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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49 votes
9 answers
14k views

Why is it bad to use your whole foot in rock climbing

I was reading: “The larger the foot-holds, the more beginners tend to put as much of their shoes onto them. Instead, also when the foot-hold offers more space, we must still use only the forefoot ...
Sidharth Ghoshal's user avatar
48 votes
11 answers
81k 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
  • 5,756
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
  • 9,506
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
44 votes
12 answers
41k views

Should overweight people ever climb?

I used to be a regular climber, and unfortunately I have put on some serious weight over the last 4 years, and I have not been able to climb as much as would have loved to. While, I am still working ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
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
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
36 votes
5 answers
27k views

What is the difference between "dry rope", "non-dry rope" and "dry core rope"?

I've just recently gotten into climbing and so far the ropes have always been provided for me. I'm starting to look at getting my own rope for outside climbing, and am confused by some of the ...
nhinkle's user avatar
  • 8,710
32 votes
5 answers
9k views

Which fingers to use in a 2 finger pocket when rock climbing?

While rock climbing, when crimping a hold, I always use my index finger (and whatever other fingers fit) since I can stack my thumb on top. For two finger pockets is it better to use your index and ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 10.7k
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
31 votes
9 answers
23k views

What are the advantages of being short when climbing?

My girlfriend often complains that a route or boulder was created for tall climbers. In my experience that sometimes is true: I easily get a hold, she has to jump. However, Lynn Hill proved that a ...
Jon's user avatar
  • 1,491
30 votes
9 answers
21k views

Techniques for handling pumped arms?

I love rock climbing and I try to go to my local gym and boulder as often as possible (usually 2-3 times a week). But it's really hard for me to climb for any extended period of time because my arms ...
DJMcMayhem'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
29 votes
4 answers
8k views

What is the point of belay glasses?

I was going through the REI website for some of the products and I stumbled upon this one here. It's called Y & Y VERTICAL Classic Belay Glasses The product punchline says: Stop wrenching ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
29 votes
3 answers
9k views

What should one do when climbing if someone above you yells ROCK?

Hearing someone above you yell ROCK when climbing is a scary experience because that means that an object (usually a rock) is plummeting down to the route towards you. Hopefully you are wearing your ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
29 votes
7 answers
14k views

What's the best way to carry a dslr camera when rock-climbing?

I am interested in hearing how people take their dslrs (digital single lens reflex camera) onto multi-pitch-rock-climbs. I have carried mine up in a small pack, but I end up taking hardly any pictures,...
DudeOnRock's user avatar
  • 7,491
28 votes
4 answers
2k views

What to do if the second seems stuck and absolutely no communication is possible?

Backstory: A few months ago, I experienced the following situation: We (two people) were climbing the last pitch of a multi-pitch route. Near the end, there was a cave-like chimney. Basically a ...
anderas's user avatar
  • 4,447
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 ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 2,977
27 votes
5 answers
4k views

What are the benefits of learning to climb outdoors rather than indoors?

I would say I'm a fairly experienced hiker, and would love to begin climbing some more challenging mountains, i.e. mountains that require actual climbing, rather than just hiking. I have next to no ...
Cthulhu's user avatar
  • 485
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
26 votes
4 answers
18k views

What are common climbing techniques for strongly overhanging walls and roofs?

What are common climbing techniques for strongly overhanging walls and roofs? In order to avoid a strength oriented climbing style and focus on technique.
Jon's user avatar
  • 1,491
26 votes
1 answer
1k views

What sort of rock climbing grade can a goat do?

It is quite well known that goats are into free solo rock climbing. Is there any evidence (even if anecdotal) of the highest grades they are able to climb?
ArjunShankar's user avatar
25 votes
7 answers
26k views

What are the key differences between Mountaineering and Rock Climbing?

I think the title speaks for itself. I have done a basic google search and I do not find the references to be sufficient. I'm looking for a short synopsis that would educate a layman such as myself.
Russell Steen's user avatar
25 votes
4 answers
1k views

Keeping the things interesting in a small climbing gym

I had been a regular climber half a decade back. And, then I got off the routine. Now I am trying to get back into climbing. For that, I go to a local climbing gym kind of thing managed by a friend ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
25 votes
4 answers
6k views

Is it realistic to teach yourself rock climbing?

