/ The worst belaying photo on ukc...

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Maestro - on 14 Feb 2014
I'm certain this isn't the worst belaying captured in our photo gallery but it's a good start.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=130404

Can you beat me by finding a photo with even more terrible belaying?

M
frychael on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

It's fine. He is only 4 foot up and could jump down, get real!
Maestro - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to frychael:

so you can't beat me by finding a better example...?

It may be "fine" but its not right is it. The climber will unnecessarily deck from his current position.

Kimono - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

the climbers gonna deck no matter what the belayer does.
Maybe when he's actually got a bit higher then the belayer will start to belay
Phill Mitch - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro This is the typical kind of bad belaying you see at the wall, normally unsafe for the first 2-3 clips and usually performed by the lesser spotted trad climber variety!

Ian Black - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

is that a Pipe the belayer is smoking?!!:-)
Gordon Stainforth - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

That's just fine, in fact good belaying. The leader is just about to make a huge move, and needs that amount of slack in the rope. If he gets in trouble the second - who looks v attentive - can still take in very fast, and might just be able to stop him hitting the deck. But that first runner is very low, and has already done its job, for what it was worth.
Jon Stewart - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> But that first runner is very low, and has already done its job, for what it was worth.

It was worth nothing. I've done the route a few times and it never occurred to me that a rope and rack would be useful. It is much, much easier to land uninjured from 6ft when you don't have a rope trying to smack you into a rock/turn you upside down.
Choss on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:
Belayer would be Better off Spotting him From there. Hes gonna Deck out From there anyway, if he pings off.
Post edited at 22:01
pog100 - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Agreed, with a runner there, there isn't a lot to be done.
Here, however, is another matter
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=17682
Gordon Stainforth - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to pog100:

That's what I thought. Basically, as Choss says, the belayer would be better off spotting. But who are we to judge? The leader looks like he's climbing strongly, and if he gets into trouble the second could just drop the ropes and spot him.
Gordon Stainforth - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to pog100:

Everything more or less fine there as well. The ropes shouldn't be any tighter than that. He's got it just right, and the picture has probably caught him at an unfortunate moment.
The Lemming - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to pog100:

> Agreed, with a runner there, there isn't a lot to be done.

> Here, however, is another matter


Has the belayer let go of the dead end of the rope?

Has the belayer unclipped from the rope?

What's the difference between this and somebody belaying when the leader is out of sight?

Nothing to see here, move along.
Misha - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I don't think that's good belaying at all. The leader is about to clip the next piece of gear, so he needs slack on one rope. At the same time, his harness isn't far from the runner, so if the belayer was right up against the rock and had one of the ropes fairly tight, the leader would be fairly safe. As it is, the leader can clip freely but if he pings off, there's no way the belayer would have time to take in the slack. Instead he'd get pulled into the wall as the leader plummets and they might collide - so at least the leader would have a cushioned landing... The particular danger is that from this position the leader would hit the deck either with his back or worse still with his head if he gets flipped upside down due to the runner being where it is. Wouldn't be a pretty sight either way.

To be fair, we don't know, may be the leader wasn't worried about coming off at this point. Still, why belay shoddily when you can belay well?
ewar woowar on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

He might have dumped some slack so the leader can get the rope from between his legs.

Anyway, they are both wearing helmets, so they'll be fine!

;~/
Misha - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

In the second photo, the leader might possibly have a runner by his waist, out of sight of the camera. Otherwise it's dodgy belaying as well. I've learned over the years from experience that you usually go a lot further than you think, even when pinging off just above the runner. In this case I reckon there's a pretty good chance the leader would deck, particularly as the belayer would again get pulled in.
Misha - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to ewar woowar:

It's not just the slack though, it's also where the belayer is standing. Should be right up against the rock in this situation.
Tony the Blade on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

How about this? Proper dodgy belaying technique.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=62636
ewar woowar on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Misha:

I know.

Goucho on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

You're quite right.

There is seriously massive deck out potential from there - 6 feet onto a flat grassy landing is a horrendous prospect.

Of course, on the other hand, the belayer could be giving him enough slack to make the big move round the roof, having already worked out that the rather low runner wouldn't stop him cratering into the ground anyway!!!

