Hot answers tagged

39

There is no specific distance from which a person can fall and have it said they will survive or not survive. There are simply too many other variables that will dominate the factor of "distance." In 1971, flight attendant Vesna Vulović fell 33,333 ft (10,160 meters) and survived without a parachute. On the other hand 556,000 people died in 2013 from ...


32

It's not the fall that gets you, it's the sudden stop at the end. The most detailed data on the effects of large accelerations (or equivalently, decelerations) on the human body comes from research into spaceflight and aircraft ejection systems. There is a very detailed paper from NASA here, from which figure 5 (p. 36) is most useful. The summary is: it ...


26

A carabiner is designed to be loaded only along the long axis, near the spine (leftmost figure below). It will be weaker in any other direction of stress. Primary long-axis strength should be marked on the carabiner spine with an up-down arrow symbol, and is typically given in kilo-Newtons (one kN equals approximately 225 pounds of force). Cross-loading ...


24

The following references from a few major rope manufacturers cover rope care thoroughly. Please see the bottom of this answer for a summary. From Bluewater Ropes: Avoid stepping on your rope. Beside the potential of cutting, stepping on a rope will grind dirt into the core and increase the possibility of internal abrasion. Protect your rope from ...


23

Failure by cutting is a primary concern In terms of safety (rather than e.g. rope life) laboratory (UIAA) fall testing may not be the most important concern. Even a new, thick rope can be cut in a single fall across a sharp edge. This also applies to so-called "edge resistant" (defunct UIAA 108 standard) ropes. See this Yellow Spur fatality report. ...


21

The Dawn wall is one of the largest and most difficult climbs in the world, it's nearly 1000m of blankness, there isn't a lot to hold onto all the way up. But you're right, it has been "climbed" before. The Dawn wall was first climbed in 1970 by Warren Harding and Dean Caldwell. These climbers used a different technique to what Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy ...


20

I am not sure about the being able to feel more, but the most important reason I don't use socks is to avoid the rock boot sliding on my foot. If you are on a marginal grip using just the edge of your sole, you don't want the boot to move at all. This is also one of the reasons that rock boots for more experienced climbers are much more rigid than those ...


19

As a disclaimer I'm 6'3" so this isn't from experience! As a tall climber you're correct, I have a lot of advantages. Reach can be very advantageous, especially on bouldering. In my experience the disadvantages of me being tall (therefore the advantages of being shorter!) are: I have a longer reach but I also have longer levers. This means I find certain ...


18

This might sound a bit daft - but you could be holding on to the rock too tightly. Your other questions indicate you might be pretty new to climbing, and it is common for beginners to make this mistake. Primarily, you should be climbing with your legs - pushing your weight up. Legs are used to your weight - arms, and fingertips, are not. If you are steady ...


18

Although I am not a lab technician it is important to understand the dynamics at play in these tests. Below is the best example I have read on the subject. For the full article please read below. Behaviour of Rope Under Stretching During Fall - Authors: Vittorio Bedogni (CAI), Andrea Manes UIAA Wikipedia NOTE: Also included is the section on "impact ...


18

Both, sport climbing and trad climbing are a form of lead climbing, which means the first climber to go up is not protected by a rope from above. A sport climber uses quickdraws which, as you mentioned, get clipped to bolts that have been placed in 10 to 15 foot intervals. At the end of the climb, a sport climber can expect to find a belay anchor consisting ...


18

With dedication you could learn to climb at a top-rope or bouldering climbing gym without professional instruction. The key skill there is belaying, and you could learn that from videos. However I would never recommend this route if good instruction is available. You may have difficulty separating Internet know-it-alls from experts, therefore you may not ...


18

Here are a couple Climb on your Skeleton Overhanging climbing is hard work and tiring. You need to reduce the stress on your muscles by letting your skeleton hold as much of your body weight as possible. Keep your arms straight and your muscles relaxed, don't try and hold yourself against the face. Pull only when you need to pull Use your shoulders/Twist ...


17

The biggest difference in indoor climbing is that your routes are mapped out for you. It can be challenging to figure out the proper sequence, but it's much easier if you know where all the holds are right away. Another big factor is the abundance of large(ish) foothold. When setting in a gym (from 7 years of personal experience) even the tiniest jib can ...


16

In addition to using a Finger exerciser, I do the following: Squeezing plasticene or stress balls Dumb-bell curls Chin-ups, both on a bar, and finger chin-ups on a door frame or similar Press-ups on fingertips These give finger, hand, wrist and forearm strength - worthwhile using them together. The thing I'm not so good at is toughening up the backs of ...


