GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) – Climbing season is fast-approaching and local climbers should be aware of the precautions experienced climbers use when traversing the Western Slope. Mike Kimmel of Grip Bouldering in Grand Junction, says there are just a few things which climbers should be mindful of when starting their climb.

Kimmel says climbers need to double or even triple-check their equipment before setting off on their adventure.

“You wanna check your rope, make sure that it hasn’t been frayed from your last climb and that it’s all good to go,” Kimmel says.

Climbers should also be mindful of the weather before they choose to climb.

“Wet rocks, y’know, they can obviously be slippery, but wet rock are also a lot more breakable,” Kimmel says.

Does the climb already have stakes? How challenging have climbers said this particular climb is? Kimmel says climbers should review the American Mountain Guide or check in with the local Western Colorado Climbing Coalition to get a good sense of the terrain before setting out. And on the topic of communication, Kimmel says to make sure that yourself and your climbing partner are both actively communicating at all times.

“Make sure you and your climbing buddy have gone over your safety procedures so there isn’t a chance that you’ll make a mistake,” Kimmel says.

Always be redundant in your safety measures. Kimmel says the most important thing to keep in mind is that climbers are securely tethered to multiple points of contact with a rock surface should one point fail.

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