Safety Precautions Climbers Should Know Before Crossing the West Rim

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Climbing season is fast approaching and local climbers should be aware of the precautions experienced climbers use when traversing the West Rim. Mike Kimmel of Grip Bouldering in Grand Junction says there are just a few things climbers need to be aware of when beginning their climb.

Kimmel says climbers should double-check their gear before heading out on an adventure.

“You want to check your rope, make sure it wasn’t frayed on your last climb, and it’s ready to go,” Kimmel says.

Climbers should also be aware of the weather before choosing to climb.

“Wet rocks, you know, obviously they can be slippery, but wet rocks are also a lot more brittle,” Kimmel says.

Does the climb already have challenges? How hard did climbers say this particular climb was? Kimmel says climbers should consult the American Mountain Guide or check with the local Western Colorado Climbing Coalition to get a good feel for the terrain before heading out. And on the subject of communication, Kimmel says to make sure you and your climbing partner are actively communicating at all times.

“Make sure you and your climbing buddy have gone through your safety procedures so there’s no chance you’ll make a mistake,” Kimmel says.

Always be redundant in your security measures. Kimmel says the most important thing to keep in mind is that climbers are securely attached at multiple points of contact with a rock surface in the event of a point failure.

For more on rock climbing on the West Rim, be sure to check out Grip Bouldering our Western Colorado Climbing Coalition resources.

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Susan W. Lloyd