A great many climbers are skilled, but some are more skilled than others. The point is that it's important to match a climber's skill level with the particular climb. A good match and you have a safe, satisfying climb. A poor match and you could have disaster. An excellent climber trying to raise a personal level of skill faces increased risk; so does a novice moving up to an intermediate-level climb. A climber who does well on warm, dry rock may be in trouble if the rock is wet.

It takes practice and more practice to raise your level of skill. Practice under forgiving conditions. Try making those harder moves first at a practice area with a top rope, rather than on a long run-out at the end of a strenuous pitch. Keep working at it. A great part of climbing safety lies in competence that embraces a commitment to better methods, an eagerness to study and to learn, and a determination to practice and perfect the skills of mountaineering.

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