8 October 2020

Direct Belay & Indirect Belay

Direct Belay & Indirect Belay - Which Is Which, And Which Is Better?


A Direct Belay is when the climber is belayed directly off an anchor system. The rope runs straight from climber to anchor system.
See Photo 1. Anchor System Needs To Be Bombproof

An Indirect Belay is when the climber is belayed off the belayer's harness. The belayer is attached to an anchor system. The rope runs from climber to belayer. See Photo 2.


Benefits Of A Direct Belay:
Belayer is not in the system; not put under any pressure; and very easy to lock off and walk away - in case of incident/accident.

Benefits Of An Indirect Belay:
Your anchor system should always be bombproof, but in real life you sometimes end up in positions where that is not fully possible. By belaying off your harness belay loop; you put your body into the system. Your harness and your body absorbs some fall-load/shock-load; therefore some fall-load/shock load does not pass into the anchor system. Where you have dubious anchors - this protects your anchor system, and therefore protects you.

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