--------- multipitchclimbing.com ---------


A free resource of advanced climbing techniques


spreading good practice


exposing myths                            opening minds




 Download the mini guide to Wonderland (a 67 pitch route in the Boulder Ruckle, Swanage, England)

Download DavidŐs Big Wall Tips (from his big wall course).



If you donŐt understand something, ask us, and we will try and add an image to cover it.


Topic 1 – Multipitch 101   HTML     PDF

1. Variety / 2. Other things to think about


Topic 2 – Blood Rules   HTML     PDF

1. Stay Safe / 2. The Basic Method / 3. The belay


Topic 3 – Multipitch Physics   HTML     PDF

1. Fall Factors / 2. Belay Device and Rope Choice / 3. Forces Depend on Angles / 4. Failing Daises


Simple model of forces and rope stretch during a fall (Excel file).


Topic 4 – Gear   HTML     PDF

1. Climbing Gear / 2. Going Light / 3 The Rope / 4 Non-Climbing Gear / 5 Coiling the Rope / 6 Tying into the Middle of the Rope / 7 Coiling a 100m Rope / 8 Racking the Gear


Topic 5 – Leading and Cleaning   HTML     PDF

1 Protecting the Leader / 2 Protecting the Belay / 3 Pieces in Opposition / 4 Extending over an Edge / 5 Three-way Forces on Carabiners / 6 Stuck Pieces / 7 Use a Cleaning Sling or Cleaning into Bunches


Topic 6 – The Belay   HTML     PDF

1 General Points / 2 Where to Belay / 3 Belays Built from the Rope / 4 Belays that largely donŐt use the Rope / 5 The Sliding-X / 6 Tying into a Powerpoint / 7 the Extending Death Belay / 8 Redundancy vs. Equalisation / 9 Banshee Belays / 10 Workstations in the Sky / 11 Bunnies and Other Alternatives / 12 Belaying the Leader Directly From a Munter (Italian) Hitch / 13 Chariot Belays / 14 Belaying Off the Rope Loop or Belay Loop / 15 Monster-Bolt Belays / 16 Direct Belaying and Plate Hanging / 17 Parking the Second / 18 Redirecting the Rope / 19 Stacking the ropes at the belay / 20 Swapping Over / 21 Checking the belayer / 22 Other Points


Topic 7 – Communication   HTML     PDF

1. Table of Climbing Calls


Topic 8 – Climbing as a three, or more   HTML     PDF

1 Series or parallel / 2 The Stance / 3 Swapping Ends / 4 Protection / 5 Tying into the Middle of the Rope / 6 Climbing in a Three on Easy Terrain


Topic 9 – Simul-Climbing   HTML     PDF

1 Basics / 2 Other Considerations / 3 An Alternative to Tying in


Topic 10 – Descent   HTML     PDF

1 Types of Anchors and Threading the Rope / 2 Joining the Ropes / 3 Throwing the Rope / 4 The Backup / 5 Attaching the Plate / 6 Descending / 7 Stuck Ropes / 8 Abseiling with a Single Rope, a Pull Line or a Gri-Gri / 9 Building your own Stations / 10 Making the Rope a Little Longer / 11 Simultaneous Abseiling / 12 Abseiling past a Knot / 13 Fixed Lines / 14 Retrievable Abseil Slings / 15 The American Death Triangle


Topic 11 – Cheating   HTML     PDF

1. Getting the Leader Over the Crux: Gorilla Aid / 2. Getting the Second Up: More Gorilla Aid / 3 Ascending a Rope / 4 Abseiling and Belaying Without Your Belay Device / 5 lowering off a Single Piece


Topic 12 – Going Solo   HTML     PDF

1 Types of Device / 2 Some other Points / 3 Top Rope Soloing


Topic 13 – Getting Out of Trouble   HTML     PDF

1 Basics / 2. Tying Off a Belay Plate or Grigri / 3 Escaping the System / 4 Improvised Harnesses / 5 Spiders and Munter tails / 6 Lowering a Climber / 7 Traverses etc. / 8 Hauling / 9 Other Points


Topic 14 – Tactics – no extra images



Knots   HTML    PDF

Grades   HTML    PDF

Glossary   HTML    PDF

References   HTML    PDF


This site started its life as a way of presenting the images from the ebook High: Advanced Multipitch Climbing, by David Coley and Andy Kirkpatrick. In order to keep the cost of the book to a minimum most of these were not included in the book. However the site has grown to be far more extensive and now contains much original material not in the book, together with an appendix covering most knots used in climbing, an essay on climbing grades and a bibliography in the form of web links. We suggest you print some of the PDFs and take them on your travels. We would also love you to buy the book – which costs less than a screwgate.


Remember, climbing will kill you if you mess up. If you donŐt know what you are doing seek professional help from a qualified guide, and donŐt rely on a book or website to keep you safe.


However you learn them, all new techniques you learn should be tried out first somewhere safe with appropriate backups. When under pressure, tired and cold using an approach you donŐt have totally dialled is asking for trouble, or for a shortened life. Often simple makes sense, so always ask yourself if an approach that might shave a few minutes off a route, but is more open to failure if used incorrectly, is really worth it.


A note on gender: in the text the leader is always female, and the second(s) male. Hopefully this makes it a little easier to understand some of the complex sequences of actions.


Please use the following links to buy the book. It costs about $9, or Ł6 - less than a locking carabiner

Amazon USA (kindle) / Amazon UK (kindle) / itunes / kobo


With the exception of any marked COPYRIGHTED, you are free to use any of these pictures in any non-commercial way including climbing forums, but please reference the book. If you have any comments or spot anything that needs correcting (however small and including spellings), please contact David (d.a.coley@bath.ac.uk). Thank you.





First and foremost apologies to Duncan Kenny for not being able to use his illustrations. Thanks to Steve Price and Pete Callaghan for sorting out the English as much as possible. Jim Titt for various words of advice, providing test data and explaining to me how things actually work, and when some things might not. The Quay Climbing Centre, Exeter (http://www.quayclimbingcentre.co.uk/), for allowing their wall to be used for photography. Scarlett and Theo for their photos and drawings. Helen, Scartlett, Theo, James Tisshan, Leigh Arscott, Mark Garndener, Tom Eagle, Anne-Marie Dibner, Matthew Bano, Daniel Murphy, Charlotte Lloyd-Wrigley and various members of the South Devon Mountaineering Club (http://southdevonmc.ning.com/) and the 2 Degrees Climbing Club (http://www.2degeesclimbingclub.com/) for helping out and agreeing to be models in the photos. To Mammut (http://www.mammut.ch/en/index.html), Lyon Equipment (http://www.lyon.co.uk/), e-climb (http://www.e-climb.com/es/) and Petzl (http://www.petzl.com/) for providing equipment and to anyone else we have forgotten.




Please use the following links to buy the book.

Amazon USA (kindle) / Amazon UK (kindle) / itunes / kobo


Back to Other Chapters


v 23 March 2016


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