Climbing Safety – Belay Stance and Anchoring

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 31,240
    Certified American Mountain Guide Jason Montecalvo demonstrates belay stance and anchoring.

    Jason Montecalvo

    Jason Montecalvo is an instructor of rock climbing for Sportrock Indoor Climbing Centers. Jason has been leading individual and group indoor and outdoor climbing programs for children and adults for over eight years for multiple organizations including Horizons Adventure Camp where he created, organized and lead team building programs for public, corporate, and at risk and disabled youth, in areas such as hang gliding, caving, scuba, white water kayaking, and high ropes course facilitation. In addition, Jason has been teaching for Northern Virginia Community College as an adjunct climbing professor for over five years. Jason has an Associate in Science as well as a B.S. from George Mason University with his expertise being health and fitness in parks and recreation management. Jason also holds several national certifications in his area of expertise including being a Top Rope Site Manager for the American Mountain Guiding Association as well as having a Wilderness First Responder certification from Wilderness Medical Associates. As an avid outdoor athlete, Jason most memorable climbing accomplishment was climbing multi-pitch routes out west in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and tough single pitch sport climbing routes in the east at the New River Gorge in West Virginia. Jason has lived and in the Northern Virginia DC metropolitan area for 28 years but has a great passion for the west coast and New England regions of the country for all areas of outdoor recreation and sport; in particular, climbing, snowboarding and mountain biking.

    Hi! My name is Jason Montecalvo with Sportrock Climbing Centers and today were learning how to climb safely in an indoor rock climbing facility. Remember, climbing is inherently a dangerous activity and requires you to seek professional help from certified instructors prior to engaging in this.

    Now, I would like to talk to you about how to create the correct belay stance and how to ground anchor yourself as a belayer. If youre belaying somebody equivalent to your weight or heavier than you are, see you dont get pulled up into the air, if they were to fall. What I will need for this is a separate locking carabiner. I will take this locking carabiner and I will take this directly to my belay loop. This carabiner will be placed below my belay device carabiner and at this point, I can go ahead and reach for a ground anchor. I want to make sure, I choose a hole on my ground anchor thats appropriate from my height, meaning that I would like this to be tight with no slack in the ground anchor. I will also need to screw my carabiner down making sure that its locked. In order to do this, again, I will squeeze my carabiner. At this point, I want to make sure Im in the correct stance. If I am a left-handed belayer I will have my right foot forward, my left foot back, right next to the ground anchor. I do not want to straddle the ground anchor nor do I want to stand behind it putting slack into the anchor system. I want it to stay tight and essentially Im trying to create a direct line from the ground, all the way up my rope, all the way to my anchor at the top. If I have done this correctly, I have two checks for the anchor which are again, making sure that it is tight and making sure that my carabiner is locked. I am now ready to belay. Next, I would like to talk about doing our 10 safety checks.