climbing mistakes the active place

7 most common climbing mistakes


As long as you are on the ground, it’s not so much of an issue but as soon as you are on your way down after your climb, a harness all tangled-up will not be very comfortable. Make sure your legs are in the right loop to keep safe. Plus you avoid looking silly with this harness all turned around! 

Harness right and wrong position
Find the differences on this image., what's wrong with this harness? Photo: Pauline Klieber

2. Same end of the rope

Well, clearly, this was a mistake of inattention. But hey, it happens! Hopefully, you’ll have noticed this issue before you’re half way up the wall or it might be a bit of a bigger issue! That’s why the partner check up is so EXTREMELY important. 

Wrong end of the rope while climbing
Was that the wrong end? Natasha and Lindy showing what not to do. Photo: Pauline Klieber

3. Wrong rope

Especially when the routes are an overhang, it gets more tricky to figure out which rope is the good one. Might be that you took the wrong rope or even attached yourself to a different rope than the one your partner is attached too. Alright, you may blame this on your long tiring day at work! But seriously, this should never happen. Make sure to check if you are on the right rope before climbing to the top.

Check the rope when climbing
Better check the color of the rope first, Lindy. Photo: Pauline Klieber

4. Figure 8 messed-up

Did you know that the way you make your figure 8 is the image of your soul?! I had the bad habit to rush and make it quickly but Lindy definitively convinced me to make sure I’ll always make my figure 8 neat and clean! I know, we all just want to go climb and not spend too much time on that knot but it is important to make sure it is all tied around correctly. Let’s say it like this: If it looks as pretty as possible, you’re good to go! 

Figure eight climbing right and wrong way
Lindy know's better when it comes to figure 8's! Photo: Pauline Klieber

5. Big loop

Sometimes, a moment of daydreaming or a deep discussion with someone on the ground may take your focus away. Yes, looking up when you partner is climbing is not super comfortable for your neck, especially when the route is difficult and it takes forever. However, it is crucial to pay attention and check up on the person climbing! You’ll be happy if your partner does the same in return!

Staying focused while climbing
Keep your eyes on your partner. Photo: Pauline Klieber

6. Grigri wrong way around

Well you can’t really climb with the grigri wrong way around, so you’ll probably notice this pretty quickly: it just doesn’t work! So you just probably had a loooong day. And here we go again, don’t underestimate the importance of a partner check-up!

Grigri wrong way around while climbing
Hmm is this the right way? Photo: Pauline Klieber

7. Too much stuff on your harness

Indoor climbing is pretty different than outdoor climbing. You don’t need all the gear attached to you, it may be more dangerous to carry all necessary stuff around. Indeed, think about it this way, if you fall, the unnecessary gear can hit you or get stuck somewhere. Just take what you need and you’ll be happy with less weight to carry!

Hope this article gave you a smile thinking about all these silly climbing memories. Well, as a wrap-up, I’ll just add that partner check is definitively the most important rule to keep safe.

Harness for climbing full of unneeded gear
Too much hanging on the harness, photo by Pauline Klieber

If you are new to climbing and you want to learn it properly make sure to take a lesson to get all the good tips from experienced teachers. In case you are in Amsterdam, you can get a lesson with these awesome climbing teachers, Lindy and Natasha at Mountain Network Amsterdam.

THANK YOU to Lindy and Natasha!

Pauline Klieber
Pauline Klieber

Passionate surfer, climber, snowboarder, outdoor adventures enthusiast and traveler. Co-founder of The Active Place.