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

8
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 ...
20
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)
9
votes
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
234 views

Rating unorthodox climbs

This question is sprouted from Brick Wall Rating I occasionally climb in places where it seems unorthodox, such as a brick wall. I've found that even with the plethora of hand holds that buildings ...
12
votes
4answers
510 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
2answers
960 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?
8
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 ...
27
votes
10answers
18k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
403 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 ...
33
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
567 views

Can a Finger Pulley injury be predicted / anticipated?

I resumed climbing a couple of months back after a gap of a couple of years. After spending a month of quality time at the wall regularly in order to get back in touch, I have started to try different ...
12
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 ...
10
votes
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
9
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 ...
21
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
490 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 ...
15
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
352 views

water knot vs figure 8 follow through vs X for rock climbing anchor - What is easiest to untie?

I've recently been using figure 8 follow through on anchor webbing, and although it takes more time to dress properly and setup than a water knot, it's easier to untie at the end of the day and I feel ...
7
votes
1answer
625 views

What does it mean to free a climbing route?

Sometimes I read articles about climbers having freed a route. For example: "Lynn Hill freed the Nose". What does this exactly mean in terms of how they climbed it? Specifically: Are they not ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a typical elongation of a dynamic climbing rope?

I'm looking into buying a rope for rock climbing, and I know that I need a dynamic rope for lead climbing. However, trying to find information on the elongation percentages of ropes is proving tricky. ...
16
votes
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.
13
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 ...
24
votes
1answer
410 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?
22
votes
5answers
3k views

Which fingers to use in a 2 finger pocket when rock climbing?

While rock climbing, when crimping a hold, I always use my index finger (and whatever other fingers fit) since I can stack my thumb on top. For two finger pockets is it better to use your index and ...
16
votes
2answers
394 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
1answer
5k 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
votes
2answers
193 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
854 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
576 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
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
60 views

What climbs at Tahquitz were the original definitions of YDS class 5 grades?

From what I understand of the history, Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) grades came about when class 5 in the preexisting system was subdivided into 5.0 through 5.9. This was done by Chuck Wilts, Royal ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How to calculate the force (kN) generated by a falling climber onto their protection?

What method would I used to calculate the likely force placed on a piece of protection if I were to fall onto it. Using knowledge of my weight, distance between myself and the gear and the amount of ...
8
votes
4answers
747 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Sandpapering Finger Tips

Is sandpapering your finger tips an effective way to improve anything about your rock climbing? On occasion, I will see climbers in YouTube videos or people at the local crag using sand paper on ...
8
votes
2answers
9k views

What's the minimum diameter cord to use when climbing a rope using a prusik

If I'm using two prusik's to climb a rope (one as a foot loop and one attached to harness directly) What's the minimum diameter of cord I should be looking for to remain safe?
6
votes
2answers
92 views

How to safely train for and grip pockets?

I was spurred to post this after reading Which fingers to use in a 2 finger pocket when rock climbing? Last year I injured myself training on a shallow three finger pocket with an open hand grip ...
6
votes
1answer
525 views

Cramping Fingers

I recently re-started to get into rock climbing but I've been having a lot of tough time with my fingers cramping up after I get off the wall. And the worst part of it is, I have to paddle down a good ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

Major fall, same for static and dynamic?

The UIAA says that you should retire your gear after a major fall is a fall with fall factor > 1.77. Now I was wondering if this criterion is the same for all kinds of material ? Dynamic ropes ...
2
votes
1answer
327 views

How do I tie a figure of 8 knot

How would I tie a double figure of eight knot for attaching to a rock climbing harness?
1
vote
1answer
469 views

FiveFingers Spyridon for Climbing? [closed]

So I am moving to Colorado in a little more than three weeks and super-pumped to elevate my experiences with the endless outdoor adventures! At this point in my life, I have six pair of shoes; three ...
17
votes
1answer
485 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
8k 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. ...
16
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
557 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
90 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
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 ...