Goto Chockstone Home

  Guide
  Gallery
  Tech Tips
  Articles
  Reviews
  Dictionary
  Links
  Forum
  Search
  About

      Sponsored By
      ROCK
   HARDWARE

  Shop
FREIGHT FREE
in Australia

Scarpa: Scarpa "Mystic GTX" Approach Shoe. Premium model. Gortex lined. Vibram Sole. Climbing toe... Size 43 Eur. (10 USm)  $149.00
50% Off

Chockstone Photography Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
Australian Landscape Prints





Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 5. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 83
Author
Who is responsible for bad belaying?

Joad
15/11/2007
9:39:44 AM
I witnessed a somewhat nasty lead fall at a climbing gym last night. The climber fell from about 6 metres up with a drew at his waist, the belayer wasnít in the correct position, with too much slack out, and the climber fell onto the belayer, kicking him in the eye, ending up only 1-1.5m above the ground.

The climber was upset he fell so far, the belayer was upset he now had a painful black eye, and the gym staff were just bemused.

That left me questioning, who is responsible?

Is it the belayer for not knowing what to do?

The climber for not telling the belayer how to be belayed?

Or

Is it the gym management for not training staff to recognise and correct bad/dangerous belaying?

I have previously witnessed this same belayer, belaying 4m back from the wall. I notified the gym staff, who only asked him to stand 1m closer, no other instructions were given.

Iím particularly worried about how this would translate to outdoors, as Iíve seen similar belaying unzip gear.


widewetandslippery
15/11/2007
9:48:47 AM
Natural selection. If you let a bad belayer belay you.........splat. ha ha

bluey
15/11/2007
9:54:49 AM
Fate and genetics.

ado_m
15/11/2007
10:21:34 AM
It's a partnership - I don't think trying to apportion blame is productive, creates resentment and mistrust. What would be a better approach is for both parties to sit down and talk about what happen, and work out a plan to ensure it doesn't happen again.



steph
15/11/2007
10:22:25 AM
If you are looking for someone to blame:

The belayer is responsible for their own actions.
The climber is responsible for their own life.
The staff are legally responsible for nothing.

Belayers SHOULD be attentive enuf to adjust themselves to the climber's immediate needs. Otherwise don't lead belay...

I guess the climber SHOULD select their belayer more carefully if they want to complain about their skills. Or communicate?

Generally staff are good at picking up on dangerous climbing / belaying, and pointing it out.

Joad
15/11/2007
10:43:23 AM
I'm not talking about blame, I'm talking about responsibility.

With an increasing number of gym bread lead climbers, and the increasing incidence of outright bad and dangerous belaying I witness in Gyms, I'm wondering who is responsible?

I'n my opinion staff in gyms are not good at pointing out bad technique, often they can even be the instigators of it. These days many gym staff begin their climbing career when they begin working in a gym.
Should they be trained better?
Should more experienced climbers be intervening with constructive critism when they see bad belaying?
Should new climbers try to seek out experienced climbers for advice?
widewetandslippery
15/11/2007
11:02:25 AM
I will clarify. If you get hurt it is your fault.

If you are given incorrect information that causes you harm it is your fault. You accepted the information. That is your fault.

All responsability climbing is yours and yours alone.

Who cares if new gym climbers die? to many people anyway.

bluey
15/11/2007
11:03:07 AM
I think this thread has a really easy answer.

Each party has their bit of responsibility. The lead climber is responsible for choosing a sensible and experienced belayer. The belayer is responsible for offering their services only if suitably able. The gym is responsible for keeping an eye on it all.

When a leader falls it may be a combination of all or some of those parties not adequately doing their bit. But no one individual is totally responsible for ensuring safety in a multi-party undertaking such as belaying at a gym.

And there you have it.

Joad
15/11/2007
11:16:51 AM
Thats a good answer Bluey.

What do you think each party could be doing to adequately do their bit?

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that if neither the belayer, climber or gym staff really know what they are doing, what should be done to rectify this.

bluey
15/11/2007
11:36:41 AM
Short response to what each party should be doing is learn the skills, practice the skills and (esp, in the case of the gym) meet their duty of care.

If none know what they are doing in the gym context, it is really the gym that has a problem in terms of liability - not only are they responsible for keeping an eye on it, they are responsible for allowing people to lead climb and belay. The climbers themselves should know better but they can hurt themselves and either deal with it or start suing. (From a legal perspective, it would be interesting to know if there are examples of climbers suing each other for bad belaying - probably yes in the US!).

At the end of the day, climbers do this activity willingly and know they subject themselves to the possible shortcomings of their partner. But the gym is where personal responsibility meets public liability. In a way I think gyms create a problem for themselves in checking people for leading - it creates an expectation that the climbers have met a safe standard of skill and will always meet that standard. In a proper licensing regime you would expect some sort of periodic retesting or continuing enhancement of qualifications (but I'm not advocating that!). But it's probably the insurers that require lead checks anyway - that is, I don't think they would allow gyms to take the approach "this is my property with climbing facilities, use it how you like".

Joad
15/11/2007
11:58:07 AM
Do you think this is an area where experienced climbers should step in and explain the dangers. I understand there are problems with this however.

anthonyk
15/11/2007
11:58:55 AM
on a similar note i've seen quite a lot of people at the gym belaying waaaay back from the wall, probably so they can see their climber up on the steep wall. i'm not talking beginners or random gym bunnies, people whjo would know what they're doing, i've just found this a bit odd.

do people just trust it so much that they're happy standing 5+m away from the wall so they can have better contact with their partner? not jjust isolated people, i've looked over at the belay wall & seen a whole series of lead ropes basically running horizontally out from the wall to belayers standing way out. anyone else find this unusual?
dalai
15/11/2007
12:05:12 PM
On 15/11/2007 Joad wrote:
>Do you think this is an area where experienced climbers should step in
>and explain the dangers. I understand there are problems with this however.

