Build Mutual Trust
Top-rope and lead climbing are partner-based activities. One person ties into one end of the rope to climb, while their partner attaches themselves on the other end of the rope to belay. As the climber moves up the rock, the belayer takes in the slack, keeping the rope reasonably taut. As the climber ascends the route, the climber and belayer communicate to make adjustments, as needed. If the climber gets nervous, he might say, "Watch me!", meaning he feels like he might fall and wants the belayer to keep the rope tight. If the climber feels like the rope is restricting her movement, she might say, "Slack!" to ask for a little more - you guessed it - slack. These and a number of other commands help climber and belayer keep things safe during climbing.
Once the climber reaches the top of the route, he lets his belayer know and prepares for the ride down, called lowering. The climber sits back in her harness, feet on the rock and hands free at her sides, while the belayer slowly lowers her to the ground. Once the climber is has two feet safely on the ground again, climber and belayer disconnect from the rope and the process is complete.