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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

12
votes
2answers
301 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
215 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
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
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
459 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
106 views

How safe are stoppers/rocks when threaded through rock tunnels?

Last year, I learned that you could thread the wire of stoppers/rocks/hexentrics through tunnels in the rock if threading cord or a sling through them would be too difficult. As a reference, see the ...
11
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
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
2answers
2k 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
371 views

Why are unequalised anchors acceptable for fixed-point belay systems used while ice climbing?

The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides demonstrate Fixed-Point belay systems in this video. Fixed-point belay systems as demonstrated make no effort to equalise the loading on the two anchors, ...
11
votes
1answer
767 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
799 views

Placing protection efficiently when leading trad?

I'm a beginning trad leader, having done about five easy fifth class leads. I've had some formal instruction, but don't currently have access to a teacher or mentor. I'm finding that I'm extremely ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What are “Aggressive” climbing Shoes?

This question was borrowed from a comment on this question. But what is meant by an "aggressive" climbing shoe? What is the difference in a non-aggressive shoe? And when would you use one over the ...
11
votes
2answers
113 views

What is a “sling belay?”

Rock climbing topos have various standardized symbols, such as xx for a bolt anchor, or a dashed line for face climbing. In keys of symbols, I've sometimes seen SB defined as a "sling belay." What ...
11
votes
1answer
891 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
4answers
1k views

Rock Climbing falling.Turning upside down

What are the chances of falling and turning upside down, with your head down. Is the gear special from preventing such falls?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Anchor without cordelette?

I have the John Long book on climbing anchors and also a couple of others that describe the subject more briefly (Pesterfield, Traditional Lead Climbing, and Freedom of the Hills). When it comes to ...
10
votes
3answers
303 views

Is climbing an ambidextrous sport?

We know left-footed football players, we know right-handed and left-handed batmen and bowlers, we know left-handed or right-handed tennis players, and so on.. I know being a right handed guy I could ...
10
votes
2answers
392 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
7k 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
4answers
441 views

Learning Anchors - How is single cordelette loop anchor redundant?

I have climbed for a long time, but I want to switch to cordelette anchors for speed on multipitch. My main concern is in redundancy with the cordelette. I mentally check the anchor for any problems, ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Backup prusik for Abseiling: Where does it go?

When abseiling from an anchor during rock climbing, I like to use a backup prusik as a potential lifesaver in case I screw up. However, I have heard different advice on where to put it, both for ...
10
votes
2answers
744 views

Leader injured during multipitch trad climb, what to do?

I've been working on improving my self-rescue skills, but the skills I've learned so far seem to pertain mostly to single-pitch climbing. For example, a lot of people emphasize knowing how to escape a ...
10
votes
3answers
160 views

Should you occasionally use locking biners on pieces of protection when using alpine draws?

Since I mostly climb trad style, I don't use quickdraws for leading outside of the gym. I use alpine quick draws (two biners joined by dyneema slings) which offer benefits of adjustable length, ...
10
votes
2answers
656 views

Are manual double-back buckles on harnesses considered obsolete?

My current harness has these single-piece buckles: (source: http://www.mountaineeringmethodology.com/harness/) It might be due for replacement in one or two years, and I really like these buckles, ...
10
votes
3answers
368 views

Abandoning a multi pitch climb

If you're on a multi pitch route and you decide to abandon the climb and retreat(say the weather has turned unexpectedly). What is the minimum amount of gear you should leave behind as a rope anchor ...
10
votes
3answers
221 views

What should I look for in a rope for climbing?

I just started rock climbing recently. I don't have any gear of my own and the first thing I wanted to get was a rope. There are various ropes of different prices. What should I look for when buying a ...
10
votes
1answer
270 views

Why are these acceptable and safe anchors?

