Safety technique

Thinking outside the box: other countries – different customs.

Best practice applies to us climbers in terms of safety technique. While in German-speaking countries we follow the relevant recommendations of the DAV Safety Research with its doctrine (based on accident statistics), in other countries there are often deviating solutions. These are partly based on tradition, but often there are also other safety approaches and interesting findings from which we can learn. The world is not black and white …

Belay anchor construction: Methods in the Eastern and Western Alps converge

Up to now, the doctrines on the subject of belay anchor construction in the Eastern and Western Alps have differed quite widely: While in the East, belaying on belay anchors has been taught as a basic method for a long time and body belaying in multi-pitch routes is only recommended with great restrictions and under special conditions, in the Western Alps – especially in France – body belaying has so far been considered the measure of all things. In a video published in August 2017, employees of the French national mountaineering and ski training authority ENSA show how they came to the conclusion that body belaying in many cases poses a considerable risk potential for the user.

Source: and ENSA Chamonix

» In future it can be assumed that climbers in the Western Alps will also attach the partner belay more often to the belay anchor than to the harness.

Rappel safely: Tests of joining knots

Different knots are required depending on the used rope material.

Source: ENSA Chamonix

Properly roped or not?

Reconstruction of an accident in a climbing gym. Eyes on the partner check!

Rope shearing on a sharp edge, statically belayed

Source: YouTube, UKClimbing

Carabiner fixing of a sling

Carabiner fixing of a sling best via clove hitch knot. Fixing with a Petzl String or similar often causes fatal accidents – those rubbers are only intended for fixation in Express Sets. Failure occurs already when loaded with less than 20 kg.

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