9. Rope Considerations for the Leader

In this video we review rope considerations for the leader when sport climbing. As the saying goes, “Climbing isn’t dangerous—falling is!”

When climbing, we want to stack the odds in our favor, and increase our margin of safety. One way to accomplish this is to be conscious of where and how the rope is running while lead climbing.

The leader needs to manage the rope position at all times, ensuring the rope doesn’t catch the back of their feet or legs and flip them upside down in the event of a fall.

In general, aim to keep the rope in between the rock and your body. If you notice it behind your leg or foot, simply step over it to correct the position.

When climbing straight up, keep the rope between your legs, running straight down to the last bolt.

When the climb traverses—even slightly to the right or left—keep the rope on the opposite side of your body. For example, If you are climbing up and right, then keep the rope running out from your left thigh as you climb.

 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.