59 votes
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Should overweight people ever climb?

Should overweight people climb? If they want to, then yes of course they should. I don't have any hard fact to back it up, but I do know a few climbers that are slightly overweight and have ...
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  • 21.5k
57 votes
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How far would you need to fall for it to be fatal?

It's not the fall that gets you, it's the sudden stop at the end. The most detailed data on the effects of large accelerations (or equivalently, decelerations) on the human body comes from research ...
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  • 2,240
45 votes

How far would you need to fall for it to be fatal?

There is no specific distance from which a person can fall and have it said they will survive or not survive. There are simply too many variables that will dominate the factor of "distance." In 1971,...
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39 votes

Is there a way to find out the age of climbing ropes?

In the end I have contacted the manufacturer, and received a detailed answer surprisingly quickly. So turns out, that the last 2 digits of the batch number are the year of manufacture. E.g. ...
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  • 3,474
38 votes
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At what angle should an ice screw be screwed into the ice?

All of the resources that I can find say that it should be done with the screw tip pointing up and the hanger below with up to a twenty-degree angle from horizontal. Contrary to what you ...
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36 votes
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Why would you climb hard bigwall projects in Yosemite in winter?

I just finished Caldwell's book Push. The big walls in Yosemite are essentially vertical deserts. Even in winter they're in the full sun much of the day. It would drop below freezing at night, but ...
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34 votes

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

If you're top roping on a 14.5m climb, 10% stretch* in the 29m of rope between you will be up to 2.9m. In practice there's less rope than that between you, but if there's a little slack in the rope on ...
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  • 7,737
33 votes
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What is the point of belay glasses?

Like it says in the other comment, these glasses are to be used when belaying so that you don't have to tilt your head up. The lenses are made of a prism-shaped glass that bends the light in such a ...
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  • 3,474
32 votes

Should overweight people ever climb?

I'm fat, and I climb. Now to be fair I climb indoors and not up the side of a mountain, but some of the problems I face would tend to be the same. Also I climb for fun. It's a much better workout ...
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  • 2,820
32 votes
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What are the benefits of learning to climb outdoors rather than indoors?

In your specific situation where it is either start climbing now indoors or in spring outdoors, that alone is reason enough to prefer indoors. Then there are the following already mentioned benefits ...
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  • 21.5k
30 votes

What are the measurable prerequisites of strength and/or flexiblity for starting to climb in a climbing gym?

I am going to say that there aren't any. I have always heard stories of big beefy guys who can a zillion pull-ups getting out into real climbing and then realizing that there are very few features ...
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30 votes
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Why is there so much emphasis on in-person professional instruction in outdoor sports?

I was a tennis instructor for about 10 years. Here are a few things from my experience that can become problems for you with learning through videos. 1). You have to retain everything that you watched ...
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  • 416
29 votes

Why is there so much emphasis on in-person professional instruction in outdoor sports?

I can answer only from experience from learning ice-skating, swimming and tennis. No video can tell you what you are doing wrong. For that, you need an experienced instructor. And not all ...
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  • 22.2k
27 votes
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Why are indoor climbing grades easier?

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 ...
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  • 1,524
27 votes
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Is it polite to ask other climbers to belay for you?

My answer is "don't ask". It's not so much that it's "impolite", but it's an imposition to them and potentially dangerous for you: Belaying can take quite some time, so you're asking the person to ...
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  • 440
27 votes

How to instruct someone how to take off a climbing harness?

Been there, done that, it's far more worrisome when you have to show them how to put the harness on and then have them test that it's tight enough. And like you said, you really don't want to touch ...
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26 votes
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How should I vet belayers? What should I look for?

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. ...
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  • 9,608
26 votes

What are the measurable prerequisites of strength and/or flexiblity for starting to climb in a climbing gym?

If you can climb a ladder, you can start rock climbing. You won't be doing crazy stuff unless you get more practice and go often enough to build strength, but there will be routes you can work on. ...
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  • 10.6k
26 votes

Should overweight people ever climb?

You could ask the similar question "Most runners I see aren't fat, so is it wrong to start running as a massive guy?" Of course the good and really good climbers are most likely on the thinner side ...
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  • 12.1k
26 votes
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Can you Rappel with an Old Climbing Rope?

You probably should not use it any more. Old ropes seem to be surprisingly strong. A German mountaineering magazine made tests with old ropes. Of 14 tested ropes, 10 would still have been strong ...
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  • 6,135
25 votes
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What are offwidth cracks and what makes them so hard to climb?

Off width cracks are cracks that are too big to finger jam or fist jam, but too small for you to fit inside and chimney climb, so you have to come up with really awkward and very physically excerting ...
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  • 53k
24 votes
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What do the climbing terms "Redpoint", "Pinkpoint", "Flash" and "Onsight" mean?

The two terms specifically refer to the finer aesthetics of Lead Climbing, in which a climber will either create intermediate anchors using gear (referred to as traditional climbing), or will use the ...
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  • 2,702
24 votes
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How to walk as a roped party on a glacier?

First of all: Walking a glacier contains some serious risks and roping up is not enough to cover that risks, but also knowledge of crevasse rescue is needed. Therefore I strongly recommend a glacier ...
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24 votes
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Why does suspension trauma happen?

Most climbing harnesses support the majority of your weight, if freely suspended, around the tops of the thighs. While the waist belt may be designed to take the brunt of loads in a fall once you are ...
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  • 6,172
23 votes
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How safe is a chest harness when used without a sit harness?

TLDR: Never ever use a chest harness alone. It depends on what you mean by effective: It can stop a fall, there was a time (before the seventies) when chest harnesses (alone) were used in ...
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  • 21.5k
23 votes

What is the strongest knot using a steel-thimble to make a steel-eyelet at the end of the line?

The absolute strongest? That would be an eye splice. It's the most effective and strongest form of making an eye in a rope and it's what the thimbles are designed to work with. It's nigh on ...
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  • 7,737

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