6. Avoid Z-Clipping

In this gym lead climbing video, we review the importance of avoiding “Z-Clipping”.

“Z-clipping” can occur when clips are positioned close to one another. This mistake happens when a climber has clipped into a draw, and while reaching down to grab the rope for their next clip, they mistakenly grab the belay side of the rope already clipped and clip that into the next clip. This forms a “Z” with the rope (see demonstration in video above). Suddenly the lead climber is unable to progress because the rope has the climber snared between the two quickdraws.

If this happens, un-clip the climbers side of the rope from the first clip, and re-clip it with the belayer’s side of the rope (see demonstration in video above).

Below are two ways to avoid “z-clipping”:

1. When clipping, always grab the rope from the knot at your waist (where you are tied in).

2. Have an active belayer who notices the mistake and can call it out to the climber.

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.