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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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
696 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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
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1answer
853 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 ...
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1answer
45 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 ...
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4answers
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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?
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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 ...
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2answers
357 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 ...
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4answers
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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, ...
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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 ...
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134 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, ...
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2answers
500 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, ...
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2answers
533 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 ...
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3answers
199 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 ...
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1answer
215 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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“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 ...
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1answer
114 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 ...
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5answers
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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. ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
646 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
287 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 ...
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2answers
712 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 ...
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2answers
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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?
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2answers
487 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 ...
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2answers
573 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?
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330 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, ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
256 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 ...
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2answers
135 views

Rope between legs while leading on rock, ice

When you're lead climbing, the most common way for the rope to hang naturally, if you don't do anything special, is usually between your legs. Is this OK on rock? On ice? Why or why not? On rock, the ...
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1answer
177 views

Big Wall Rock Climbing - Harness Off

Do climbers ever remove their harness when they are sleeping on the side of cliffs or for going to the bathroom? I imagine I would want to keep my harness on and be roped into the anchor even if the ...
9
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1answer
468 views

Slings for anchoring and lanyard in rock climbing

Probably common question, but: What slings do you use to build anchors for belaying the 2nd in rock climbing? Dyneema or nylon? I had discussed this problem with my friend and he said that Dyneema is ...
9
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1answer
515 views

How do I correctly clean (remove) Tri-Cams?

Tri-Cams have a reputation for fitting where other protection will not, and they are light weight and inexpensive compared to SLCDs. Unfortunately they also have a reputation for being hard to clean ...
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2answers
881 views

“Must Have” in a starter Trad Rack

After learning to climb indoors on top rope and learning to lead sport climbs outdoors I will be progressing into Trad climbing by taking an instruction course as well as climbing with other ...
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2answers
137 views

Climbing: fear/panic on boulder wall

I am wondering if anyone else has experienced fear/panic that gets in the way of bouldering, and what their tips are for dealing with this. (There is a prior thread on fear in lead climbing, but my ...
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2answers
374 views

Hauling a pack during climbing

Generally when doing multi-pitch climbs, I prefer to just climb with a light pack. However, sometimes that's just not possible and the pack(s) must be hauled instead. What are some good ways to haul ...
9
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1answer
302 views

Statistics on types and survivability of anchor failures?

The most recent (2013) edition of Climbing Anchors, by Long and Gaines, makes some interesting statements in the preface about catastrophic failures of anchors. Long first says that: when belay ...
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1answer
127 views

Bolt Conditions at the New River Gorge

I am getting back into sport climbing and I am planning a trip to the NRG. I get very nervous about safety issues in regards to climbing, almost to the point where I don't want to start again. One ...
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4answers
745 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 ...
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4answers
312 views

Belaying two seconds?

I'm planning on doing some Grade III scrambling/low grade multi-pitch climbing this weekend. Normally just me and my girlfriend would do this kind of thing, I'll lead she'd second. But I'm thinking of ...
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3answers
741 views

Avoiding a “ding-dong” when lead belaying in the gym?

I sometimes climb in the gym with a partner who outweighs me by about 50%. When he's leading and falls from above his protection, I can get pulled up to the first clip. If he's not very far up, this ...
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2answers
248 views

Foam vs hardshell climbing helmets?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of climbing helmet design (foam or hardshell)? Foam Hardshell PS: I do not intend to compare them by how much they cost.
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616 views

Who places the anchors that rock climbers use?

I've always wondered about the permanent "hooks" (it seems the proper term for them is "anchors" — pitons, bolts, etc.) that are placed in the some rock climbing routes to help climbers. Since they're ...