Do not drop from good handholds to a standing position A bad landing could lead to injured ankles or a fall beyond the planned landing area
(c) Descending slab formations can be especially tricky. The generally lower angle of slab rock may give the climber a false sense of security, and a tendency to move too quickly. Down climbing must be slow and deliberate, as in ascending, to maintain perfect balance and weight distribution over the feet. On lower-angle slab the climber may be able to stand more or less erect, facing outward or sideways, and descend using good flat foot technique. The climber should avoid the tendency to move faster, which can lead to uncontrollable speed.
(d) On steeper slab, the climber will normally face the rock and down climb, using the same smearing technique as for ascending. An alternate method for descending slab is to face away from the rock in a "crab" position (Figure 6-18). Weight is still concentrated over the feet, but may be shifted partly onto the hands to increase overall friction. The climber is able to maintain full sole contact with the rock and see the entire descent route. Allowing the buttocks to "drag behind" on the rock will decrease the actual weight on the footholds, reducing friction, and leading to the likelihood of a slip. Facing the rock, and down-climbing with good smearing technique, is usually best on steeper slab.
Continue reading here: Section Iii Roped Climbing
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