Basic Safety Rules in Rock Climbing
Remember that injury---and perhaps even death---is a very real danger in rock climbing. To this end it is vital that each participant in a rock climbing party commits to be sober, not impaired by medication, and able to fully participate in the climb. Each participant also commits not to roughhouse or engage in teasing and physical acting out that may endanger any member of the party.
Use Approved Gear
Do not try to rig harness or belay devices but instead only use gear and equipment that is in good working order and meets basic standards set forth by the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation. This prevents any sudden mishaps and also puts a stop to unexpected emergencies that might endanger other climb participants who must then shoulder more than their own weight to keep another climber safe.
Use Safety Gear
Bring along proper rock climbing footwear and also a helmet. Even if you only plan on climbing at a gym, having the proper climbing shoes is a must to prevent any accidents that could shut down a climbing wall for a prolonged period of time.
Practice Safety Before and During Climbs
Warm up before starting your climb. Limber muscles and tendons make the initial 10 to 20 minutes a lot more enjoyable and greatly diminish the risk of injuries. Choose the most expert rock climber of the group to be the leader. While taking turns is a nice gesture, it can seriously jeopardize the overall safety of the group if a novice is charged with leading the climb.
Know Your Limits
Call off a climb if you realize that the rock face is beyond your capabilities and comfort. Moreover, if during the climb you notice that you are becoming overly exerted to the point of being at risk of injuring tendons or muscles, it is time to signal to the group that a break and perhaps a descend are in order. Be mindful of your body and become aware of any signs that signal when normal fatigue gives way to muscle weakness or advanced exhaustion.