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How to Belay When Rock Climbing

Set Up the Belay


A tube-style device like the Black Diamond ATC is the most common belay device most climbers will use. To load the rope, feed a bight — that is, a bend — of rope through one of the slots in the device. Clip both the bight of rope you just fed through and the belay device’s wire loop into a large locking carabiner.

Finally, clip the carabiner into the belay loop on your harness, oriented so that the tail end of the rope — also known as the brake end — is on the same side as your dominant hand. Screw the carabiner locked and orient it so that the small end of the carabiner sits against the belay loop of your harness, while the belay device and rope pull against the large end of the carabiner. Keep an eye on the carabiner throughout the belay to be sure it stays oriented this way. If the belay loop and rope pull on the gate and spine of the carabiner instead, it may break.

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Originally posted 2015-09-30 17:16:30.

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