Yes, Being told 99% of the time that they know what they are doing and in colourful language to mind your own business.

nmonteith
15/11/2007
12:06:28 PM
Do you mean like this? :-)

Typical euro belay in Italy. Photo © Lee Cujes

billk
15/11/2007
12:22:07 PM
On 15/11/2007 Joad wrote:
>I have previously witnessed this same belayer, belaying 4m back from the
>wall. I notified the gym staff, who only asked him to stand 1m closer,
>no other instructions were given.

Standing too far back is an easy belaying fault for gym supervisors/ instructors to remedy but too often they let it go, leaving novice lead belayers with the impression that it is an acceptable practice. I pointed it out to a gym supervisor recently, who just shrugged his shoulders. On a couple of occasions I have even witnessed gym instructors actually encouraging novice lead belayers to do it.

Back in the days when Ant ran a tight ship at the Mill, he would always take the time to carefully explain to the climbers why the practice was dangerous indoors but even more dangerous outdoors, where it can easily lead to zippering.

anthonyk
15/11/2007
12:38:40 PM
On 15/11/2007 dalai wrote:
>On 15/11/2007 Joad wrote:
>>Do you think this is an area where experienced climbers should step in
>>and explain the dangers. I understand there are problems with this however.
>
>Yes, Being told 99% of the time that they know what they are doing and
>in colourful language to mind your own business.

"your motheur was a hamster.. and your fatheur smelled of elderberrieees"

hangdog
15/11/2007
12:47:10 PM
In a nutshell. It is the responsibility of the Staff to ensure that the belayer has been trained correctly and this training has been documented. They are also responsible for supervision and should correct bad belaying. This often why some gym staff seem to be quite pedantic about this. Novices are easy to correct, the "I've been climbing since Mike Law was skinny" climbers are often more difficult and do not always belay as correctly as they might think. If the belayer has completed the Belay training and or assessment correctly then they are have a responsibilty to belay safely. In the end the Climbing Centre still retains a "duty of care" and the lawyers and courts will argue and decide who is resonsible.

steph
15/11/2007
1:14:37 PM
On 15/11/2007 Joad wrote:
>What do you think each party could be doing to adequately do their bit?

I agree with Bluey. Also the climber should communicate things like "slack" and "take" at the very least to help the belayer do their job. This all seems very obvious. At most gyms, you need to pass a quick test to lead there & to lead belay there. This would be good if it weeded out crappy techniques and dangerous habits. I can't vouch either way for its effectiveness.

I've pointed out things sometimes both as an instructor and as an observer, in most cases being greeted with a dark look and mutterings.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
15/11/2007
1:39:41 PM
>who is responsible?

Imo it is the climber who is trusting the belayer.
Blaming gym staff is just ducking out of personal responsibility.

After climber establishes a working/climbing relationship/rapport with their belayer, said climber also has a responsibility to point out to gym staff where they fall short of maintaining the standard if they fail to assist the belayer found not doing their duty correctly.

If the belayer does not respond well to sensible and appropriate instruction after being made aware of the consequences of their action/inaction; then they ought to have the lesson taught to them by having them go on the sharp end and have a belay given them to their 'own standard' !

Heh, heh, heh.

>Iím particularly worried about how this would translate to outdoors, as Iíve seen similar belaying unzip gear.

Very true.
I have seen likewise, and it is a worrying practice.

... sidenote:
There is no substitute for competent tuition, and this is what makes the trial and error learning method by new leaders teaching new belayers such a scary thing outdoors, to others with a 'burned by experience' view of proceedings.

anthonyk wrote
>"your motheur (etc, snip)
re dalai
>Yes, Being told 99% of the time (snip).

Seeking criticism?
lol!


ado_m
15/11/2007
2:25:29 PM
Great thread.

Re "duty of care", I think that Hardrock in the city is close to breaching its duty regarding maintaining the wall against excessive spinning holds. Nothwithstanding the waiver I signed, I'd bring an action if I got injured whilst leading if a hold slipped. That said, I think the staff there do a quite good job policing the place - which must be difficult.

In the UK, a good number of climbers have insurance, which (at least in part) covers negligence/public liability claims. I've heard of at least one instance where a seriously injured climber sued their (insured) partner, in the context of complicitly manipulated facts supporting a claim for negligence.




 Page 1 of 5. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 83
There are 83 messages in this topic.

 

Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.



Australian Panoramic | Australian Coast | Australian Mountains | Australian Countryside | Australian Waterfalls | Australian Lakes | Australian Cities | Australian Macro | Australian Wildlife
Landscape Photo | Landscape Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Fine Art Photography | Wilderness Photography | Nature Photo | Australian Landscape Photo | Stock Photography Australia | Landscape Photos | Panoramic Photos | Panoramic Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | Mothers Day Gifts | Gifts for Mothers Day | Mothers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Mothers Day | Wedding Gift Ideas | Christmas Gift Ideas | Fathers Day Gifts | Gifts for Fathers Day | Fathers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Fathers Day | Landscape Prints | Landscape Poster | Limited Edition Prints | Panoramic Photo | Buy Posters | Poster Prints