Belaying: three videos that outline good habits to get into

In climbing and mountaineering, proper use of belay devices is the cornerstone of the belay chain. The belayer holds the life of his partner in his hands. This task requires as much attention as it does training. The climber's confidence in his belayer has a major effect on his performance. It is important to remember that a good climber should also be a good belayer.

To help you get there, we suggest you explore this concept over a few short films. Two videos will show you how to use a standardized series of movements for the appropriate use of Petzl belay devices such as the REVERSO and the GRIGRI.

© PETZL/Bernardo Gimenez


Video: "The World's Worst Belayer"

Any climber may encounter such behavior. Though it may not always be as exaggerated.

And even though we can laugh at him, we can also ask ourselves:

  • Am I not maybe just as bad sometimes?
  • If it were me at the other end of the rope, would I be laughing as loud?




Video: Belaying with the REVERSO

The REVERSO is a belay/rappel device that uses a standardized series of movements associated with most tube-type belay devices. This video therefore shows a belay technique common to all Petzl devices of this kind (VERSO, REVERSINO and UNIREVERSO).



To learn more about the REVERSO 4


Video: Belaying with a GRIGRI

The GRIGRI is a belay device with assisted braking. The belay technique is very close to the generic technique, but has a few specifics. For a climber who is already familiar with using classic devices, it takes a little time to adjust. The technique described here is the only one that Petzl recommends.

This technique offers real advantages in terms of safety:
  • the rule to never let go of the brake side of the rope is respected
  • it allows to transition between "giving slack" and "giving slack quickly" without letting go of the rope
  • in case of a fall, the belayer doesn't clench the cam

A tip for easier belaying with the GRIGRI: keep the free rope stacked near you




Video: Specific left-handed technique

Most left-handed people hold the brake side of the rope with the right hand, belaying like a right-handed person with the GRIGRI; this technique is the most ergonomic. Nonetheless, there is an alternate technique, presented here.


To learn more about the GRIGRI 2



Petzl products for belaying