Rock climbing is an activity in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls.

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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 ...
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10answers
12k 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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
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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
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2answers
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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.
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4answers
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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 ...
18
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3answers
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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)
18
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2answers
2k 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 ...
17
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1answer
310 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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
289 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
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5answers
696 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 ...
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3answers
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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
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2answers
936 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 ...
14
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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
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2answers
1k 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
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3answers
648 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: ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
13
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6answers
342 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
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3answers
966 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 ...
13
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4answers
1k 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 ...
13
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1answer
326 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
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4answers
385 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 ...
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5answers
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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. ...
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6answers
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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 ...
12
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2answers
769 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
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2answers
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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
2k 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
494 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
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3answers
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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
787 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?
11
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2answers
171 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
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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 ...
11
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2answers
165 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 ...
11
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1answer
6k 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
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3answers
269 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
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2answers
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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
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1answer
114 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
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1answer
691 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
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2answers
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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
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2answers
320 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
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3answers
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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 ...
10
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3answers
2k 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
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3answers
203 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
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2answers
171 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 ...
10
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1answer
1k 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
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1answer
102 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
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4answers
894 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?
9
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1answer
241 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, ...