Top-roping involves skills you’ll need to learn before you can climb independently. The easiest way to learn is either with a friend or on a course at your local indoor climbing wall.
Keep your arms straight Avoid “T rex arms” – clinging too tightly to the wall, with your arms bent up. Keep your arms straight and you’ll tire less quickly and climb better.
Communicate with your partner Top‑roping is done in pairs, with one person climbing and one person belaying from the ground. You need a good partnership with your belayer. Climbing is a sociable activity – don’t be afraid to communicate, especially when you reach the top of a route, or if you’re climbing with someone new.
Don’t be afraid to fall You’re roped in and you trust your belayer – so go for it. Climbing has its risks, but top-roping is one of the safest forms. Even if you don’t make it to the top, it’s a great workout for brain and body.
• Thanh Nguyen is a climbing instructor and development coach at the Castle Climbing Centre, London; castle-climbing.co.uk/taster-sessions