MACS Participation Statement

Royal Holloway MACS recognises that climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions.

Leading

Step A - Selecting the Route

It is a good start when undergoing such a venture to locate in one's guide book a topographical representation of the edifice in question (that is, a piccy of the rocks). These usually have lots of squiggly lines on them showing where people have seen fit to erect their pieces of vertical ambulation (climbs). At this point I would recommend looking for the straightest line and checking its grade; if it does contain an E then look again for a slightly less straight route, or one with a nice name.

Step B - Preparing the Gear

Once a climb is selected it is imperative that you relocate yourself at the base of your precipice, promontory or butte, you arrange the gear you wish to use in an orderly fashion. Your harness should be co-ordinated along with your general attire and collectively give that man about the crag look; casual is the watchword, and avoid those wide collars. A hat is a must and these range from the mother's knitwear to the man impaled by fish look. It is important that enough gear is carried to complete the climb, so remember your rope. Ropes should be unravelled at the base of your climb and any loose coils can be employed to ensnare feet, nuts, and any feature of the surrounding countryside. Once you have tied onto the rope/ropes these should be handed to the other climber who has accompanied you on this endeavour, who will, if they have any sense, tie them to a tree and run away. Those who choose to stay with you may put you on belay and yell CLIMB WHEN READY! Once your hearing has returned you can start the climb, yelling CLIMBING! to get your own back.

Step C - The Climb

This is the part where each climber will go their own way. I personally recommend going upwards. It is usually at this stage where I would think about looking at the direction of the route in the guide book. Unfortunately it is hard to read while climbing, so I would advise looking before you start climbing. If this is not possible look up and search for any gear placements (holes) these might be of some use in raising your present safety levels (but don't count on it). Climbs usually go along obvious lines, so keep looking three or four moves ahead, and if you can see a hold there things will be OK. For a bit. Belay ledges also give an indication of the way the route should go. It is a good rule of thumb that upwards is best, and try to keep gear between you and the ground. If at any point you realise that interesting line you followed is a little off course (read E6) and you feel a little tired, PANIC. Then get some gear in, it always helps. If lobbage occurs a witty remark should be uttered, this ranges from the opulent (I don't think much of this bungee jumping), to the understated (oops), to the good old fashioned SSHHHEEEEEEIIIGGHTT!! Should you fail to lob, a belay position is usually a good acquisition before rope drag and lack of (rope) become a tedious dilemma.

Step D - Setting Up A Belay

This is a rather important stage in a lead, and involves the creation of a safe haven, a sanctuary for those who frequent it - so safety first folks! Locate as many holes (gear placements) as you can fill in the immediate vicinity, and stuff your nuts, tapes, friends and hexes in them. Give them all a tug; giving special attention to your nuts while making sure your friends won't walk out. Once their safety has been vouchsafed, they should be strung onto slings and bits of rope (use screwgates please). These can then be attached to your person and your belay device. You are now at liberty to shout SAFE, ignoring any sniggers from nearby climbers, haul up any slack rope, and put the rope through the belay plate. Now by whooping CLIMB WHEN READY you can rest assured of a job well done, and a half an hour wait till the second will respond.

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