This tag should be used for all questions about the activity **rock climbing**, books, gear and accessories used or necessary to do rock climbing. The term Rock Climbing is an activity in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls.

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32
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4answers
6k views

Can I use a bicycle helmet as a climbing helmet?

I have a bicycle helmet that fits well. Can it be used effectively as a rock climbing helmet? Most climbing helmets have a hard shell that the bicycle helmet does not. However, one of the more ...
24
votes
10answers
14k views

How to Clean Rock-Climbing Shoes

I have never found a good answer to this one: How do you clean rock-climbing shoes, without ruining them? Let me be more specific. I have a pair of modern leather-and-fancy-rubber climbing shoes ...
21
votes
7answers
1k views

What equipment do I need as a beginner outdoor rock climber?

What are the bare essentials that I need in terms of equipment when it comes to rock climbing? I've done indoor rock climbing but always rented my equipment from the rock-climbing gym. (For the ...
19
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7answers
3k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
19
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4answers
2k 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
274 views

What sort of rock climbing grade can a goat do?

It is quite well known that goats are into free solo rock climbing. Is there any evidence (even if anecdotal) of the highest grades they are able to climb?
18
votes
3answers
4k 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)
17
votes
1answer
365 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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3answers
3k 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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2answers
346 views

Micro-Fractures in Climbing Equipments

I have always been very careful while handling climbing gear. Last year while returning from an expedition, I met a group that was returning from a tough-looking climb. They were selling off a few of ...
15
votes
5answers
953 views

Learning to fall when leading: what is good fall technique?

I'm learning to lead climbs, and I'm terrified of big falls. Part of this is learning to trust my gear placements, but a large portion is because I don't know how to fall - I've only taken small falls ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it safe to cut a climbing rope in half?

I recently bought a 70 meter climbing rope from REI because it was a great price on the outlet. Last weekend I used it for the first time in the Texas hill country, where 99% of routes need a rope ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

Why do many climbers appear to not trust their belay loops?

The belay loop is the strongest part of the climbing harness, so why do so many climbers not trust it? It’s very common to see climbers backing up their belay loop with a separate piece of webbing or ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What happens to cams after climbing?

What do people do with their cams after they've reached the top of the rock? Is there some special way of getting them down again? Seeing the prices of around 50 € per piece they can hardly just leave ...
15
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
15
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4answers
3k views

How to carry dslr camera when rock-climbing

I am interested in hearing how people take their dslrs onto multi-pitch-rock-climbs. I have carried mine up in a small pack, but I end up taking hardly any pictures, since it is so cumbersome to get ...
14
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
734 views

Rappelling in the Rain

Last night I had a nightmare that I was 5 pitches off the ground and it started to pour rain. When I woke up I realized I have no idea how to deal with this. Asking around, everyone says two things: ...
13
votes
6answers
367 views

Light-weight emergency overnight-gear

What is a good emergency-overnight-sleeping-setup when every ounce counts, like on long technical routes (grade V or VI) where the goal is to do it in one day (without hauling), but one wants to ...
13
votes
4answers
986 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 ...
13
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1answer
345 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
4answers
437 views

What do I do if I lose my belay plate?

The scenario My climbing partner and I are at the top of a pitch and we drop a belay plate to the ground. There is no safe descent, we were planning on rappelling down off safe anchors. What do we ...
12
votes
5answers
5k views

What are the key differences between Mountaineering and Rock Climbing?

I think the title speaks for itself. I have done a basic google search and I do not find the references to be sufficient. I'm looking for a short synopsis that would educate a layman such as myself. ...
12
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2answers
957 views

When should I retire my rope

I know there is a degree of "gray" in this question but: I have a Beal Top gun II 10.5mm, I've had this rope for around 4 years now and I'm starting to think about retiring it. It's been used ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
12
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1answer
4k 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?
12
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2answers
246 views

How to go about replacing sport climbing bolts?

There has been handful discussions about How to fix a bolt on a climbing route. But there seldom any point made about How the one should go about when removing/replacing the bolts. When to decide in ...
12
votes
2answers
183 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
540 views

Toproping with two ropes joined by a double fisherman's

The other day we were waiting in line for a popular 200 foot single pitch climb in the valley and the party in front of us was using two 70 meter ropes they had joined together with a double ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What type of knife should I carry while rock climbing?

I carry a cheap folding knife with me while climbing, particularly if I know there is a chance of stuck ropes, grubby anchors, or we are in the backcountry. The knife is held shut with a loop of cord, ...
12
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2answers
856 views

How do I inspect a climbing rope?

It is imperative that climbing ropes are in excellent shape so they don't split while someone is climbing. How do I properly inspect the rope when I'm about to start a climb?
12
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1answer
198 views

Why do big wall harnesses have two belay loops?

I've been looking at big wall harnesses and I've been noticing that a lot of them come with two belay loops: I know that it isn't there as a back up. What's the advantage of having two belay ...
11
votes
2answers
352 views

Is there any difference between a harness used for rock climbing vs for mountaineering?

I've recently taken an interest in both rock climbing and mountaineering. Both require a harness, but is there any difference in the harness used for each activity? I understand that the most basic ...
11
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Safe Way to Mark a Carabiner

At the crag this weekend I noticed that my climbing partner's carabiner had a great feature: a red line painted such that you know the carabiner isn't locked until the red is hidden. I love this ...
11
votes
3answers
452 views

How can I safely practice trad climbing?

I have climbed indoors and outdoors for several years, both top rope and sport, and I somewhat recently took an outdoor trad climbing class. In the class, we placed protection while on top rope and ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does my belay device have two holes?

I have a belay device that looks like: which I used when I am belaying someone who is top roping or leading. However, my rope only goes through one of those slots. What is the purpose of the other ...
11
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
308 views

Dropping gear: Where did the hairline/micro fracture urban legend come from?

In an answer given to this question: Micro-Fractures in Climbing Equipments, it's stated that dropping gear causing micro fractures is a persistent myth, quoting Black Diamond's statement: Q. Is ...
11
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
755 views

How to toughen up hands?

So I climb. It keeps my hands pretty rough, but for my day job I am a desk jockey now. I was wondering, are there exercises can I do to keep my hands rough so they don't get torn to shreds when I do ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What this instrument is used for?

Just like everyday, I was at the climbing wall this morning, when I reached, there was a group (I have not seen anyone of them there, ever, it being a local place, I know almost everyone who comes ...
10
votes
2answers
337 views

Most Eco-Friendly way to Identify a Climbing Route

In Ontario where I live and do most of my climbing the routes are not clearly marked. Guide books also lack clear approaches and thus it just turns into a big guessing game of what route you're on ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Technique for lead solo climbing with rope

In the past I saw climbers climb alone on multi-pitch routes only by themselves (but not free solo). What's a correct technique to do this? I know how to do it with two ropes, rope ascenders and on ...
10
votes
3answers
212 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
2k views

When rock climbing, what is the difference between top-roping and leading?

I'm starting to learn how to rock climb, and there seem to be two types of climbing, top-rope climbing and lead climbing. What's the difference between the two, and what would be better for a ...
10
votes
1answer
107 views

How to prepare for a long rocky alpine route, which is unusual for me?

I would like to prepare for a long route (700 m altitude gain, 12-16 hours, including descent, with alpine start), one like which I have never [successfully] climbed before. It involves many sections ...