Vertical Climbing Wall
Climbing the Vertical Wall safely involves the use of special equipment designed to keep the climber and climbing team safe from injury. This equipment includes the following:
- Harness: This is a belted device with leg straps that is worn around each leg and at the natural waist. It is tightened so that no more than two fingers can slide into the waistband.
- Carabiner: This self-locking device is used to attach equipment to the climbing harnesses of team members.
- Eddy: This is the locking mechanism attached to the climbing rope and the harness of the belayer. The eddy is used to keep the rope tight during the ascent and to control the descent of the climber.
- Rope: Climbing rope comes in a variety of strengths dependent on the height of the climb. Since this is a top rope climb, the rope length is doubled and extra footage is added to insure that there is plenty of rope for safety knots and team members.
- Hair Net: This individual piece of equipment is the hygienic barrier that allows students to share helmets. It is worn under the helmet and is stored in a sealed plastic bag.
- Helmet: The helmet protects the head from any contact with the wall, team members or barriers. It is worn securely on the forehead and fastened under the chin snugly.
While varieties of knots exist and could be used in climbing, the Figure Eight Knot with a byte is the safest and most secure. It is the ONLY knot we use in our Vertical Wall unit. Upon completion of this unit in eighth grade, all students must be able to tie the figure eight with a byte and perform the 10-point safety check!
Roles of the Climbing Team:
There are four roles or jobs on the climbing team. Each job has specific responsibilities in the climb:
Role 1: Climber- The climber’s first responsibility is to check the knots for the “10 Points”. Using climbing commands, they then begin their ascent up the wall. Using various hand and footholds, the climber sets a path that is both engaging and challenging. To descend the wall, the climber uses proper commands which allow him to safely sit back and walk down the wall. Upon reaching the ground, proper commands and a handshake should end the climb.
Role 2: Belayer- The belayer’s first responsibility is to double check knots and harnesses for the group. They then focus on the climber. The belayer uses the proper belaying technique of “push-pull, drop the hand, crossover and slide” to keep the belay rope taut and the climber safe. They use proper commands in both the ascent and the descent of the climber. The belayer's main job is to take up the slack in the rope and to keep the rope tight!
Role 3- Back Up Belayer- While the climber is climbing, the back-up belayer keeps pace with the belayer and keeps the sag in the rope at a “smile”. Their main focus is the belayer since they are ready to hold the rope taut if needed.
Role 4- Anchor- The anchor offers encouragement and advice to the climber while pointing out available foot and hand hold options. They are attached to the belayer with a carabiner and figure 8 knot. Their weight is an added safety measure for the climber.
Climber says-“On Belay?” Belayer says-“Belay on”
Climber says-“Climbing” Belayer says-”Climb on”
When the climber is as high as they choose to climb, they issue the command of “TAKE!”
The belayer responds by removing ANY slack remaining in the rope and stating,
“Show me your Hands”, when they see the hands of the climber, they then state, “Lowering” and begin to lower the climber.
When the climb is finished,
Climber says-“Off Belay” Belayer says-“Belay Off
- Route Climbing – climber chooses one color of holds and tries to use only that color of holds for feet and hands.
- Rainbowing – Climber uses any color of holds to get across wall