Everyone knows redundancy is chief when building climbing anchors. However, I have seen several types of anchors that don't appear to be fully redundant due to a single ring providing the master ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Bouldering vs aid climbing vs free climbing vs free solo climbing

What re the differences between these 4 styles of rock climbing? Bouldering Aid Climbing Free Climbing Free solo climbing
10
votes
1answer
3k 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
2answers
2k views

Lowering off from anchors vs. rappelling after a climb?

What is recommended after finishing a sport climb--lowering off from the anchors or rappelling ? Rappelling preserves the hardware better, but is usually thought to be more dangerous since you take ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

“Tag line”/“pull cord” for multipitch trad: what kind and when needed?

I normally climb with a single 10 mm x 60 m rope. On some multipitch trad climbs, I don't expect to have to rappel off, but I might have to in an emergency. Many people carry a special-purpose 6 mm ...
10
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Is this Chinese rock climbing gear manufacturer reliable?

Most (if not all) rock climbing big brands do manufacture their gear in China. Carabiners, cams, slings, whatever. Now, I stumbled upon this. ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
229 views

Quickest / most efficient way to ascend a hanging rope with rock climbing gear?

Recently I saw an arborist climbing up a single rope with an unbelievable speed, as if it was just a ladder. Of course he was using all kinds of specialized gear including foot/chest ascenders and I ...
9
votes
3answers
723 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

What to teach someone who wants to start lead climbing?

I have a friend who climbs with another group. She recently had her first couple of experiences as lead climber (sport climbing). I'm concerned that she doesn't have the required theory for lead ...
9
votes
3answers
567 views

Rock climbing over edge - What can I put under the rope to protect it?

I am working on a very fun problem with an overhung roof that induces serious rope drag (Goat Rock Roof @ Castle Rock if you know it). I am very nervous about training this beta intensive problem ...
9
votes
2answers
970 views

What happens to rappel anchors?

When setting up a rappel anchor, using things like webbing, rings, that kind of stuff, what happens to the anchor when you get to the bottom? Assuming you can't hike to the top and grab it, do you ...
9
votes
2answers
559 views

“Used” top rope when bouldering

My friend and I often boulder around my home instead of driving to the local area, and when attempting some more challenging features, such as overhangs and slightly taller cliffs, we would feel ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

When to set up a Cordelette and an Equalette?

I was going through anchoring techniques and I came across this well-received question: Anchor without cordelette? How should one decide when to go for a Cordelette or an Equalette?
9
votes
2answers
685 views

Why should the angle in a rope attached to two anchors be 60 degrees or less?

In this question it states that No angle of tension shall exceed 60 degrees. Why?
9
votes
3answers
123 views

Why static rope rather than webbing for toprope anchors?

I'm signed up for an AMGA single-pitch instructor course (to learn how to teach other people single-pitch climbing). One of the pieces of gear we're supposed to bring is a 30 meter static rope "for ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

How to heal “blown tips” faster after a climb?

I just started rock climbing recently (by the way, it's awesome!). I tend to tear up my fingertips though when climbing on rough rock or for long periods of time. It takes a couple days for them to ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

How do you compare between different rock climbing grades?

Different countries and rock climbing disiplines have different grading systems, for example the the British trad grade system (e.g. grade HVS 5(a)) and the US point grading system (e.g. 5.9) If I ...
9
votes
1answer
450 views

What are offwidth cracks and what makes them so hard to climb?

There is a notorious kind of crack called offwidths. Several friends of mine stated, that they were pretty devastated at first when they were not able to do 5.8 offwidths in the valley. Later they ...
9
votes
2answers
249 views

Belay with a broken arm

I follow Andy Kirkpatrick(Hull's second best climber) on instagram. He rencently posted this photo: with the comment: Teaching self rescue...(how to belay with a broken arm) It looks like a ...
9
votes
2answers
280 views

Alternatives to retreating quickly when caught in a lightning storm when rock climbing?

The general advice I have heard for surprise lightning storms when climbing is to retreat. Since retreating quickly is not without danger itself and often is not even all that quick (I personally have ...