The importance of a good belayer

In my haste to write a post about my fall the other day I failed to mention one of the crucial things every climber needs, a good belayer.

On this fateful, exhilarating and somewhat frightening day Jordan Taylor was on the belay. As I was flailing about in the roof of the Sloth, desperately trying to find my way up, Jordan kept a watchful eye.

As I fell he sprang into action, and moving backwards he managed to bring in some of the slack which no doubt stopped me from hitting a large ledge!

So thank you Jordan, good catch dude!

 For me a good belayer has to:

  • Be attentive
  • Give you slack when you need it
  • Be able to offer advice if needed
  • Be able to shut up if needed
  • Give you the encouragement to make hard moves
  • Give the right amount of abuse if you are being soft

 What makes your perfect belayer?

4 responses to “The importance of a good belayer

  1. You are right on when it comes to a good belayer. It is SO important to know your climber’s personality. Some people need lots of encouragement and others need you give them shit when they slack off. Too much beta is annoying for me because I like to figure things out for myself, but helpful reminders like “don’t forget about your feet” or “trust the holds, you got this” are good because they are encouraging, but are not too specific to where you are giving beta I don’t need or want.

  2. Most of the time I’d rather be left to it, with just the right a mount of slack paid out at the right time. It is nice not to have to worry about your belayer, usually this come with a lot of time spent with a constant partner.
    As usual Leo you made some good comments.
    Regards Derek

    • Cheers for reading D, it is nice to develop that confidence in your belayer. Climbed a lot with Holmes over the past few years and always feel confident that he is on the ball!

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