The reason we try to avoid or protect edges is that sometimes sharp egde like in A, can lead to cut or damaged ropes like in B. C is an example of top roping on soft sandstone in the south of England, which has cause grooves to be worn into the rock. On southern sandstone you now have to extend you top rope over the egde and no one is meant to lower off, instead you climb and walk off to reduce the chances of these groove forming.

Top Rope Edge Protection

As well as the ABC and IDEAS principles of belays you also need to be aware that are are some other areas when rigging top ropes, where things can either damage you equipment or the rock. What we need to do is arrange some form of edge protection as in either case we want to avoid damaging the rope or the rock.

The belay on the left is not extended far enough so the climbing rope is going to rub over the rock. This will damage the rope and make it harder to belay. Sometime this might cause the rope to jam. The inset belay on the right is well extended and will mean the climbing rope is not damaged.
The belay on the left is not extended far enough so the climbing rope is going to rub over the rock. This will damage the rope and make it harder to belay. Sometime this might cause the rope to jam. The inset belay on the right is well extended and will mean the climbing rope is not damaged.
The reason we try to avoid or protect edges is that sometimes sharp egde like in A, can lead to cut or damaged ropes like in B. C is an example of top roping on soft sandstone in the south of England, which has cause grooves to be worn into the rock. On southern sandstone you now have to extend you top rope over the egde and no one is meant to lower off, instead you climb and walk off to reduce the chances of these groove forming.
The reason we try to avoid or protect edges is that sometimes sharp egde like in A, can lead to cut or damaged ropes like in B. C is an example of top roping on soft sandstone in the south of England, which has cause grooves to be worn into the rock. On southern sandstone you now have to extend you top rope over the egde and no one is meant to lower off, instead you climb and walk off to reduce the chances of these groove forming.

Edge Protection

You can prevent some damage to the rope or the rock by using edge protectors. Some people use simple off cuts of carpet or doormats which they tie to the ropes that make over the belay. Other people use specific rope protectors. At a push when confronted with a sharp edge you can use a jumper or a rucksack to do the same thing, as what would you prefer a damaged jumper or a cut rope?

A simple rope protector for edge protection.
A simple rope protector for edge protection.

UKROckTour

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Rock Climbing Essential Skills and Techniques