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Climbing Calls

When climbing outside communication is between climbing partners is vitally important. To ensure no misunderstandings take place ‘climbing calls’ are commonly used. Although not all of them apply to indoor climbing, they are useful to know and it is a good habit to use them.


Safe - when the leader has reached the belay stance at the top of a route and is anchored to the cliff. This indicates to the belayer that it is now safe to take the leader off belay.

Off Belay - belayer to climber to inform the leader that they are no longer on belay.

That’s me - when leader has taken in all the rope and tension is now on the rope, ready for the belayer to start climbing.

On Belay - leader to second to let them know it is safe for them to start climbing. Commonly used in England, also - "Climb when ready".

Climbing - Climber informing the belayer they are starting to climb.

Climb On - acknowledgement that the person is about to start climbing

Take / Tension- Climber to belayer to ask them to take up any slack in the rope.

Slack / Rope - when the climber would like the belayer to pay out more rope.

Rope below/Rope/below/rock!- A loud cry to warn others of the rope being thrown down the cliff face, or of anything else falling down, such as a rock.

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