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How to Lead Belay for Indoor Rock Climbing

Learn how to lead belay from indoor rock climbing expert Cliff Simanski in this Howcast video.


All right everyone. Right now we're going to talk about how to do what's called lead belaying for indoor sport climbing. So similar to the same principal that we used earlier when top roping, the break end of the rope is the end coming out from the bottom of your belay device towards the ground. You're going to grab that with your right hand, palm facing down and once you grab it, you're never going to let go of that break end. Really important; never, never release the break.

So, as a climber's moving up the wall, one critical thing that you're going to be doing lead belaying is giving slack to the climber. Allowing rope to actually feed in both directions so that the climber has more rope as they're moving up. You're also going to be breaking that belay device and prepare to catch any falls in case the climber comes off the wall. But you're still never going to be letting go of that break end.

Before the climber makes the first clip, you're going to be spotting them similar to the way you would if the climber was bouldering. Once Gaz makes his first clip, he'll be on belay and I'll be ready to be belaying. So go ahead Gaz you can start climbing.

Now that Gaz has made that clip, I'll put him on belay, pulling out any extra slack that he may have paid out at the beginning. As Gaz clips I'm sliding my right hand down the rope and feeding rope into the belay device. As he moves up the wall, I'm just feeding rope through that belay device allowing Gaz to climb higher. When he's ready to make another clip, I'll slide my right hand down and feed him about an arm's length. Once he's made the clip, I can pull in any extra slack and reset my hands and prepare to give Gaz some more rope as he continues up the wall. And that is the basics for how to lead belay.

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