I do love the nanny brigade - especially the climbing nanny brigade :-)
andrewmcleod - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> If he gets in trouble the second - who looks v attentive - can still take in very fast, and might just be able to stop him hitting the deck.

I assume you mean if he says 'oh s?*t, I'm going to fall off' as opposed to falling off unexpectedly, where you presumably have no chance of taking in slack?
andrewmcleod - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to frychael:

> It's fine. He is only 4 foot up and could jump down, get real!

He's only 4 foot up if you think the belayer is 3 feet tall. If you assume the belayer is about 6 foot, then I reckon the climber is clipped in about 9/10 feet up.
icnoble on 14 Feb 2014
David Cowley - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to icnoble:

I like the comments in the photo the most
birdie num num - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

This is my fave way to belay folk: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=94789
Pepper on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=707019975995726

Poor teckers here, too much slack and not even sure the middle lad is holding the rope.
Skyfall - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Misha:
> I don't think that's good belaying at all.

I agree.

There are some supposedly experienced climbers posting on this thread who clearly don't know what is safe practice.
Post edited at 01:38
abseil on 15 Feb 2014
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

What's wrong with that? He's hardly off the ground and no runner would come tight whatever the belayer did. Besides if the leader slipped he'd likely fall on top of him :-)
alan moore - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:
Poor belayers! Who'd do it? It really is such a tedious, soul destroying task, and all everyone does is rip it out of you when you get it wrong.
How about all those inattentive leaders, plodding along, putting in runners every six inches, taking hours over every move, never a thought for the poor fool with the stiff neck holding the ropes... zzzzzzzzz........

mark s - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

looks fine belaying to me.
SCrossley on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Misha:

This is ludicrous and totally unnecessary. If these guys used the cutting edge technique of Top Rope leading, all risk could have been eliminated.
The belayers trousers are a little unfortunate to.
GLUF
Duncan Bourne - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Skyfall:

and some inexperienced ones who don't either. If I was going around that roof I wouldn't want a tight rope stopping me from making the move and potentially pulling the gear out
Duncan Bourne - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

Now this one! Classic technique but what are they tied too!!!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4HgbIxWJEKU/T7FnvgL_mlI/AAAAAAAAAI4/6ZMmRsUYlaM/s1600/027.JPG
Duncan Bourne - on 15 Feb 2014
jezb1 - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> Now this one! Classic technique but what are they tied too!!!


Sometimes you don't need to be tied into anything..

They're practicing Mountain Leader ropework by the look of it.
abseil on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro:

See the second photo here:
http://osp.com.au/?p=6355

And the first photo here:
http://cragmama.com/2013/03/how-to-be-a-great-belayer/
Duncan Bourne - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to jezb1:

> Sometimes you don't need to be tied into anything..

Correct when you are belaying from below. But with belaying from above (as in the picture) I ask myself "what would happen if the person below came off?" my guess would be slide down that slope or get pulled forward and catapulted over the edge. Of course the second may just be scambling up a grassy bank and in no danger at all, but if they were climbing then it is well dodgy
jezb1 - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

They're maybe not braced as well as they could be.
winhill - on 15 Feb 2014
ads.ukclimbing.com
Eric9Points - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to birdie num num:

Another laid back belaying style here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=10292 (apologies for the poor quality).

Safe enough so long as he doesn't actually fall asleep.
winhill - on 15 Feb 2014
george mc - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to jezb1:

> Sometimes you don't need to be tied into anything..

> They're practicing Mountain Leader ropework by the look of it.

...and not very well at that... I hope the trainer had his/her back turned at that point!
AdrianC - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Maestro: I'm hoping that my sense of irony has deserted me and that those people who can't see anything wrong with the belaying in the OP's photograph are simply winding the rest of us up.

Just in case they're not, or if you're a lower mileage climber wondering what could be better, here are some things the pair could be doing to improve the safety of the leader.

1. Have the belayer in a position that avoids an outward pull on the runner. (Yes tht one might be OK for an outward pull but it's not generally a great idea.)
2. Move the belayer to a position where he won't be yanked towards the rock if the runner is weighted.
3. Have the belayer positioned or anchored so that the leader can't hit him if he falls.
4. Get rid of all of that slack! If the climber's about to make a move the belayer needs to be ready to give slack quickly by having his left hand on the live rope - not crossed over his other wrist.
5. If they really think the rope is redundant (which it is at this point) have the belayer spot the climber. Sure it's only 6 feet to the ground but that's a fair height from which to land on your back and at least the leader knows what's going to happen if he falls.
6. Communicate! Have a short conversation before the leader leaves the ground about where the belayer's going to be and how they're going to handle the ropes. This isn't just about bad belaying - both climbers have roles to play.

