Sometimes we have to abseil as part of the rock climbing, this could be due to finishing the route and abseiling is the only way back down or not making it to the top of the route as it is too hard. No matter what your reason is for abseiling, you will have to do it safely.
When abseiling you will have to chose an anchor to attach your rope to. If you are lucky there will be a spike of rock that you can wrap your rope around. If you are not 100% happy with your anchors, place your own gear and leave it behind. Your life is worth more than a 10 piece of climbing gear. Don't be afraid to leave gear behind. Too many accidents have occurred due to climbers not wanting to leave their personal climbing gear behind. Instead they trust their lives to rusty of pegs that have been left in the rock over 50 years ago!
2. Belay near the base of the crag.
When climbing, the climber will have to place specialised climbing equipment into the rock. The climbing rope can then be attached to this climbing equipment. This equipment is often term 'protection'. Protection will normally only hold a fall in one direction only, protection can cope with being pulled downwards but not sideways, outwards or upward. When you are holding the climbers rope (this is called belaying) you must stand near the base of the cliff otherwise the rope between you can the climber could accidentally pull the protection outwards. The person climbing the rock will not be happy if they look down and notice that you have inadvertently pulled all the protection out of the rock.
3. Extend your runners.
Runners are another name for protection. The protection is clipped to the rope via another piece of climbing equipment called a 'quickdraw'. A quickdraw is two metal clips held together by a short length of strong material. The idea of this material to make sure any movement in the climbing rope does not get transferred to the protection. Remember that protection can only cope with being pulled downwards, if the rope pulls the protection in any other way, it could come loose. The longer the quickdraw the better it will be at making sure your climbing protection stays in place.
4. Carry a mobile phone.
There are not many places in the U.K that don't get a mobile phone reception. This phone can stay in a pocket and be used in case of emergencies.
5. Check that the rock around your protection is solid.
When you place protection, it must be placed in solid rock. There is no point placing climbing protection in rock that will fall apart if weight is applied to the climbing protection. You can check the rock by giving it a sharp tap with the heel of your hand. If the rock is loose it will either move or have a hollow ring to it as you hit it. You will soon learn this sound and learn to avoid this type of rock.