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Ruby tragedy recalls dangers of climbing


Karine Ruby died Friday May 29 in a climbing accident
in the Alps.(AP Photo/Andreas Schaad)

Karine Ruby, French snowboarder and Olympic Champion, died in a climbing accident on Friday May 29. According to the New York Times, she was climbing in the Mont Blanc Massif, a mountain range in the western part of the Alps, when she and two other climbers fell into a 70-foot crevasse. Ruby was 31.

Ruby’s tragic death is a reminder of the dangers involved in rock climbing. Whether you’re a beginner in the gym, or an expert climbing El Capitan in Yosemite, you should always proceed with caution. Below are some basic safety tips that should guide every climber.

1) Check that your harness is doubled back before you start climbing.
2) Check the climber’s figure 8 knot and safety knot before climbing.
3) Check that the rope is properly threaded through the belay device and that the carabiner attaching the rope and belay device to the belayer’s harness is locked.
4) Communicate with your partner. If you’re climbing, let the belayer know if you think you might fall, or if loose rocks are falling toward the belayer.
5) Pay attention while belaying. If the climber falls, you need to be ready to catch her.
6) Wear a helmet. A helmet will protect a climber in a fall and a belayer from falling rocks.

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