3. Top Rope Belay Basics

Next, the belayer will want to put the climber “on belay.” Watch the video above. For even more about top rope belay basics, see our additional video on “Belay Device Fundamentals”.

Once the climber is tied in and the belayer has put the climber on belay, it is time to check harnesses, knots, and belay systems. Watch the video above. For additional considerations on this important step, watch our video on “Partner Inspections”.

Once safety checks are complete, the climber and belayer will confirm that they are both ready using systematic verbal commands. Watch the video above. For more specifics on this subject, watch our dedicated video on “Verbal Commands”.

Once the climber begins climbing, the belayer must start belaying! Watch the video above. For more on this, see our video on “How to Top Rope Belay”.

Mastery of basic belaying techniques is critical–as a belayer, you literally have your partner’s life in your hands. Many climbing gyms offer “learn to belay” classes. We recommend lots of practice in a controlled environment where you can seek the guidance of trained professionals, such as at a climbing gym or with professional guides. Practice frequently with your rope systems, until the motions become intuitive and your reactions flawless.

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.