Top Rope Climbing Calls

'Top Rope Climbing Calls' is part of the book - Rock Climbing Basics: The Beginner's Guide.

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Climbing calls are certain words that climbers use so everyone knows exactly what is happening. These calls may seem a bit excessive when you're standing next to each other in the gym, but they help to avoid any confusion when you're starting out. Once you're 50m away from each other outside and the wind is howling, you'll see why they're essential!

Note: These are the climbing calls commonly used in the UK. Climbers in other countries often use slightly different terms. Before you climb, make sure that you and your partner are familiar with the same climbing language.

Take In
Once the safety checks are complete, the climber tells the belayer to 'take in' the slack rope.

The belayer pulls the rope through the belay device until it is tight on the climber.

Climbing calls what to say when rock climbing belaying

That’s Me
When the rope is tight, the climber tells the belayer 'that's me'. This lets the belayer know that the rope is tight to the climber and not twisted or stuck anywhere else.


On Belay
When the belayer is ready to belay, they tell the climber they are 'on belay' and they can 'climb when ready'.

Climbing calls what to say when rock climbing belaying

Climbing
As a final check the climber tells the belayer they are 'climbing'.

But the climber doesn't leave the ground until they hear 'OK' from the belayer. Everything's good to go!

Climbing calls what to say when rock climbing belaying

Take
If the climber wants a rest, they can tell the belayer to 'take'.

This informs the belayer to take in all the slack from the rope and hold it tight with both hands. Once they have done this, the belayer replies 'OK'.

Climbing calls what to say when rock climbing belaying

Lower
If the climber wants to be lowered down at any point (or if they reach the top), they tell the belayer to 'lower'.

The belayer replies 'lowering' and then lowers the climber down.

Climbing calls what to say when rock climbing belaying

Safe
When the climber is back on the ground, they tell the belayer they are 'safe'.


Off Belay
The belayer removes the rope from their belay device and replies 'off belay'.

Climbing calls what to say when rock climbing belaying

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