Questions tagged [rock-climbing]

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.

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17 votes
3 answers
3k views

Mortality statistics: Ski touring vs rock climbing

In Switzerland, where I live, the communities of rock climbers and ski tourers are quite overlapping. I often rock climb in sport setups (single or multi-pitch and bouldering) but almost never go ski ...
1 vote
1 answer
231 views

Why is it safe to check in climbing gear onto a flight?

In the manual that comes with my rock climbing rope I bought (black diamond) there's a picture with a death sign when the temperature goes below -62 Celsius. Temperatures outside of planes reach well ...
10 votes
5 answers
4k views

What is the strength of an ATC belay device when used in a guide mode/multi-pitch setup?

Does anyone know the strength of an ATC when used in a multi-pitch set up? It occurred to me that the entire weight of a climber is resting on the strength of the ATC clip and not on any carabiner. I ...
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can an overhand loop be used to shorten nylon webbing as a personal anchor?

Is it safe to girth-hitch nylon webbing through my harness tie-in points and then shorten the webbing via an overhand loop (assume it is too long) and clipping the non-bight part to the bolt in the ...
2 votes
1 answer
358 views

Which way is which on the Wild Country variable controller belay device?

I purchased a Wild Country Variable Controller a while ago but have only used it a couple of times. It has an asymmetrical profile meaning one side provides more friction (for belaying) and the other ...
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are there any concrete techniques for down climbing?

I mostly boulder and I don't like to jump down from the top of the route, because my ankles/knees/back feels weird when landing. However, when I climb down sometimes my arms feel even more tired than ...
6 votes
2 answers
859 views

Why not use Reverso in autoblock/guide mode for top roping (or lead climbing)?

I'm simply wondering why we don't use reversos or similar belay device in guide mode when we top rope or lead climb. During normal use, letting go of the brake rope removes any braking in case the ...
4 votes
1 answer
838 views

Using Gri Gri 2's Carabiner with Another Belay Device?

I've been using an AustriAlpin autolock carabiner with my Gri Gri 2 for around 9 months, a few times a week (1 to 3 times). It's a very solid, robust and big carabiner, which means that's not too ...
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

What extra gear to take up a multipitch climb?

When climbing single pitch routes, it makes sense to carry as little as possible while actually on the route, as almost every eventuality can be easily dealt with by simply lowering back to the ground ...
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

Munter hitch + prusik for rope solo lead climbing

Disclaimer This is a question regarding a theoretical technique, and not a tutorial, advice or recommendation. This technique has not been tested, and might potentially be completely unsafe. Climbing ...
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

What do you call a nearly vertical step on a ridge?

Here is an example where someone climbing strictly on the ridge would encounter a vertical section: What do you call this feature?
17 votes
4 answers
4k views

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, ...
1 vote
1 answer
196 views

When did the manufacture date became mandatory written on labels in Europe?

Equipment like ropes, slings, harness, etc. have the manufacture date on their label. I still have some older equipment without any manufacture date written on their label. When did it become ...
18 votes
5 answers
20k views

Does sandpapering finger tips improve rock climbing?

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 sandpaper on their ...
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Sensible primary and secondary device combination for toprope soloing

I have been trying to find the "canonical" post on this topic without success - each post has its own take on the issue. And I understand that opinions and preferences abound - but I'm ...
17 votes
4 answers
29k 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 ...
8 votes
2 answers
686 views

Is rope-soloing inherently dangerous, and if so, why?

I've never tried rope-soloing and don't have a very detailed idea of how it's done. But reading the 2015 edition of Accidents in North American Mountaineering, I was struck by how many accidents ...
2 votes
2 answers
450 views

Lead climbing and descending with a rappel

After you finish a lead climb and are ready to descend by rappelling off the top anchors, do you pull the rope through all the quick draws or do you just clean the quick draws on the way down?
10 votes
2 answers
304 views

Big wall strategies for a three-member team

I'm off this weekend for a three-day big wall with two other friends. I read "Big Walls", by Long and Middendorf, but the book is too old and doesn't really mention strategies for a three-member crew. ...
7 votes
3 answers
6k views

Lowering a climber from above using a belay device in autolocking mode

I recently gave a belay from above to a group of five people who were all doing the same single-pitch climb and then being lowered off. (In this case the reason for belaying from above was that the ...
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is belaying with a hip belay unsafe?

It has been suggested to me in a comment, about an answer of mine that suggests using a hip belay, that: There's a reason ATCs, plates, GriGris, etc got popular: they're safer. I know I stopped ...
3 votes
1 answer
264 views

Is there a reasonable way to build a toprope anchor if the only available natural anchor points are greater than 90 degrees apart?

I generally use the Joshua Tree anchor system for toproping, as taught to me by a professional guide. Essentially, a static rope is tied to two anchor points to make a "V" shape of 90 ...
13 votes
5 answers
3k views

Belaying two seconds?

I'm planning on doing some Grade III scrambling/low grade multi-pitch climbing this weekend. Normally just me and my girlfriend would do this kind of thing, I'll lead she'd second. But I'm thinking of ...
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

How are different terrains, defined by their angle, called in climbing?

I started climbing 6 months ago and finally need to understand the climbing nomenclature when it comes to terrain angles. So, I would like to ask the climbers how the following angles would be called. ...
12 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why are climbing hangers/anchors that thin?

I've always wondered why the typical plates bolted to rock in order to secure climbers are that thin. I imagine them behaving like a knife under a sudden load in a falling scenario. Wouldn't ...
46 votes
6 answers
58k views

Why go without socks with climbing shoes?

