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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.

45
votes
12answers
31k 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 ...
45
votes
11answers
61k 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 ...
43
votes
5answers
18k 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 ...
37
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
32
votes
2answers
9k views

If the Dawn Wall's been climbed before why is the current attempt so difficult?

There's a lot of talk in the media at the moment about Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell Free ascent of the dawn wall of El Capitan. This wall's been climbed before but this is the first time it's ...
30
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
29
votes
9answers
16k 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
28
votes
1answer
45k 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?
27
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
27
votes
5answers
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 ...
27
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
27
votes
9answers
10k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
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 ...
26
votes
1answer
863 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?
25
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
23k 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.
25
votes
6answers
10k 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,...
24
votes
3answers
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 ...
24
votes
4answers
14k 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.
24
votes
4answers
949 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
7k 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)
23
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
6k 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 (...
23
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
7answers
668 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
3k 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? ...
22
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
2k 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?
20
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
2k 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: ...
20
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
609 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
317 views

Compromised Ropes in Retail Stores

Reposting this from a Facebook discussion. It's a picture taken from a retail store where they have attached a pin-tag through the rope to prevent theft; a common practice at this location. My gut ...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

How can someone fall 3m to the ground while top-roping & how to prevent it?

My boyfriend and I do top rope climbing quite regularly in our indoor climbing centre. On attempting a harder route, he slipped and fell, reaching the ground. I am trying to understand what went ...
19
votes
3answers
5k views

What can I do about a rock climbing ban?

Authorities have recently banned climbing in my favorite site "for safety reasons". This is, in my opinion, unfair, and was done for unknown political reasons. What can I do to hopefully change their ...
19
votes
4answers
427 views

How do you know if smaller brands of climbing equipment are safe?

There is a local shop that sells small brand name gear for pretty good prices. I am looking at their harnesses and quickdraws and would like to know: 1) Whether the equipment is safe - say compared ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

How to train climbing endurance at home?

Close to my home, there is only a bouldering gym, but no climbing gym that offers roped climbing. But my real goal in climbing is leading harder/longer routes. The bouldering really improves my ...
19
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...