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The 'follow is committing a climbing route with safety ropes from above after another climber route already in lead climbing has increased and so uses the specified cable for backup. The second climber is secured from an established stand . Most of the climbs are in multi-pitch routes.

As a rule, the second climber has a lower risk than the lead climber, as the safety rope comes from above and can be taut by the belayer, so that it hangs directly on the rope in the event of a fall. Slack ropes and the unavoidable stretching of the rope in the case of longer rope lengths cause a certain risk of falling, even for the next climber, on inclined routes or when there is a risk of impact on heels. In cross aisles , the risk of a pendulum fall can be comparable to or even greater than that of the lead climber if there is no intermediate belay behind a difficult climbing area over a longer distance . If there is a rope length that must be climbed for lead climbers and followers, the risk ratio between lead climbers and followers is reversed in these passages compared to the ascent.

A distinction must be made between the subsequent ascent and the top rope , in which the rope also runs from above to the climber, but the belayer is below the climber and the climber does not have to unhook any (or only a few) intermediate belayings. Top rope and descending are often used synonymously in colloquial language.

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