7. Verbal Commands

In this video we review the verbal commands between the climber and the belayer. This occurs before and during every climb. Communication is critical to ensure climber safety!

Before climbing:

Climber: asks the belayer if they are, “On Belay?”

Belayer: (if ready) responds with, “Belay On.”

Climber: (if ready) indicates by saying, “Climbing.”

Belayer: acknowledges the climber by saying, “Climb On.” At this point the climber may begin climbing.

When the climber has finished:

Climber: yells down to the belayer, “Tension!”

Belayer: pulls the rope taut, locks off their brake, and responds, “Tension On!”

Climber: then lets go of the wall and yell, “Ready to Lower!”

Belayer: responds by saying, “Lowering!” and lowers the climber to the ground.

Climber: once safely on the ground will tell the belayer, “Belay Off.”

Belayer: may then release their brake hand respond by saying, “Off Belay.”

Notice how every question and command has a corresponding response. No action is ever taken until a proper response is heard.

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.