General guidelines & tips:
- New climbers should attend an MCSA or accredited course on climbing to ensure that they are knowledgeable in the most basic techniques.
- Get professional and proper instruction on how to use your equipment. Many accidents are a result of improper use of gear and this is mainly due to inexperience in using the gear.
- Do your homework before setting out for the day: Take a proper route guide; research the area & routes beforehand; take a competent buddy along; take necessary and proper gear; check the weather forecast.
- Always tie a knot in the end of your rope, even on sport routes. Many fatalities have happened this way where people have abseiled through the end and come to their own peril.
- Buddy checks are so important, check each-other before starting up the route. If you care about the other person you will check them.
- Never ever become complacent, no matter how experienced you are, check and double check your knots; tie-in’s; harnesses; when cleaning a sport route – triple check & DO NOT RUSH IT!
- Check your gear for wear & tear.
- Always be safe and try to set a good standard for others to follow. If someone learns a bad habit from you and they get injured, you are effectively responsible. If you see others climbing in unsafe and dodgy manners, tell them tactfully.
- MCSA P/W has a no bolting policy for its members. If you are planning on bolting routes, please contact Cape Town section and get hold of the Anchor Replacement Fund
- It is very important to respect the environment and look after the areas you visit. Most of climbing areas are in nature reserves and protected areas, please ensure you follow reserve policies. Respect private properties too. Access has been lost in many cases due to climbers being negligent and unethical with regards to respecting property; policies and the fauna and flora. So take that cigarette butt back home with you! And don’t burn your toilet paper, it’s fynbos people!
Gear safety guidelines:
- Wear a helmet not only for protection against falling rocks or gear but also to protect your head if your fall against a rock/rock-face. A helmet is not a piece gear only for trad climbers, many sport climbers when taking a whipper have wished they had worn a helmet.
- Make sure your rope is a dynamic rope, and not a static rope. Dynamic rope have the stretch needed to withstand falls, static ropes cannot absorb shock and hence will hence will exert unwanted forces onto your body, the gear & even the bolts. Static ropes are designed for hauling and abseiling and not climbing and taking falls.
- Check your ropes for damage. The sun can cause UV damage; be wary of any chemical damage; make sure you know about the proper care and storage instructions are for your rope. Keep a log of the amount of falls you take on your climbing rope. Check for fraying and wear- If in doubt-chuck it out!
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