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Belay Information

What do I need to know?

On the ladder climbs we will use our standard ‘belay commands’. The climbs can be very noisy as there is often water descending the pitch so it is important that you shout the belay commands as loud as possible. If you have any questions or problems, don’t worry – just ask one of the experienced members and they’ll help you out.

To belay someone else, a Munter hitch is often used. Though simple, you should be certain how to tie and operate one of these before using one underground. To practise this, look at the Munter Hitch page.

Belay commands: before climbing up or down a ladder:

Climber: TAKE IN!

Belayer takes in the slack rope. When all the slack is gone:

Climber: THAT’S ME!




Belay commands: Whilst on a ladder

To get more slack:

Climber: SLACK!


To take in slack:

Climber: TAKE IN!


Belay commands: Once you are off the ladder:

Climber: DOWN / UP

Once you have untied the rope:


Climber: ROPE FREE!

Don't use commands other than these. For example “TAKE IN SLACK” could easily be confused with “SLACK” if the belayer didn’t hear the first two words. 

Use all of the first set of commands before climbing. If there is a lot of rope, a belayer may take their belay device off the rope and pull directly on the rope to save time. If the climber feels tension on them, shouts 'That's Me' and starts climbing immediately, their lifeline may not be attached to anything yet.

Subpages (1): Munter Hitch