At Apex Mountain School, outdoor education is our passion. Whether skiing in the backcountry or climbing in the Vail Valley and beyond, the opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with clients is what we value most.  To show our appreciation we want to offer a little of Apex to-go. Our guides are filming a series of How-to videos filled with helpful tech tips. In this week’s video installment, Apex’s guide, David Price, will discuss how to belay a climber from above. This is an important skill to know for multi-pitch climbing, as well as single pitch climbing 

“I chose to discuss belaying from the top of a climb as this week’s Tech Tip because it is a skill that is seldom taught in standard belay classes at rock climbing gyms– but one that is very useful when taking our climbing outdoors. Many cliff-side climbing locations that are along water, like the North Shore in Minnesota and Acadia National park in Maine, require a top managed climbing site. Top belay techniques are also used when you get into multi pitch climbing, as the leader must belay the second climber up to the next pitch.

Both the Redirect and the Direct belay methods that I mention in the video have their place in climbing. Personally, the Direct belay method is my favorite. Having the belay attached solely to the anchor allows me more restriction free movement. The Direct method allows me to communicate with my climber more effectively as well as escape the belay if necessary. It is also a lot more comfortable when I need to catch a climber’s fall.”

-David Price

Thanks, David, for sharing some of your favorite things about these different top belay systems!  As always, the material provided is not meant as a formal means of education; do your own research to verify accuracy and proper interpretation prior to real life implementation.  For more information on education courses and guided climbing outings, visit or call 970-949-9111

Follow and like Apex Mountain School on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to see more great videos. Our next Tech Tip video will be Lowering a climber using a device in guide mode.