There could well be more.

gethin_allen on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to abseil:

Some excellent photos, I particularly like the one with the bloke belaying off a single hook, and the one with the bloke necking a bottle of wine.
gethin_allen on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to winhill:

Is onlyahill heading out somewhere recently?
rocky57 - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to AdrianC:
> (In reply to Maestro) I'm hoping that my sense of irony has deserted me and that those people who can't see anything wrong with the belaying in the OP's photograph are simply winding the rest of us up.
>
> Just in case they're not...

Probably the best post in this thread.
Duncan Bourne - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to jezb1:

I appreciate that in the pic they are probably only practising and therefore it is not necessarily a life or death situation.

I have seen some great poor belay pics in the past but can't find them at present
ewar woowar on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Skyfall:
> I agree.

> There are some supposedly experienced climbers posting on this thread who clearly don't know what is safe practice.


Who, exactly?
Misha - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to GLUF:

Agree!
Misha - on 15 Feb 2014
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Agree, not when going round the roof. But the leader is about to clip. So fairly tight on the rope through the first runner and plenty of slack on the other for clipping. Otherwise why bother having two ropes in the first place...
gd303uk - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Maestro:

at least some of the belayers are are making some attempt to hold the rope,
unlike this example,
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=196944
Bulls Crack - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> That's just fine, in fact good belaying. The leader is just about to make a huge move, and needs that amount of slack in the rope. If he gets in trouble the second - who looks v attentive - can still take in very fast, and might just be able to stop him hitting the deck. But that first runner is very low, and has already done its job, for what it was worth.

He would have to take in the rope in under a fifth of a second from that height

he'd be better off spotting him
Robert Durran - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Maestro:
It's shit belaying. How anyone can claim otherwise is totally beyond me. Some of the bollocks posted in this thread is really quite scary.

The belaying is worse than useless; if the leader didn't want belaying effectively, he wouldn't have put a runner in and would have asked to be spotted instead.

This sort of belaying is becoming more and more common as people without brains/imagination copy the sort of belaying experienced sport climbers sensibly do once the leader is about eight clips up on an indoor wall.
Post edited at 23:23
Tim Chappell - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Maestro:
If I was the leader, I'd be saying "Look, either forget about the rope and spot me till I'm over this edge--or if you don't want to spot me, at least take in a bit so my runner actually does something, and stand where you're not going to get the back of my head in your teeth if I come off here."

But come to think of it, there is surely a further question about whether there's any point at all in that runner. What is it preventing, even with a properly tight rope? Not much. A runner on the lip would be more to the point, surely.
Post edited at 23:35
Lusk - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

It's a completely useless runner, the guy probably wasted enough energy placing it, it's reduced his chance of getting over the OH! He'd probably land on his feet on some nice soft grass anyway when he went for it!
Hilarious! :-)
aln - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> If I was the leader, I'd be saying "Look, either forget about the rope and spot me till I'm over this edge--or if you don't want to spot me, at least take in a bit so my runner actually does something, and stand where you're not going to get the back of my head in your teeth if I come off here."

> A bolt on the lip would be more to the point, surely.

That's better.
Jonny2vests - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It's shit belaying.

Yes. Obviously it not that dangerous, but it is definitely shit. Some on this thread seem to be confused between danger and shit.

Jonny2vests - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Lusk:

> It's a completely useless runner, the guy probably wasted enough energy placing it, it's reduced his chance of getting over the OH! He'd probably land on his feet on some nice soft grass anyway when he went for it!

> Hilarious! :-)

The runner has only been made useless by the belayer's position, who, as Misha pointed out, should be under the lip.
neilwiltshire on 14 Mar 2014
abseil on 14 Mar 2014
CurlyStevo - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:
> It's shit belaying. How anyone can claim otherwise is totally beyond me. Some of the bollocks posted in this thread is really quite scary.

> The belaying is worse than useless; if the leader didn't want belaying effectively, he wouldn't have put a runner in and would have asked to be spotted instead.

