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27
votes
9answers
7k views

What hand and finger exercises help with climbing?

It's been a while since I went rock climbing but I'd like to get back into it. What are some hand exercises that will help with climbing?
18
votes
2answers
335 views

Chalk: pure, plus drying agent, liquid?

Having only used pure chalk without added substances so far, I wondered how the other types perform. Most of the information I could find online is either somebody ranting against a certain type, or ...
17
votes
2answers
7k views

Climbing rope is rated to X UIAA falls. What is a UIAA fall?

When looking at buying climbing ropes, they are rated to a number of "UIAA falls". What does that mean?
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Why go without socks with climbing shoes?

I've been going climbing (indoor bouldering) for about six months, using shoes I rented at the gym, and wearing socks (and everything was fine). I've recently got a pair of climbing shoes, and want to ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Ideal and Minimal Rope Diameter for Lead Climbing

I'm thinking of a single rope that it's safe to take long lead falls, but also light to carry around. I weight 75 kgs and I might climb with heavier partners (80-90 Kgs)
16
votes
3answers
291 views

How should I check climbing equipment to tell whether it is still safe to use?

I have, unfortunately, not had the opportunity to go climbing (and thus use my climbing equipment) for a couple years. I know that such equipment, especially the rope and webbing, can degrade over ...
16
votes
3answers
674 views

How should a climbing rope be stored?

I've purchased my first climbing rope and am wondering how it should be stored when not in use. I have a rope bag which I assume is a good home for the rope; should it be kept tightly coiled inside ...
16
votes
2answers
249 views

What everyday tasks can be adapted in a way that helps build muscles and technique for bouldering?

(This is related to "What hand and finger exercises help with climbing?" but asking for what can be done when not climbing/training.) Like most climbers, I don't get to do as much as I'd like, and I ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Things to keep away from climbing ropes

There are some no brainers like don't throw your climbing rope next to car batteries in the back of your car. The effect of bug sprays containing Deet seem to be controversial. I have also heard a ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

What does it mean to cross load a carabiner?

What does it mean to cross load a carabiner? I know it's bad, and not to do it, but I don't really know what exactly it is.
14
votes
5answers
1k views

What can I do with a retired rope and harness?

I've recently retired a rope (dynamic) and a harness. They're both in very good shape, but just over 8 years old. Common sense dictates I throw them away, but I wonder if there are other uses I can ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Which knot for climbing: figure eight, yosemite bowline, bowline on a bight?

This is a topic often discussed online, but all I could find so far was people sharing their opinions (including numbers) on what tie-in knot is the best. Here's what I've found out from different ...
12
votes
5answers
902 views

Knot to turn cord into loop (load bearing)

What's the best knot for turning a piece of cord into a loop? The cord would then be used for a prusik so needs to be very secure and load bearing.
12
votes
3answers
413 views

Is it realistic to teach yourself rock climbing?

I've been wanting to get into rock climbing for a while but I live in a very flat area with no climbing gyms around. I'm planning on moving to the Pacific Northwest soon and I wanted to know what the ...
12
votes
1answer
288 views

How should a climbing rope be cleaned?

What products and process should be used to clean a climbing rope when it gets sufficiently dirty? How would I remove as much dirt and grime as possible without negatively affecting the strength or ...
12
votes
2answers
177 views

Climbing chalk through customs

Anyone had any experience getting climbing chalk though customs? I'm off to Guernsey and I don't think I'll be able to buy chalk there so I'm putting it in my hold luggage. Are customs likely to ...
11
votes
8answers
256 views

What are creative uses for retired carabiners?

I seem to have accumulated a good number of carabiners that, while probably still safe, I won't climb on anymore. They might be worn, of questionable origin, or just plain made obsolete by an upgrade. ...
11
votes
4answers
8k views

What can I do to help relieve joint pain in fingers after climbing?

After I've been climbing for a while, my finger joints are very sore. Is there anything I can do to relieve that pain?
10
votes
3answers
520 views

Please Explain Rock Climbing Grades

I have seen various grades for different climbs such as 5.14b, 8b+, 8b - 150m It seems there are different parts to the grade, e.g. the last one is it 8b for 150 metres? Do these grades only ...
10
votes
3answers
198 views

How tight should the line be kept for toproping?

I was climbing with someone recently and they complained that there was too much slack any time the line wasn't completely taut. By the same token when they were belaying me it was almost hard to ...
10
votes
3answers
175 views

How do you know if smaller brands of climbing equipment are safe?

There is a local shop that sells small brand name gear for pretty good prices. I am looking at their harnesses and quickdraws and would like to know: 1) Whether the equipment is safe - say compared ...
10
votes
1answer
798 views

What's the difference between Sport Climbing and Traditional Climbing

What is the difference between Sport Climbing and Traditional (Trad) Climbing? Is it just that sport climbing uses bolts?
10
votes
2answers
841 views

How can I improve my footwork while rock-climbing?

When I'm rock climbing, I feel like I've got hand holds down as far as where to grab on and understand that the hands are mainly for balance. However, I can't seem to figure out my feet. There are ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I mount a hangboard in an apartment?

In the last few months I have come to the conclusion that I need to have a fingerboard at home if my climbing is to get to the next level. But the problem is that I live in an apartment. How can I ...
10
votes
2answers
748 views

Using a Girth Hitch in Alpine Draws

I've recently started making my alpine (or "trad") draws by girth hitching one end of a sling to the gear side carabiner and then clipping and passing the rope side through as usual. The girth hitch ...
10
votes
2answers
119 views

Resoling climbing shoes yourself

Does anyone have experience trying to resole climbing shoes using products like the Five Ten resole kits? If so, how involved was the process and how did it turn out? I'm trying to decide whether to ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Methods for taping hands, wrists, and fingers for climbing?

