Questions relating to climbing can include any activity that require the use of your hands and feet to move vertically up an object, obstruction or terrain. This varies from tree's to boulders to cliff faces and everything in-between,

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31
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9answers
17k 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?
28
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
17k 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
12k 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.
25
votes
2answers
17k 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?
23
votes
3answers
5k 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 kg and I might climb with heavier partners (80-90 kg)
23
votes
2answers
478 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
6k views

What are the advantages of short climbers?

My girlfriend often complains that a route or boulder was created for tall climbers. In my experience that sometimes is true: I easily get a hold, she has to jump. However, Lynn Hill proved that a ...
21
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
21
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4answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
563 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 ...
20
votes
9answers
66k views

How far would you need to fall for it to be fatal?

A little grim this but I was discussing free soloing with a non-climber in work and I said "Well once you get over a certain height you're not going to survive a fall anyway so anything over ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the difference between “dry rope”, “non-dry rope” and “dry core rope”?

I've just recently gotten into climbing and so far the ropes have always been provided for me. I'm starting to look at getting my own rope for outside climbing, and am confused by some of the ...
20
votes
3answers
563 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 ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

How to overcome fear of falling in lead climbing

I used to really enjoy climbing (almost all indoors). I was bouldering around V2-3 and leading at 5+. The mismatch was all down to fear of falling - I would repeatedly bail or fall from routes that ...
19
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

How to inspect climbing bolts?

I am most interested in setting up a top rope anchor on 2 bolts side by side. I feel like in this case you almost have to be more careful using bolts for a top rope than sport climbing because in ...
18
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
3k 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. ...
17
votes
6answers
22k 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?
17
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

How to safely mark a rope

I was reading this question and the first thing that popped into my head is what do you use to mark the middle of the rope? I was taught not to use any kind of marker on the rope (because there's no ...
17
votes
1answer
787 views

If the Dawn Wall's been climbed before why is the current attempt so difficult?

There's a lot of talk in the media at the moment about Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell Free ascent of the dawn wall of El Capitan. This wall's been climbed before but this is the first time it's ...
16
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5answers
2k views

Rapelling an overhang

How do you bypass the overhang, mid-rappel? --. <-- Start of rappel | | __| <-- Overhang | | Do you go to your knees and then step one foot over at a time trying not to squash your ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

What are common climbing techniques for strongly overhanging walls and roofs?

What are common climbing techniques for strongly overhanging walls and roofs? In order to avoid a strength oriented climbing style and focus on technique.
16
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3answers
3k views

Vetting belayers at the gym?

The other night I went to the climbing gym, intending to look for a climbing partner once I got there. (My usual gym climbing partner isn't available to climb as often as I want to.) The gym provides ...
16
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3answers
3k views

Why are indoor climbing grades easier?

This is possibly a little of a generalisation but, why are indoor grades easier than outdoor grades? Having climbed at many many indoor walls (all over the uk) and done multiple outdoor climbs (...
16
votes
1answer
480 views

Difference when using twin or half ropes

There are three types of ropes according to the UIAA/EN norm for climbing ropes: Single, half and twin. While the distinction between single ropes and the other two is rather obvious (one strand ...
16
votes
1answer
396 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it polite to ask other climbers to belay for you?

I'm a beginner climber. There are many climbers all over my area (doing cliffs). Would it be polite, impolite, or neutral, to approach groups and ask them if I could join them? Maybe this is '...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there any practical use for a grappling hook?

A friend was asking about grappling hooks the other day, apparently they'd seen a mountaineering program where the guy carried a grappling hook. We couldn't quite figure out why, I've never seen ...
15
votes
5answers
1k 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.
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How to walk as a roped party on a glacier?

If you want to walk on a glacier you usually do this roped together as a team. How to walk as a roped party on a glacier? What I have to pay attention to when knotting the rope? Related question: ...
15
votes
4answers
347 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
13k views

How do climbers retrieve anchored rope?

The following is a scene I have always been perplexed about. I’ve seen it many times. A mountain climber has no one above him as he descends and is trailing rope behind him that he is using to ...
15
votes
1answer
8k 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?
15
votes
3answers
6k 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 gained more experience, it's value is now apparent. What are some good techniques ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

How dangerous is it to climb a via ferrata alone?

What are the risks of climbing a via ferrata alone? Would going through very easy via ferratas still pose high risks? Are well visited and easy climbing via ferratas necessarily a great danger? I ...
14
votes
5answers
634 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Climbing barefoot/in toe-shoes?

I recently went bouldering for the first time and liked it a lot. One thing I wondered about are the climbing shoes. The mostly form your feet to a very firm, compact package. So the following ...
13
votes
1answer
846 views

What is a “spit anchor”?

In an English climbing guidebook about a French region, I read the term spit anchor in the general description of the equipment of the (multi-pitch) routes of some crags. I never heard that term ...
12
votes
5answers
914 views

Is clipping directly onto a dyneema sling safe?

I was recently doing a scramble route in North Wales. We needed to get past a large rock spike, though easy climbing, it was quite exposed and not a good place to take a fall. As a safety backup I ...
12
votes
6answers
611 views

What to do when you run out of rope on a sports climb?

The situation is, that you started a high route with fixed protection (bolts) and misjudged its length, so before reaching the belay the middle mark of the rope passes the belayer. What can you do to ...
12
votes
4answers
257 views

How do I prevent myself from getting pumped when climbing?

Usually when I climb I take plenty of rest between attempts however, yesterday I decided that I wanted to test myself and climb 25 problems at my local gym. I chose problems that were below my level ...
12
votes
2answers
150 views

Climbing with one arm: any advice on belay systems for beginners (who can only use one arm)?

a friend would like to start climbing but he can only use one arm. I've read about a few people climbing with one arm but i haven't found advice on which gear to use. We are only at the beginning of ...
12
votes
2answers
941 views

How do you get better at static climbing?

Being in control of your body and making controlled movements is a skill I can't seem to get down. Are there any good ways to practice this or any workouts that can contribute to helping me build up ...
12
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3answers
5k 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 ...