How to Rock Climb

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How to Rock Climb

Rock climbing is a sport where you, as the name of the sport implies, climb a rock. Before you decide to take up this sport, you need to find an appropriate place to climb, learn the fundamental skills, and get the right equipment and safety information about it.

Equipment You’ll Need

  • Climbing shoes - Rock climbing shoes must have a smooth and firm rubber surface enough to protect your feet from sharp rocks and from sliding.
  • Rope - Rope is for safety purposes. Find one that can stretch a little when there is tension. The stretchability of the rope slows down the fall of the climber, if in case he falls.
  • Harnesses – A harness is needed to be able to tie yourself to a rope. You can also use an adjustable leg loop.
  • rock climbing

  • Webbing – A nylon webbing is usually tied to a loop. Unlike a climbing rope, this is not used to stop long falls as it does not stretch when there is tension.
  • Belay devices – A belay device is used to hold a rope to either stop or slow down the fall of a climber. A popular belay device is a figure-eight metal ring. This ring is connected to the belayer’s harness.
  • Carabiner - These are rings used to connect yourself to an anchor or to link equipment together. The safest carabiner is known as the ‘D ring’. Other types are the oval shape and the bent-gate carabiner.
  • Protection gears - These equipment anchor the path of the climber and are properly positioned as the participant climbs. There are 2 types of protection devices, the monolithic devices which can be either trapezoidal or hexagonal and the spring loaded camming device or SLCD.

Types and Styles of Rock climbing

  • Indoor Climbing - This is where you can practice your climbing techniques, so you’ll have an idea what it’s like to climb on rocks outdoors.
  • Top Roping - In this type of rock climbing, an anchor is fixed at the top of the climber’s route, and a rope is looped through the anchor. One end is tied to the climber’s harness and the other to the belayer’s. The belayer assists the climber and makes sure that the rope is not loose. To do this, the belayer pulls the rope downward as the climber begins his assent. The belayer should never fully release the rope.
  • Lead Climbing – Lead climbing requires two people, one being the leader and the other one, the follower. The leader climbs the full length of the route and attaches protection or devices as he climbs the path. The follower belays the leader as the leader climbs. When the leader has anchored himself at the top, he must now belay the follower. The follower then starts his climb and removes the protection devices placed by the leader.
  • Bouldering – Bouldering means climbing on low rocks without safety ropes. The climber mainly depends on the strength of his hands and feet. A spotter steers the climber away from hazardous areas. Cushioned bouldering pads below the path are placed for the protection of the climber.
  • Rope Soloing – You do not need a belayer or a spotter for this type of rock climbing. The rope is secured at the start of the climb and the climber belays him self as he makes his way to the top.

Rock climbing is only for the adventurous souls. It is very risky. There are a lot of potential dangers that you may encounter, and you have to be physically and mentally prepared for them. This type of sport tests your agility, strength and balance. One needs proper training before engaging in this type of activity. Remember, in everything that you do, safety always comes first.