Hot answers tagged

46

No you should not use a bicycle helmet for climbing. They are designed for different types of impacts and will not provide you with proper protection outside of their designed activity. Bicycle helmets are designed for a SINGLE ground impact. Like modern cars they are designed to crumple and absorb the energy from an impact. They probably provide the ...


30

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

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. ...


25

For the sake of your tendons, it is better to use your ring and middle finger in two finger pockets, because of how your muscles in your forearm insert on your fingers, and how they're wired to your nervous system. You essentially only have one muscle which acts on all of your fingers, called flexor digitorum profundus. This muscle fans out into four ...


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 ...


21

When using lead climbing techniques the lead climber is belayed by his partner and as he climbs he places protection (e.g. camming devices). Once at the top of the pitch, the lead climber then belays his partner on the pitch. The second climber retrieves the protection as he climbs.


21

If you drop a belay plate you can use a Munter Hitch to descend down the rope. Here's an animated example of how to tie this knot (1 to 6 only) It works like a belay plate (but in reverse) so if you hold your hand close to your leg it will release. Moving it forward locks the slip knot. You can use a munter with two ropes (or one rope in half) or a ...


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

First, prevention is going to give you the best bang for your buck. Make sure your shoes dry properly between uses by hanging them out, and not keeping them in a bag/trunk/confined space. During your climbing session, it's a good idea to take your shoes off between climbs, or at least once in a while to let them dry out some. For odor control, I find that ...


19

One method is to build a brake out of carabiners. The minimum equipment for this is three oval biners plus a locking biner, and the diagrams below show how to construct the system with only this many biners. However, this setup doesn't give much friction, especially with a thin rope, and normally people use at least one more oval, as described in the text ...


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

There are two interpretations of 'Mountaineering' depending on the context in which you use the word: Mountaineering is any activity in a mountainous environment. It includes rock climbing, ice climbing, hiking, orienteering, skiing, and 'mountaineering' in its own right (see below)... Mountaineering as a specific activity is usually used to include ...


17

I would say you need things in this order. Only #1 is required: A harness. You can't climb with a rope unless you have one. Shoes. You can get by with runners, but climbing shoes make a world of difference. Chalk/chalk bag. If you don't sweat much, this is not crucial, but a little chalk is very nice for keeping your fingers from being slippery. If you ...


17

The manufacturer of your rope says: Time in use : The potential lifetime of BEAL PPE in use is up to a maximum of 10 years. The lifetime of the rope in use must never exceed 10 years. The rope must be retired immediately: if it has held a major fall, approaching fall factor 2 if inspection reveals or even indicates damage to the ...


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

Basically, "spotting" someone means making sure that they safely land on the pad with their feet first to prevent injuries in case of a fall. This means several distinct tasks: Moving a falling climber to the pad: try to guide them towards the pad, ideally by pushing at the hips or shoulders. Don't try to catch them (which includes not standing directly ...


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

You will learn to fall through practice however there are some important points to consider: While climbing DO NOT let the rope wrap/run around/behind your leg(s), when you fall you will flip upside down! Therefore always know where the rope is! DO NOT Kick/Push off the wall, you will only pendulum back into it harder!!! Always know where on the route ...


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 ...


16

The job of a spotter is to prevent the climber from landing on their head and (if possible) ensure they land on their feet and on the crashpad. This may involve moving the crashpad (which should coincide with the climber having a secure hold or position. The job of a spotter is not to "catch" the climber! That's something they're simply not going to be able ...


15

I would inspect your rope long before you get to the crag, rather than just before you're about to use/need it. Rope inspection is essentially going over the whole length of the rope, looking for grit or evidence of wear in the outer layer. One thing to note, the inside of the rope might have been strained and this isn't easily visible from the outside - ...


15

Your equipment list will depend on whether you are: Free soloing (climbing without protective equipment; not good for a beginner!) Top roping Lead climbing Assuming that you aren't Free soling, because there you don't need anything, you'll need at least the following in order: A friend that can belay you You're definitely not going to go solo when ...


15

Be observant If you go to the gym often take note of who the regulars are and their general abilities. You aren't going to know everyone's name but you might get a rough idea of their capabilities. This will give you introduction lines like: I haven't seen you around here very much. Are you new? I noticed you mostly stick to bouldering. Last week ...


14

I'm not sure that this is something that can be properly explained over the internet. You really need to be instructed and supervised by a real person - preferably indoors first. I have found a pretty good instructional video on YouTube, although it is quite basic - I've reviewed a few others on there, and they are unfortunately questionable in their ...


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

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 ...


14

Ice screws have a tendency for pressure melting if constantly loaded over some time. Therefore if you build your fixed point belay system and and keep it under more or less constant load while belaying your partner, the screw might start to migrate as the ice below it melts slowly and refreezes above the screw. By this, a screw that was close to bomb-proof ...


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 ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible