Lead belaying is an advanced skill, requiring the belayer on the ground to be very in tune with the climber as they lead up the wall.
Proper lead belaying considerations:
1. The lead belayer is typically responsible for rope management. This means flaking the rope into a proper stack, in the correct location, with no knots or other concerns.
2. Until the lead climber clips into the first draw, the belayer must be actively spotting (in case of a fall).
3. The belayer should be positioned as close to underneath the first draw as possible, without the potential of the climber hitting them if they were to fall.
4. As the climber is about to clip into the next draw, the belayer has to let out enough slack for the climber to reach the clip, but not too much as to minimize the fall. This is the point where the lead climber is most vulnerable, since they are usually above their last piece… and have extended additional rope to make the clip.
5. The belayer should keep an eye on the climber if possible, to monitor the climber’s state of mind. The belayer should also watch for possible clipping mistakes the lead climber might make while climbing Mistakes include z-clipping, back-clipping, skipped clips, and climbing off route.
We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!
Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.