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Topic - Good belaying for falling practice.

bpmclimb - on 07 May 2012
I have read with interest the various recent threads on falling practice, and it struck me how much the emphasis is on the leader's issues, with very little discussion of good, safe belaying technique.

I recently watched a climber taking repeated falls; the belayer seemed to be trying to give a "soft belay" by allowing rope initially to slip through the (ATC-type) device. All well and good; but at the crucial moments his brake hand on the dead rope was not in the downward, lock-off position, which seemed dangerous to me.

It seems safer to me to hold the rope locked off downward, and let the rope run a little through the device in that position, while maintaining a good fist grip on the dead rope, but also use body movements (move in towards the wall, etc) to help cushion the fall.
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