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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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24 votes
3 answers
9k views

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 kg and I might climb with heavier partners (80-90 kg)
Miguel Madero's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
7k views

How do you compare between different rock climbing grades?

Different countries and rock climbing disiplines have different grading systems, for example the the British trad grade system (e.g. grade HVS 5(a)) and the US point grading system (e.g. 5.9) If I ...
user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
5k views

Backup prusik for Abseiling: Where does it go?

When abseiling from an anchor during rock climbing, I like to use a backup prusik as a potential lifesaver in case I screw up. However, I have heard different advice on where to put it, both for ...
Lagerbaer's user avatar
  • 2,500
48 votes
11 answers
82k 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 ...
john_science's user avatar
  • 5,766
40 votes
4 answers
12k 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 ...
DJBunk's user avatar
  • 1,081
22 votes
8 answers
3k 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 ...
user avatar
24 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
Scotty.NET's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
MaskedPlant's user avatar
  • 6,232
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Slings for anchoring and lanyard in rock climbing

Probably common question, but: What slings do you use to build anchors for belaying the 2nd in rock climbing? Dyneema or nylon? I had discussed this problem with my friend and he said that Dyneema is ...
dhpasta's user avatar
  • 263
13 votes
1 answer
547 views

Rating unorthodox climbs

This question is sprouted from Brick Wall Rating I occasionally climb in places where it seems unorthodox, such as a brick wall. I've found that even with the plethora of hand holds that buildings ...
Liam McInroy's user avatar
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 ...
user avatar
26 votes
5 answers
5k 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 ...
simont's user avatar
  • 483
26 votes
3 answers
4k views

How should I vet belayers? What should I look for?

The other night I went to the climbing gym, intending to look for a climbing partner once I got there. (My usual gym climbing partner isn't available to climb as often as I want to.) The gym provides ...
user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
user avatar
21 votes
4 answers
3k 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?
Reverend Gonzo's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer
23k views

Bouldering vs aid climbing vs free climbing vs free solo climbing

What re the differences between these 4 styles of rock climbing? Bouldering Aid Climbing Free Climbing Free solo climbing
user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
37k views

What's the minimum diameter cord to use when climbing a rope using a prusik

If I'm using two prusik's to climb a rope (one as a foot loop and one attached to harness directly) What's the minimum diameter of cord I should be looking for to remain safe?
user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
4k views

How to take care of climbing hands?

Being a climber one aim is to toughen up your hands (related: How to toughen up hands?). Building up callused skin is important but how do you keep it? Having dry hands especially from the climbing ...
Wills's user avatar
  • 12.2k
12 votes
2 answers
5k views

How should I choose between setting up a Cordelette or an Equalette climbing anchor?

I was going through anchoring techniques and I came across this well-received question: Anchor without cordelette? How should one decide when to go for a Cordelette or an Equalette?
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
48 votes
5 answers
24k views

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 ...
Mr.Wizard's user avatar
  • 9,526
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 ...
Eyal's user avatar
  • 2,844
36 votes
2 answers
18k views

If the Dawn Wall had been climbed before, why was the 2015 attempt so difficult?

There's a lot of talk in the media about Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell's free ascent of the dawn wall of El Capitan. This wall has been climbed before, but this is the first time it's been free ...
user avatar
32 votes
1 answer
57k 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?
Scotty.NET's user avatar
29 votes
7 answers
4k 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 ...
Laura's user avatar
  • 1,365
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 ...
Roflo's user avatar
  • 2,456
24 votes
4 answers
8k 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 (...
user avatar
23 votes
7 answers
825 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 ...
DudeOnRock's user avatar
  • 7,491
20 votes
3 answers
17k views

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 ...
Blackbear's user avatar
  • 1,902
19 votes
3 answers
10k views

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 ...
montane's user avatar
  • 5,585
17 votes
5 answers
13k views

How to get kinks and twists out of a climbing rope?

One complaint about using the Munter hitch for belaying is that it twists and kinks the rope. After doing a full rope length rappel with a Munter hitch down a slightly overhanging face to the base of ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 10.7k
17 votes
4 answers
3k views

How high to climb before clipping on a sport climb?