I've been wanting to get into rock climbing for a while but I live in a very flat area with no climbing gyms around. I'm planning on moving to the Pacific Northwest soon and I wanted to know what the ...
Blackbear's user avatar
  • 1,892
25 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
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
25 votes
2 answers
3k views

How can I improve my footwork while rock-climbing?

When I'm rock climbing, I feel like I've got hand holds down as far as where to grab on and understand that the hands are mainly for balance. However, I can't seem to figure out my feet. There are ...
GorrillaMcD's user avatar
24 votes
4 answers
6k views

How do forest fires affect rock climbing?

The Kenow fire ripped through the Rockies near where I live. Flames were reported to be hundreds of meters high coming off the tops of some trees. Some of those flames licked the crags I most ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
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
24 votes
4 answers
3k views

How to inspect climbing bolts?

I am most interested in setting up a top rope anchor on 2 bolts side by side. I feel like in this case you almost have to be more careful using bolts for a top rope than sport climbing because in ...
DJBunk's user avatar
  • 1,081
24 votes
4 answers
7k 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
24 votes
3 answers
5k views

What happens to cams after climbing?

What do people do with their cams after they've reached the top of the rock? Is there some special way of getting them down again? Seeing the prices of around 50 € per piece they can hardly just leave ...
David's user avatar
  • 1,037
24 votes
4 answers
17k views

How should a climbing rope be stored?

I've purchased my first climbing rope and am wondering how it should be stored when not in use. I have a rope bag which I assume is a good home for the rope; should it be kept tightly coiled inside ...
STW's user avatar
  • 1,450
23 votes
7 answers
821 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
23 votes
2 answers
4k views

How to "spot" someone who is bouldering?

We have discussed a lot and at length about how to climb and other climbing techniques. I haven't come across a single post that talks about Spotting techniques. What are the duties of a Spotter? ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
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
23 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why does my belay device have two holes?

I have a belay device that looks like: which I used when I am belaying someone who is top roping or leading. However, my rope only goes through one of those slots. What is the purpose of the other ...
Reverend Gonzo's user avatar
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
21 votes
8 answers
11k views

How do you tie in to the centre of a rope?

Suppose you're leading a short pitch (20-30m) and you have two followers, or you want to double rope the route, and want to simply half your rope and tie into the centre, pulling the two halves up ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
21 votes
4 answers
9k views

Is it safe to cut a climbing rope in half?

I recently bought a 70 meter climbing rope from REI because it was a great price on the outlet. Last weekend I used it for the first time in the Texas hill country, where 99% of routes need a rope ...
Chris Mendez's user avatar
  • 7,210
21 votes
3 answers
1k views

Micro-Fractures in Climbing Equipments

I have always been very careful while handling climbing gear. Last year while returning from an expedition, I met a group that was returning from a tough-looking climb. They were selling off a few of ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
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
21 votes
3 answers
734 views

How should a climbing rope be cleaned?

What products and process should be used to clean a climbing rope when it gets sufficiently dirty? How would I remove as much dirt and grime as possible without negatively affecting the strength or ...
STW's user avatar
  • 1,450
20 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why would you climb hard bigwall projects in Yosemite in winter?

One of the hardest routes on El Cap, The Dawn Wall, was done by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson in January 2015. What are some of the reasons to choose to climb such a hard route in winter, when the ...
Paul Paulsen's user avatar
  • 4,329
20 votes
5 answers
3k views

How do I get my fingers and toes warm before rock climbing at cold temperatures?

I've had now a couple of days when going rock climbing while the temperatures are below the general comfort zone (meaning below 6 °C/ 43 °F). When starting to climb, my fingers got cold rather fast ...
user4120010's user avatar
20 votes
4 answers
3k views

Rappelling in the Rain

Last night I had a nightmare that I was 5 pitches off the ground and it started to pour rain. When I woke up I realized I have no idea how to deal with this. Asking around, everyone says two things: ...
john_science's user avatar
  • 5,756
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
  • 1,892
20 votes
6 answers
13k views

Why do many climbers appear to not trust their belay loops?

The belay loop is the strongest part of the climbing harness, so why do so many climbers not trust it? It’s very common to see climbers backing up their belay loop with a separate piece of webbing or ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k

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