Climbing Safety – Belay Vocabulary and Commands

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 27,085
    Certified American Mountain Guide Jason Montecalvo breaks down belay vocabulary and commands.

    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 safely climb in an indoor rock climbing facility. Remember, climbing is inherently a dangerous activity and you want to seek professional help with certified climbing instructors before engaging in this. Now, Id like to show you the correct belay vocabulary and belay commands that we need to know as a belayer and as a climber before we climb. The standard in the industry is going to be a question that comes from my climber. The first question is going to be, Are you on belay? If I am prepared and everything is tight and ready to go and weve done our safety checks, I will reply, Belay is on. Next, she will simply be ask me one more question and that will be, May I climb? and I will reply if I am ready, Climb on. At that point we have a few other terms that we need to be aware of as a belayer and as a climber. The first being take, if my climber wants to take a rest, she will say take, at that point as a belayer I will take out any bit of rope stretch that I originally had, I will put the brake on and I will go ahead and hold her in that position. Another word that you might hear from a climber is the word falling. In this case as a belayer as opposed to taking out any bit of slack and putting on the brake, I simply want to put the brake on if I hear her say falling. When she gets to the top she is going to say, take so I can take out any of the rope stretch, put the brake on and at that point she can get ready to be lowered. She will say, ready to lower and I will tell her, on me meaning that now her life is on me. At this point, she can get into lowering position and at this point I will tell her lowering. I will slowly lower her back to the ground and when she reaches the ground with both feet I will tell her, you are now off belay and she can untie. Now, Id like to talk about how to properly back up belay and then well look at a full system in action.