The guy who taught me to lead sport in the gym suggested that when I'm going for a clip, I position my body so that the clip is somewhere between my hips and my chest. He claimed it was a bad thing ...
user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
389 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 ...
user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
969 views

What should I look for in a rope for climbing?

I just started rock climbing recently. I don't have any gear of my own and the first thing I wanted to get was a rope. There are various ropes of different prices. What should I look for when buying a ...
GorrillaMcD's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
7k views

Is "Short roping" "Death Roping"?

I had a "discussion" with someone on Facebook recently. It came about over a photo shared in a group I'm a member of (I can't share the photo as it's not my property). The photo showed two people in ...
user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
3k 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 fisherman'...
DudeOnRock's user avatar
  • 7,491
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can a Finger Pulley injury be predicted / anticipated?

I resumed climbing a couple of months back after a gap of a couple of years. After spending a month of quality time at the wall regularly in order to get back in touch, I have started to try different ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
14 votes
3 answers
11k views

What to do at the top of a sport climb

I dabble a little at leading trad, but have never led a sport route. If I do a sport lead, I want to make sure I don't make some stupid mistake when I get to the top. For example, I don't want to ...
user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does it mean to free a climbing route?

Sometimes I read articles about climbers having freed a route. For example: "Lynn Hill freed the Nose". What does this exactly mean in terms of how they climbed it? Specifically: Are they not ...
shimizu's user avatar
  • 3,653
13 votes
7 answers
13k views

Quickest / most efficient way to ascend a hanging rope with rock climbing gear?

Recently I saw an arborist climbing up a single rope with an unbelievable speed, as if it was just a ladder. Of course he was using all kinds of specialized gear including foot/chest ascenders and I ...
flawr's user avatar
  • 1,747
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why should the angle in a rope attached to two anchors be 60 degrees or less?

This question asks how to set up a top rope anchor. It states that No angle of tension shall exceed 60 degrees. Why?
user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why static rope rather than webbing for toprope anchors?

I'm signed up for an AMGA single-pitch instructor course (to learn how to teach other people single-pitch climbing). One of the pieces of gear we're supposed to bring is a 30 meter static rope "for ...
user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to safely train for and grip pockets?

I was spurred to post this after reading Which fingers to use in a 2 finger pocket when rock climbing? Last year I injured myself training on a shallow three finger pocket with an open hand grip and ...
Mr.Wizard's user avatar
  • 9,526
11 votes
4 answers
4k views

Anchor without cordelette?

I have the John Long book on climbing anchors and also a couple of others that describe the subject more briefly (Pesterfield, Traditional Lead Climbing, and Freedom of the Hills). When it comes to ...
user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

"Used" top rope when bouldering

My friend and I often boulder around my home instead of driving to the local area, and when attempting some more challenging features, such as overhangs and slightly taller cliffs, we would feel ...
Liam McInroy's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
15k views

What is a typical elongation of a dynamic climbing rope?

I'm looking into buying a rope for rock climbing, and I know that I need a dynamic rope for lead climbing. However, trying to find information on the elongation percentages of ropes is proving tricky. ...
xdumaine's user avatar
  • 212
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

water knot vs figure 8 follow through vs X for rock climbing anchor - What is easiest to untie?

I've recently been using figure 8 follow through on anchor webbing, and although it takes more time to dress properly and setup than a water knot, it's easier to untie at the end of the day and I feel ...
SwimBikeRun's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Brick Wall Rating [closed]

Hi I am a new boulderer and have climbed many difficult routes, or official ones for that matter. Currently when I am not able to go out the local region, I attempt to send the side of my house. The ...
Liam McInroy's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why are twist-lock carabiners considered dangerous for some applications?

There are different types of locking carabiners. A screw-gate carabiner requires multiple rotations of the screw in order to lock it. A twist-lock carabiner locks automatically whenever you close it. ...
Mehmet Karatay's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
631 views

How do I tie a figure of 8 knot

How would I tie a double figure of eight knot for attaching to a rock climbing harness?
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

How use a nylon cordelette as an adjustable tether for rock climbing?

Sometimes when clipping in people who are rappelling, or setting up anchors in some places from above or showing people how to get onto a fixed line, I need an adjustable tether. I often carry a ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar