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Building Confidence between the Belayer and Climber

By 8th October 2016 No Comments

Building confidence and trust between the climber and belayer is an important development in overcoming the fear of heights and falling for both beginners and advanced climbers. Climbing instructor need to develop bottom rope activities and challenges to help develop this trust and stretch the climbers comfort zone of falling. The Climbing Wall Award training with The Adventure Brand looks at ways to develop this and a good activity can be blind folded belaying with deliberate fall practice.

It is not recommended as a novice activity but once the belayer has demonstrated competent skills get them to complete a belay whilst blind folded. They will soon realise the tactile approach provides great sensory information and they can feel the movement of the climber. On the second round have the climber take 3 deliberate falls or even upward jumps if they feel more daring whilst the belayer remains blindfolded. Ensure the climber is a safe distance above the floor to prevent nocking into the belayer or touching the ground with rope stretch; feet past the second bolt hanger is a good distance.

This activity will develop trust and hopefully start on the building blocks of trusting the equipment and recognition that falling isn’t really that scary. As climbing instructors we have a responsibility to help beginners overcome these fears and help prevent a growing trend of climbers who prefer bouldering over roped climbing due to those gremlins that have never been challenged.

Whenever you challenge or adapt somebodies belaying it is important to use discretion and always back up the belay by tailing. I hope the activity proves to be a hit.

The Adventure Brand provides a variety of climbing opportunities and courses, whether you’re seeking personal guiding or coaching; learning the technical and safety skills of lead climbing; advanced sea cliff problem solving and rescues or wanting to become an instructor. Importantly both Portland and Swanage climbing provides an excellent teaching and learning environment for climbs of all abilities. For more information click here contact Ellis Bird at and get psyched for Dorset climbing.