16

Most climbers use a re-threaded figure 8. The knot is not that important, though. In reading many accident reports, I have never seen one where the knot came untied or where there was a rope failure due to the knot on the harness. Pick a knot you're very familiar with, check it, and you're done. Spend more time checking belay devices, locking caribiners, ...


16

Was it better than no protection? Probably. Would I recommend it? No. The reason is this: DMM performed some tests where they anchored a sling to a carabiner and a load (80kg), and dropped the load from various heights. The results are a bit more nuanced, but the gist is that you should never fall onto a sling from at or above the anchor without any dynamic ...


15

Climbing is the best exercise for finger and hand strength improvement, just make sure to warm up and stretch. EDIT: Just want to defend my answer. There are a lot of books out there you can read about climbing for training. Many of them will tell you not to waste your time cross training. The best training for climbing, is climbing. Now if you are ...


15

In Europe we have a few systems depending on the country, so in the UK we have two grading systems, adjectival and technical and they work as follows: Easy - E Moderate M - US 5.2 Difficult D - US 5.3 Hard Diff HD Very Difficult VD - US 5.4 Hard Very Difficult HVD Severe S - US 5.5 Hard Severe HS - US 5.6 Very Severe VS - US 5.7 or 5.8 Hard Very Severe HVS ...


15

Give them to those who need them. First of all, novice students in your gym or mountaineering school will be happy to use a bit heavier/older gear, but ease the burden of buying everything for their first trip. Just make sure that carabiners are safe, because the newbies can't tell themselves. Then, any local non-commercial groups, who organize rope fun ...


15

I couldn't have come up with a better example of "how carabiners should never be used" if I tried! In fact, the most likely explanation for that picture is either such a deliberate bad example, or a joke. A quite likely incomplete list: Use of non-locking carabiners in an anchor - rightmost arrow shows a nut wire just waiting to slip through a wire gate ...


14

It means the rope is rated for X falls where the fall factor is 1.77 and the weight is 80kg. In layman's terms it's a pretty big fall with a pretty big guy, the sort of fall that if you took you most likely wouldn't want to climb again for the rest of the day! You may well never have such a big fall at all (in fact I'd hope you wouldn't!) That said, the ...


14

First - Please do not only rely on answers in this site for creating top rope anchors. This is something that your life depends on, or the life of someone you care about, take it seriously. Seek the advice of an expert in person: At the local climbing gym, or guiding service. Creating climbing anchors is not something you learn simply by reading, you must ...


14

How dangerous is it to fall 3 meters when lead climbing? This depends a lot on the fall factor. Counterintuitively, the fall factor is higher, indicating a more dangerous fall, when you are near the beginning of a pitch. This is because there's less rope out, so there's less stretchiness. As Steed's comment points out, you're going to fall more than 6 ...


14

What you're talking about is Sport climbing. Generally these bolts are placed by the person who is creating the climb. They will normally top rope or abseil the climb and work out where they want it to go, then spend a couple of days placing the bolts, while on a top rope. They are drilled and glued into place and this can take a lot of time. Sometimes ...


14

All the major climbing sites agree on the two options for cleaning, and the subsequent drying: ukclimbing.com basicrockclimbing.com bealplanet.com etc Wash in cool water (less than 30°C) and use a mild detergent, either in a bath, or in the shower. Some people place it in the shower while they wash. Gentle brushing can help remove grit or sand, but be ...


14

You can buy specialist markers. They're designed to not impact the rope strength. Always use a specially designed rope marker as there is a comprehensive list of things to keep away from your rope and marker pen is one of them. The solvents can break down the nylon rope fibres making your rope potentially unsafe.


14

First of all: Walking a glacier contains some serious risks and roping up is not enough to cover that risks, but also knowledge of crevasse rescue is needed. Therefore I strongly recommend a glacier course where all those things are taught. Now for some basic things to consider when walking a glacier as a roped party: When walking a glacier, one normally ...


14

16ft (5m) When rock climbing, you're pretty much guranteed to be landing on rock if you fall. When I trained in CSPS and EMP III, the magic number was 16ft (~5m). If someone fell from upright with their feet above that height or higher onto a solid surface, then they were an instant bag and drag, aka: strapped to a spine-board and rushed to the hospital. ...


14

Whether you run out of rope or just can't complete the route, you have to bail as safely as possible. As soon as your belayer reaches the rope's middle mark, he should double check that there's a stopper knot at the end. Then, you would down climb to the nearest bolt and then proceed to bail on the route using a prusik backup, as described by this old Petzl ...



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