- Attend an accredited course on Climbing if you have not already done so and get your belayer there as well;
- Get proper and professional instruction on how to use your equipment (many accidents are due to improper use of gear);
- Always double check your harness that it is double backed as well as your partners, check each other since you are both responsible for each others safety;
- Always tie a knot in the bottom end of the rope if it is not tied in to your partner. Many people have already been lowered off the end of a rope before, make it a habit so that when it’s needed its not forgotten, even on sport routes!
- Throw old worn gear away – don’t take a chance with your friends or your own life. Not only the UV from the sun but also time will deteriorate your ropes, slings and harnesses etc.
- If you drop any of your aluminum alloy gear from a height onto rocks it could have stress fractures which can cause it to fail. Throw the suspect gear away & don’t give it to anyone. (You can get the gear professionally checked out with x-rays to check for stress fractures as is done with aircraft.)
- Before abseiling, make sure that you have knots in both ends of the rope, your harness is fitted properly and doubled back, your screw gate is in good condition and connected properly to your harness and tightened. Make sure the abseil anchor is secure and back it up where possible – a sling or some gear left behind is worth it, if it saves your friends or your own life. Never abseil off a single bolt or piece of gear;
- Wear a helmet, not only for protection against falling rocks but also to protect your head should you fall against the rock.
- Never use Static ropes to climb with, they cannot absorb much shock and hence will exert huge and potentially dangerous forces on you, your harness, the quick draws and even the gear or bolts. Dynamic ropes must be used to climb on and static ropes can be used to haul and abseil. Remember that slings and quickdraws are static as are harnesses;
- When climbing with two half ropes never clip both ropes through the same carabiner since the impact force can double, clip each rope into separate pieces of gear. Only twin ropes (clearly sold as such) can be clipped together. Remember that half ropes cannot withstand large factor falls;
- When clipping the second bolt or piece of gear you are usually at risk, keep this in mind and take care.
- Always be safe and try to set a good standard for others to follow – if someone learns a bad habit from you and they get injured you are effectively responsible. If you see others climbing unsafely then tell them tactfully.
- Don’t trust pitons and pegs, they fail very often, are usually rusted and were often placed MANY years ago.
- Also check bolts even though they are usually very safe they may have been badly placed or have rusted etc. REPORT any bad bolts you spot – don’t wait for someone to get hurt or killed.
- If you are bolting routes please get proper instruction and make sure you do it properly, use stainless steel, place them such that no one can fall and hit ledges or obstacles, place two secure top anchors etc. If you bolt a route you are responsible if it is unsafe due to improper bolting or materials.
South Cape (Plettenberg Bay/Knysna/George):
Eastern Province (Port Elizabeth):
– 082 990 7626
Kwazulu Natal (Durban / Pietermartitzburg):
– 0800 005 133
Gauteng / Free State / North West / Limpopo / Mpumalanga:
Primary – 074 125 1385,
Secondary – 074 163 3952
Alternatively call Metro on – 011 315-0203