Climbing with alternate leaders - Petzl Other

Climbing with alternate leaders

The ground is farther away, the stations are often small and sometimes uncomfortable, communication can be difficult... It is therefore important to be organized and efficient to avoid fatigue and unnecessary stress. On multi-pitch routes, efficiency means not only safety, but also enjoyment.


  • Carefully read the Instructions for Use used in this technical advice before consulting the advice itself. You must have already read and understood the information in the Instructions for Use to be able to understand this supplementary information.
  • Mastering these techniques requires specific training. Work with a professional to confirm your ability to perform these techniques safely and independently before attempting them unsupervised.
  • We provide examples of techniques related to your activity. There may be others that we do not describe here.

At the base of the climb

• Establish communication at the station: verbal or hand signals 

Communication must be clear and concise. When there are multiple climbing parties in the area, use first names to avoid any confusion

• Prepare the rope and tie in correctly to avoid twists in the rope after a few pitches

• Do a partner check

Leader arriving at station

• Check anchor points. Tie in with a clove hitch on each anchor. Use a quickdraw as a directional anchor for the next pitch

Leader arriving at station

• The leader quickly takes up the slack. Be sure to keep the rope organized, for example looped over your feet from the biggest to the smallest loop. Avoid making loops that are too large or letting the rope hang from the station, as it can get caught in a crack, vegetation...

• Equalize your anchor (see Installing an equalized anchor)

Design it with consideration for the quality of the anchors and the configuration of the route. Install your REVERSO. Belaying the second

The leader quickly takes up the slack

Second arriving at station

• The second ties in and takes draws if necessary. Transfer the REVERSO 4 to the belay point on the harness without removing the knot under the REVERSO 4

Second arriving at station

• Clip the directional point (which should be of excellent quality). Remove the knot under the REVERSO 4. The second becomes the leader.

Clip the directional point