How to Clip on Lead for Indoor Climbing | Rock Climbing

Learn how to clip on lead from indoor rock climbing expert Cliff Simanski in this Howcast video.

Right now, I’m going to show you guys how to clip while lead climbing. The first clip off the ground you want to be really careful. Obviously, if you miss this clip, there’s nothing else to protect you. This is your first piece of safety. For this clip here, the gate is facing to the left, and I’m going to be clipping with my left hand. Right now I’m in a balanced and stable position, which is a great spot to be in for making your clip.

At this point, I’m going to grab the rope with my left hand, lining it up with my middle finger and index finger, grabbing the spine of the carabiner with my thumb, I’m going to push the rope through just like so, making sure that the rope is running from the wall through the carabiner and out to me as the climber.

As I progress higher up the wall, I’m approaching the second clip. At this point, I want to make sure that the same rule applies. I’m going to balance a stable position making this clip. Also, I’m going to pull the rope starting from my knot and extending out. Once again, to clip with my left hand, now the gate is facing a different direction. It’s facing me. So, rather than using the technique we just did, I’m going to use my middle finger to stabilize the carabiner, and I’m going to use my thumb to push that rope through the gate.

Another important point to remember is when to make the clip. Right now, the clip is lined up pretty much with my torso. This is a great time to make that clip. Even though I can still reach this clip from where I am, be really cautious about pulling too much rope out, because at this point, if I were to miss that clip, all that rope is going to drastically increase the distance which I’m going to fall. Before I make that, I’m going to move a little bit higher. Now, with the clip closer in line with my torso, I can make that clip.

At this point, to demonstrate how to clip with the right hand with the gate facing me, this is an example I would use with my middle finger to stabilize the carabiner, using my thumb to push that rope through the gate, once again making sure the rope is running from the wall through the carabiner back to me as the climber. Once I get to the top of the wall here, there’s going to be two carabiners as well, and I want to make sure that I take my rope, clipping both of those carabiners, and I’ve just completed an indoor sport climb. So that was how to lead and how to make clips.


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