Skills Training and Equipment Use

This is a set of videos covering a range of skills needed for outdoor climbing, starting with basics and through more advanced skills. So if you are a beginner climber, you may skip the auto-rescue section for a while but make sure you know how to tie your figure-8.

Please note this is just a collection of videos available on the internet and none of them were created by WMC members. We tried to choose ones which show good practice but no video is a replacement for training and regular practice! They are here to give you an idea of what you don’t know and what skills you should try to develop within your own capacity.

Level 1: Basics, sport climbing, seconding on a trad climb

These are the most basic skills that you are likely to need on your first outdoor outings. The focus is on sport climbing and seconding trad climbs.

Tying in – Figure 8

Partner check before climbing

Belaying with a single rope

Belaying with the Grigri

Clipping – bolts and quickdraws

Threading lower-offs and stripping routes


Belaying with double/half ropes (this one kind of falls into the next category but it’s possible you will be belaying with half-ropes pretty soon if you hang around with us).

Level 2: Traditional Climbing

Trad is rad and not as scary as it seems (apart from those times when it really is) but not many people jump in at the deep end start outdoor climbing with trad, so these skills are not essential to start with. But it won’t be long before you want to try yourself.

Placing nuts

Placing hexes

Placing cams/friends

Tricams (for the fans of the pink one)

Lead climbing with double ropes

One handed clove hitch

Building anchors and belays with a single rope

Building belays with half-ropes

Building anchors with slings

Belaying in the guide mode

Level 3: Self-rescue

The most advanced level here. Pretty essential on the more adventurous crags like the Ruckle, but you definitely don’t need them for sport climbing or trad at easily accessible locations. You are not likely to use those skills very often – and hopefully never.

Prusiking up the rope

Tying off a belay plate

Escaping the system – powerpoint in reach

Escaping the system – anchor out of reach

3:1 Hoist system

5:1 Hoist system

Other resources

How to tie knots

BMC Technical Advice Booklets

Outdoor Gear Coach – Web site and blog on gear

Andy Kirkpatrick– How to stay warm in Winter.

JB Mountain Skills – Highly regarded instructor and assessor’s videos

The Ultimate Belay page

Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust Courses – subsidised mountaineering courses

UK Section of Austrian Alpine Club – Offers subsidised courses to their members

BMC Courses