> This sort of belaying is becoming more and more common as people without brains/imagination copy the sort of belaying experienced sport climbers sensibly do once the leader is about eight clips up on an indoor wall.

Fully agree with you. I think with a runner at 3 metres and the climbers waist still below it that runner should still be good for another foot or two of climbing. Those that say its already served its purpose are not belaying as well as they could be!

The belayer should be closer in to the crag with tighter (but not tight) ropes and just to the left hand side of the climber (when facing the crag)
Post edited at 09:45
andy.smythe - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Kimono:

> the climbers gonna deck no matter what the belayer does.

I've stopped people from decking from positions similar to this. If he took the slack out of the ropes he could definatley catch him.
Robert Durran - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to andy.smythe:

> I've stopped people from decking from positions similar to this. If he took the slack out of the ropes he could definatley catch him.

Indeed, but given the way he would slam into the rock, spotting or even nothing might be preferable. The photo shows the worst possible situation - he thinks he is being belayed but effectively isn't, so probably won't even try to land safely.
CurlyStevo - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to abseil:

> Here are some more good ones:


what is this guy up to, he's on the phone and not tied in to any anchors or the rope!
abseil on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> Here are some more good ones:


> what is this guy up to, he's on the phone and not tied in to any anchors or the rope!

I don't know... I just liked the photo. The guy's mind is clearly elsewhere.
phantom whistler - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Maestro:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=168628

Not the most orthodox belaying technique; but I guess you don't get to be president of the BMC by being conventional...
Carless - on 14 Mar 2014
abseil on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to phantom whistler:


> Not the most orthodox belaying technique; but I guess you don't get to be president of the BMC by being conventional...

What on earth is going on in that photo?! I looked and looked at it but can't quite make it out... the crag looks like it's falling to bits too.
gethin_allen on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to abseil:

> What on earth is going on in that photo?! I looked and looked at it but can't quite make it out... the crag looks like it's falling to bits too.

My guess is that the leader started climbing only to realise that they had forgotten a vital bit of gear. So rather than have the leader downclimb the belayer scrambled up to the leader. The floor is probably only just out of shot and the terrain looks very easy.
johncoxmysteriously - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to abseil:

> I don't know... I just liked the photo. The guy's mind is clearly elsewhere.

The guy's just waiting while the rope's being taken in by his now-belayed leader, and filling in time by making a call as you do, no?

jcm
abseil on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to gethin_allen:

> My guess is that the leader started climbing only to realise that they had forgotten a vital bit of gear. So rather than have the leader downclimb the belayer scrambled up to the leader. The floor is probably only just out of shot and the terrain looks very easy.

OK, thanks, problem solved. With my over-dramatic mind I pictured them being about 100 feet up...
CurlyStevo - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> The guy's just waiting while the rope's being taken in by his now-belayed leader, and filling in time by making a call as you do, no?

> jcm

I guess the confusing thing is it appears to be a multipitch climb and the guy in the shot isn't tied in or tied to anything. In the usual case it wouldn't have been safe to belay the leader from that position not being tied in.
CurlyStevo - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to abseil:
"the crag looks like it's falling to bits too."

That's just the way swanage roles!

abseil on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> "the crag looks like it's falling to bits too."

> That's just the way swanage roles!

Errrr great... think I'll stick to the Cromlech. Actually the funny thing is I enjoy the challenge of climbing on loose rock, e.g. Avon New Quarry and Blackchurch.
CurlyStevo - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to abseil:
One of the reasons the rock looks so weird is the massive lumps of chert which you don't see so much elsewhere. Most of the rock around the climbers actually looks quite solid to me apart form the stuff well right and well right and up from the climbers.

Swanage is actually rather good climbing but there are chossier sections as well as some mid tan rock sections that are some of the best limestone I've climbed on anywhere and have a very wide variety of holds.

If you like steep mostly well protected but committing climbing with an adventurous feel I can highly recommend it!
Post edited at 15:33
abseil on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> Swanage is actually rather good climbing...

OK, thanks, I've done just a couple of routes there many years ago, must go again.
nniff - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to abseil:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo)
>
> [...]
>
> OK, thanks, I've done just a couple of routes there many years ago, must go again.

You could do those routes again - they'd be different now. :o)

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