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Break-Under-Slide Belay Technique

Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Saturday, September 21, 2013
Currently, our lesson on Life Safety Systems (CCF1-9) includes a discussion of three belay techniques:
  • Break Under Slide (BUS) (NOT Pull-Break-Under-Slide, PBUS, because "P" allows a hand on the rope to the climber, not on the break side)
  • Chop
  • Slip-slap-slide 

Why more than one?

Not a good idea.We should discuss, teach, practice one!

Why BUS?

  1. The BUS belay method has been adopted by the American Mountain Guide Association, Most climbing gyms and Most Recrecational programs as the safest belay technique.
  2. It is described in the current BSA Merit Badge booklet and the BSA Topping Out climbing program guide.
  3. The BUS method is seen as the most reliable because the rope is locked in the BRAKE position in the belay device while your hands are repositioned on the rope to take more slack.

Take a look at these online resources and practice the technique to use and to teach:

-Climbing Magazine web site:

-Video from Aiderondack Community College: (but do not take non-dominant hand off the break-side of the rope)

Tags:  belay  COPE  good_practice  technique 

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