Every climber has had his first day. It may have felt natural and fun in an instant or it could also have been miserable but you didn’t give up nonetheless. And the person who took you to the crag for the first time may have bestowed you a big influence on your experience which is what you should remember when taking a friend to the crag for the first time. Here are the things to consider when doing the same.
- Don’t go for a difficult route
It may tempt you to take your friend along on a tricky route, but don’t. It may be fun for you, but not for them. You can either go out or to the escalade Montréal gym at a less crowded time. This is because easier climbs get a quick crowd. But it is all worth it to go for something straightforward to make your friend feel comfortable and accomplished at the end of the day rather than being frustrated that the route is not newbie friendly.
- Don’t wait halfway or all the wait up to top to tell them how to get down
You can go over belaying and lowering plus the basics of making the anchors work before your friend climbs up. It may be hard for them to understand until they are in the moment but at least give them an idea on what to expect when you are just next to them rather than shouting from the bottom of a crowded crag or gym.
- Don’t expect them to work with the ropes correctly right away
While everything may seem second nature to you, it is very common to forget that this very experience can be unsettling for someone who has never tried this before. Try to convince and ease them into trusting the rope. When you both are on the ground, explain how it feels when they weight the rope. Tell them that dynamic ropes are meant to stretch for absorbing the impact of a falling climber. Then tell them to put their wait on the rope, feel the sag to support the weight. You can also make them practice walking their feet to the waist level and then push the wall away with their feet, releasing their hands and stepping to either direction to grasp what it feels like to reach the top of the pitch and lower from the anchor.