The Sport Lower

This is the most straightforward of all lowers, and standard practice on sport climbs. The belayer is positioned on the ground and when the climber is done, the belayer locks off the belay device, the climber weights the system, and the belayer slowly lowers the climber down. Typically the belayer is lowering off his or her harness, and his or her weight helps anchor the system. It sounds simple and almost always is. But in addition to the precautions above, there are a couple of things to watch out for:

  • The belayer should be anchored if he or she is significantly lighter than the climber.
  • Twists in the rope can jam inside the belay device-the belayer should be capable of dealing with this without jeopardizing the climber’s safety.
  • Whenever rockfall is a risk, the belayer should wear a helmet-he or she may lose control and drop the climber if he or she is struck in the head while performing the lower.