Avoiding Loose Rock -- How to Avoid Loose Rock
How to Avoid Loose Rock -- 15 Tips to Avoid Loose Rock
Follow these 15 safe climbing tips to avoid loose rocks and climbing accidents caused by rockfall.
Loose Rock Tip #1 -- Always Wear a Climbing Helmet
Its a good idea to wear a climbing helmet, especially if youre climbing at cliffs with loose rock or if youre climbing below another party. A helmet protects your head from falling rocks, projectiles, and dropped gear.
Loose Rock Tip #2 -- Avoid Climbing on Loose Cliffs
To avoid rockfall when you're climbing, then avoid climbing on cliffs with loose rock. It’s that easy. If you don’t climb on cliffs with rotten rock, loose flakes, stacked boulders, and recent rockfall then you won't have problems with loose rock.
Loose Rock Tip #3 -- Don’t Climb Below Other Parties
If you want to live long and prosper and avoid climbing on loose rock, then never climb below other parties. Change your plans and climb something else to be safe.
Don’t Sit or Stand at the Base of a Cliff
When you go climbing on loose cliffs, you have to expect that rocks are going to fall off. And when they do fall, you don’t want to be in the line of fire. Unless you’re the belayer, follow Loose Rock Tip #4: Don’t sit or stand directly below a climber.
Loose Rock Tip #5 -- Evaluate Rock Quality as You Climb
Stay safe rock climbing by following Loose Rock Tip #5: evaluate the quality of the rock and test handholds and footholds to avoid loose rock and accidents.
Loose Rock Tip #6 -- Always Test Suspect Holds
Whenever you’re climbing always test any suspect holds before using them. Learn here how to test suspect holds when you're climbing.
Loose Rock Tip #7 -- Pull Down, Not Out
Loose cliffs have loose handholds. Learn how to use fragile flakes and loose holds but folling Loose Rock Tip #7: Pull Down, Not Out.
Yell "ROCK" If You Dislodge a Rock
If you're climbing above another party, be extremely careful not to knock any rocks off. Falling rocks can injure or kills a climber below you. If you do dislodge a chunk, always yell "ROCK!" to warn others below to protect themselves.
Watch for Loose Rock When Rappelling
Rappelling is one of the most dangerous aspects of climbing. Loose rock is found on ledges and faces when you rappel down a cliff. Learn how to avoid loose rock when rappelling and when you pull your rappel ropes.
Don’t Belay Below a Lead Climber
It's essential to set up your belay anchors below a lead climber that are out of the line of fire of falling rocks. It's dangerous to belay directly below a leader since rocks from pebbles to boulders can be knocked off and hit you. Read Loose Rock Tip #9 and find out why you need to belay from the side and tips to be safe while belaying.
Essential Parts of Climbing Helmets
A climbing helmet is an essential piece of your personal climbing equipment. Helmets save your life and head from falling rocks and impacts from falls. Learn more about climbing helmets, the parts of a helmet, how to fit and adjust a helmet, and why you need a climbing-specific helmet.
Don’t Place Protection Behind Flakes or Blocks
Loose Rock Tip 8: Never place climbing protection including nuts and cams behind loose flakes and blocks since they may lever out, causing your pro to fail, and injure you, your belayer, or cut your rope.