I've been climbing off and on since I was a teenager, but one thing I've never done much of is taping my hands. As I'm getting older I can see more value in it than before. What are some good ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I tie a slackline with only carabiners and webbing?

Commercial slackline solutions seem bulky, heavy, overpriced, and a little too industrial for my liking. I have 6 carabiners and 50m of tubular webbing. What knots do you recommend for building, ...
10
votes
1answer
105 views

Climbing volcanic mountains

I'm planning to climb a few volcanic mountains in Indonesia the coming year. Mostly Mt Kerinci and a few adjoining ones (I'm still making a list of those near by to Kerinci). I believe that most ...
9
votes
4answers
142 views

How to get started on canyoning?

Since I saw one of the last EOFT-films I am really curious about trying canyoneering, but I can´t quite figure out how to get started. What would you suggest to try it? What would be the minimum of ...
9
votes
2answers
604 views

Climbing with a much lighter partner?

Both my fiancee and myself bought some climbing gear recently and we're planning our first trip to an indoor rock gym this weekend. We decided to practice our knots and belay technique before we went ...
9
votes
2answers
127 views

Reference request: books on self-rescue while climbing

Can people recommend books or online resources on self-rescue for roped climbing? As a beginning trad leader, I think I should have a basic understanding of topics like how to escape a belay and how ...
8
votes
2answers
830 views

How dangerous is it to fall 3 meters when lead climbing?

Consider a vertical rock with clip-ins 3 meters apart, dynamic rope, no more than 15 meters ascent. I guess most probable and dangerous is to fall just as one is clipping in. This way the rope is ...
8
votes
3answers
395 views

Are used climbing shoes safe?

We have several used gear shops locally, which also sell climbing shoes. I'm looking to start climbing and I am considering buying used shoes to save cost. Is it ever safe to buy used shoes, and if ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I set a top rope anchor?

When rock-climbing, I need to set up a top-rope anchor so if I fall, it will minimize chance of injury. So, how would I safely set one up?
8
votes
3answers
730 views

Is there a consensus or ethic for rappelling off a tree?

When trad climbing I have seen many people wrap their rope around a tree and then rappel, and then yank the rope down at the next belay station or tree. I have also seen the scarring as a result of ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Preventing cross-loading on belay carabiners

It happend to me a couple of times now that I've cross-loaded my carabiner when belaying; the frequent change from slack to tension and back, moving the carabiner up and down and all that, can easily ...
8
votes
2answers
212 views

How big a fall is a “major” fall?

I answered a question about rope safety with some advice about retiring the rope after a "major" fall. Another user asked me what would constitute a major fall - and I have to admit that I can only ...
8
votes
1answer
263 views

Who places the bolts on rock climbing routes, and how?

On big, serious routes (Dreamcatcher, Jumbo Love, etc), who puts the bolts in place and how? Are the bolts there before the "first ascent" or does the first ascender put them in place as he goes? It ...
8
votes
1answer
139 views

Improving sport climbing skills

I recently made a sport climbing course mainly to give it a try and also to learn something about belaying in general. It's fun, challenging and I got hooked quite a bit. Overall I was around 10 times ...
7
votes
4answers
199 views

How high to climb before clipping on a sport climb?

The guy who taught me to lead sport in the gym suggested that when I'm going for a clip, I position my body so that the clip is somewhere between my hips and my chest. He claimed it was a bad thing ...
7
votes
3answers
238 views

How to avoid pendulum descent when belaying?

I recently started indoor rock climbing at a local spot. I got to the top and (after appropriate communication) my partner started to belay me down. I instantly starting swinging and spinning pretty ...
7
votes
2answers
388 views

What to do at the top of a sport climb

I dabble a little at leading trad, but have never led a sport route. If I do a sport lead, I want to make sure I don't make some stupid mistake when I get to the top. For example, I don't want to ...
7
votes
1answer
111 views

Can you use a rope that has been in storage for a few years?

A guy I'm talking to about buying some rock climbing gear is getting rid of his stuff cause he hasn't used it in five to eight years. He said it wasn't used a lot, maybe 5 to 6 times, and he said no ...
7
votes
2answers
460 views

Training to prepare for oxygen deficiency in the high mountains

I would like to prepare myself for the climb in the high mountains (for now by "high mountains" I mean elevation 4000 m and more, but eventually eight-thousanders). What can I do to improve my ...
7
votes
2answers
682 views

What is a good starter kit for beginning indoor climbing?

If I want to get started on indoor climbing, what is the bare minimum I need to have, assuming I don't want to rent equipment?
7
votes
1answer
82 views

Some mobile helper for tree climbing?

When I do geocaching, I meet sometimes caches on trees. Some of them can be climbed by me without equipment, but in some cases I miss some flexibility or height to reach them :) Is there any mobile ...
7
votes
2answers
129 views

Keeping the things interesting in a small climbing gym

I had been a regular climber half a decade back. And, then I got off the routine. Now I am trying to get back into climbing. For that, I go to a local climbing gym kind of thing managed by a friend ...
7
votes
1answer
179 views

Difference between a Fingerboard and a Hangboard

This is just a climbing terminology question: What is the difference between a Fingerboard and a Hangboard? Maybe there is no difference at all? Maybe it's subtle? I have been Googling around and ...
7
votes
2answers
573 views

What are the advantages / disadvantages of a rock climbing hat made from hard plastic to one made out of carbon fiber?

What are the advantages / disadvantages of a rock climbing hat made from hard plastic to one made out of carbon fibre? I have done a Google search already, but wanted some pointers with people who ...