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 slip-...


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 ...


31

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 ...


27

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 ...


27

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. ...


24

My answer is "don't ask". It's not so much that it's "impolite", but it's an imposition to them and potentially dangerous for you: Belaying can take quite some time, so you're asking the person to give up a chunk of their recreation time to a total stranger. It's not like you're asking someone to help for 30 seconds You're putting your life in their hands, ...


22

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 ...


20

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 ...


19

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 ...


19

I was thinking about this question while rappelling over an overhang this evening with my little girl and payed attention to exactly what I do: Plant your feet on the edge of the overhang, keep your legs straight, and let the rope through your descender until your body has cleared the roof. Think of the wall as flat ground, you want your body as ...


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

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

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, ...


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 ...


17

Everyone who climbs suffers from this to some degree, so you need to accept that doing this will make you scared. I've had very similar issues to the one's your describe over the years. I've tried several techniques to help with this with mixed result. From my personal experience the below didn't work for me (they may for you) Fall training, i.e. taking ...


17

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 ...


17

The overall risk comparison between being alone or in a group can be split into parts: falling: no increased risk This is obviously independent of being in a group or soloing as climbing on a via ferrata is a solo activity. severity of fall: hardly any increased risk The safety device used on via ferratas is a single user device. So the only factor ...


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

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 m ...


16

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 ...


16

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 ...


16

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 ...


16

Twin ropes can be as small as 6.9mm (35g/m), and are only used in pairs; you tie into two ropes, and clip both as though they were a single rope. This provides you with the redundancy of having more than one rope, but without the weight of carrying two single ropes. Twin ropes also allow a full-rope-length rappel which often strongly factors in the choice ...


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

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 ...


15

The knot reduced the runner rating in half, but since there are two strands , its back to the UIAA standard of 22KN ... The 22kN rating is for the loop strength of the sling, not the single-strand strength. Therefore any reduction in strength caused by a knot puts the strength below the 22kN standard. Stated strength for a girth hitch varies from one ...


15

The WP article is pretty good, but SE is meant to be standalone, so I'll try to give my interpretation of the American system, the Yosemite Decimal System. This system is for free climbing (mountaineering, trad climbing, sport climbing, and gym climbing). It doesn't cover aid climbing or bouldering. 1 = Hiking. Example: Kilimanjaro. 2 = May use hands for ...



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