I've been going climbing (indoor bouldering) for about six months, using shoes I rented at the gym, and wearing socks (and everything was fine). I've recently got a pair of climbing shoes, and want to ...
5 votes
4 answers
3k views

How to make it easier to untie a figure-8 knot after finishing a climb?

If you tie a figure-8 knot while rock climbing and fall a few times (especially if they're dynamic lead falls), the knots will become so difficult to untie that you sometimes have to use a carabiner ...
14 votes
2 answers
858 views

Why are these acceptable and safe anchors?

Everyone knows redundancy is chief when building climbing anchors. However, I have seen several types of anchors that don't appear to be fully redundant due to a single ring providing the master point....
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why does my hand skin continue to crack and peel for days after rock climbing?

I've been having a problem where my hand skin starts to crack and peel on extended climbing trips and I can't get it heal, even by taking several rest days in a row. Instead, it just gets worse and ...
11 votes
3 answers
7k views

Top Rope Anchors - is a figure-8 on a bight stronger or just easier to untie than an overhand knot?

I've been learning to build basic TR anchors; a sling clipped to two bolts with a master point in the loop of a figure-eight on a bight. While learning this I struggled to get a tidy figure-eight ...
3 votes
2 answers
464 views

Soft catch for much lighter climber

One of my friends is just starting to get into lead climbing. I'd like to find some good approaches for providing them with a soft catch if they fall. However, there is a big weight difference ...
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Indoor Rock Climbing (Boulder) - Finger Skin Coming Off - How to Treat and Avoid It?

I started indoor rock climbing 3 weeks ago. I do it 2-3 times a week. I noticed after today's climb that my pinky finger right hand skin is coming off. Also two other fingers skin is kinda loose. How ...
6 votes
1 answer
198 views

Bouldering in Font

I will be heading to Font and am beginning to plan specific areas to head to. I'm bouldering up to 6b but have heard the grades are stiffer over there (compared to the UK) - if there is a difference, ...
7 votes
1 answer
183 views

Historical data about rock climbing / bouldering ascents

I am always interested in the history of rock climbing. Lately, I tried to collect data about male and female first ascents to visualize progression in rock climbing over time (I have a small blog ...
16 votes
4 answers
9k views

Rock climbing over edge - What can I put under the rope to protect it?

I am working on a very fun problem with an overhung roof that induces serious rope drag (Goat Rock Roof @ Castle Rock if you know it). I am very nervous about training this beta intensive problem ...
1 vote
2 answers
640 views

What's the best way to carry a stick clip while climbing?

In this article and this Outdoors.SE answer, the following use for stick clips is mentioned: Having a clip stick means you can take a quickdraw out at a time. Just lower to the next bolt, clip ...
25 votes
7 answers
10k 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 ...
14 votes
4 answers
4k views

Climbing attached to a carabiner rather than tying in

I've just started rock climbing at an indoor climbing gym with a few friends. I noticed on the auto-belay walls, the was a carabiner you clip to your harness (I assume in the belay loop). Is it safe ...
3 votes
2 answers
145 views

Rock climbing around Seattle area

I recently moved to Seattle from the bay area. Does anyone have any recommendations on climbing areas close to Seattle. I know of Index, but I have heard it's pretty hard. I am more of a beginner.
3 votes
2 answers
783 views

Belaying with two hands below atc

I was trained to belay at a summer camp by an adventure group. The way I was taught was to always have two hands below the atc and to pull up with both hands to tighten the rope and then brake with ...
12 votes
3 answers
6k views

Correct and incorrect slip-slap-slide belay technique

This blog has a discussion of the slip-slap-slide and PBUS techniques for taking in rope when belaying. Here is a video demonstrating PBUS. Slip-slap-slide is illustrated on p. 161 of Freedom of the ...
9 votes
3 answers
3k views

Does it make sense to use fall arresters in rock climbing to reduce the forces involved?

I understand that the fall factor depends on the actual length of the rope that will absorb the energy during a fall. The longer the rope, the smaller the rigidity of the system, and thus, the smaller ...
-5 votes
3 answers
489 views

Why would placing bolts on a trad climbing route make it inconvenient to climb?

In this question, an interesting comment was added by @endolith: If the route is listed in a guide book as a trad route, it would be seen as … very rude to install bolts on it Is there a practical ...
7 votes
4 answers
5k views

Can anyone just go ahead and install a rock climbing bolt?

As per Who places the anchors that rock climbers use? it seems that there usually isn't a legally established authority managing rock climbing routes. As such, its up to groups of volunteers to ...
18 votes
5 answers
7k views

In outdoor sport climbing, why are bolts placed so far apart?

In indoor gyms, lead climbing routes would usually have bolts spaced around 6 feet apart. However in outdoor routes, something like 10 feet seems to be the norm, which is quite perplexing given that ...
27 votes
8 answers
11k views

Is it okay to “free solo” in popular climbing spots?

Our climbing group had a disagreement today with another set of climbers over the fact that my friend was doing “free solo” on what normally would be a 5.6 top rope route. Personally I wasn’t happy ...
3 votes
4 answers
3k views

Has any late-starting climber (36 years old) ever accomplished anything noteworthy?

I started climbing a year ago, at the age of 36. I really enjoy the sport and try to climb a lot. However, lately I've been thinking if it is possible to achieve anything (worthy of mention) for ...
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is a "spit anchor"?

In an English climbing guidebook about a French region, I read the term spit anchor in the general description of the equipment of the (multi-pitch) routes of some crags. I never heard that term ...
12 votes
1 answer
14k 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
771 views

Overhand versus underhand loop in tying up a bowline knot [duplicate]

I have never seen any experienced climber tie up a bowline knot starting up with an underhand loop (*). Bowline knots are most typically started with an overhand by flipping the standing part of the ...

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