTAIN BIKE COURSES LAUNCHED

New Mountain Bike Courses LaunchedCheck out our new range of mountain bike courses designed to help you improve your skills fast.....



EQUIPMENT HIRE

Equipment HireOur equipment stores is packed with carefully chosen, well maintained technical gear. Provided we ....



What's On In Our bar?

Our friendly and lively bar is open to the public. From talks and lectures to film nights and live music, there's always something going on. Find out what's coming up next here



Adventure Sport
Summer Camps (Age 12-17)

Summmer Camps For Young People Aged 12-17Young climbers, mountaineers, paddlers and mtb riders aged 12-17. Develop your outdoor skills with our top coaches on one of our residential summer camps.


Gift Vouchers

PYB Gift VouchersAvailable for any amount, our gift vouchers make the perfect present for any outdoor enthusiast.




Weather Forecast, Tides and Surf Conditions

Find out what the weather's doing in North Wales over the next five days.



Review your holiday or course here

Review Your Course
Help us by reviewing your holiday or course here


Adventure Map


Working alongside UCLan
to educate
outdoor professionals

University Of Central LancashireFind out how we are working with one of the country's top universities to develop lasting careers in the outdoors.