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Although climbing is extremely fun and exciting, it is also very dangerous. Participate safely is one of the main requirements of rock climbing, and there are a number of factors that have to be monitored, such as the checking and double checking of equipment. The last thing you want is your safety to be compromised by a slack piece of rope or a bent buckle. Sound judgement is a must. In order to mitigate the effects of gravity, and reduce the chances of you falling, redundancy is key. Always use more than one anchor when you approach a belay or rappel station, and beginner climbers should always be accompanied by an experienced, professional climber. One of the biggest mistakes climbers make is not respecting the elements around them, and not recognising the dangers of unstable rock. Here are some top tips to ensure your safety while climbing, while also having a great time. Always Check Your Harnesses Once youre geared up and ready to hit the rock, its essential that you always check your harness and your belayers harness, as well as the buckles that youre going to use. It only takes the slightest of wrong footing to lose your balance, so youll want to make sure that your harnesses are steady enough to stop you from falling. Always Check Your Knots Always check that your tie-in knot is finished with a back-up knot before you start climbing usually an eight-figure-follow-through. Your ropes must also be threaded through both harness, waist loop and through the legs. Protect Your Head Helmets are a must when rock climbing, as they offer great protection against the hard surfaces of the rock face. Even a small fall can leave you with severe brain damage, or even kill you, if youre not wearing your helmet! Always Use a Long Rope Its imperative that your rope is long enough to reach the anchors when rock climbing, as well as being able to reach the belay ledge on any multi-pitch routes. If you have any doubt that your rope is not long enough, make sure you tie a stopper-knot to avoid falling to the ground. Paying Attention The best way to ensure the safety of you and the any other people that are rock climbing is to always pay attention. Being aware of one another will reduce any confusing or tangled ropes, and could potentially save lives. Always make sure that you keep an eye on the leader above, as theyre the one thats taking the risk of a fall. Furthermore, never take the leader of the rock climb off belay until youre absolutely certain that theyre tied in and secure. Communication is also very important. Clip the Rope Properly Clipping the rope though the carabiners on quickdraws is very important, and make sure that you avoid backclipping too where the rope runs front to back instead of back to front. The carabiner gate must also face the opposite way youre travelling, otherwise your rope could come unclipped. For further information click here. http://www.barlowrobbins.com/site/srvindividuals/indpi/braininjury/