The Basics of Climbing Safety

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 36,278
    Certified American Mountain Guide Jason Montecalvo demonstrates the basics of climbing safely.

    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. I am a Certified American Mountain Guide Top Rope Site Manager and Ive been teaching climbing for over six years. I also hold a Degree in Outdoor Parks and Recreation, and today Im going to teach how to safely climb. The form of climbing that we are going to be learning how to do today is called Top Rope climbing which is the safest form of climbing, where the climber is tied in to one end of the rope. The rope goes up over an anchor point and back down to the belayer whose main task is to catch the climber if they were to fall. Essentially what we will be learning how to do today is how a climber puts on a harness, how a climber ties into a harness utilizing various knots, the Figure 8, the Figure 8 Follow Through, and a Backup knot, and how to belay properly using a tubular-style belay device with a locking carabiner. We will also be learning how to ground anchor to the floor. There is a series of ten safety checks that we will soon go over, four on the climber, four on the belayer and two on the ground anchor to ensure our safety before we climb. Really, you dont need much to start climbing; a climbing harness, a climbing rope, a couple of carabiners, and a belay device will get you started.

    You want to remember that rock climbing is inherently a dangerous activity and requires you to seek professional help by certified climbing instructors prior to engaging in this activity. First thing we want to do is learn about the climbing gear. So, lets get started.