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62

It's a matter of practice, but also a matter of feel: When stepping with the front of your foot you have a smaller contact area, so the pressure is higher than using the whole foot. This increases sensitivity to the rock underneath (extremely important with smaller holds), strengthens the muscles you will need for them, and also sort of gives you more ...


60

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 participated in guiding climbing days where some participants where seriously overweight (in some cases due to obvious medical reasons, in other cases I don't know why). ...


53

No you should not use a bicycle helmet for climbing. They are designed for different types of impacts and will not provide you with proper protection outside of their designed activity. Bicycle helmets are designed for a SINGLE ground impact. Like modern cars they are designed to crumple and absorb the energy from an impact. They probably provide the ...


45

Yes. No question. With top-roping, the belayer can be spacing-out quite a bit and still do their job with a minimum of risk. With one hand on the belay tool, and another sensing the tension of the rope to the climber, you feel when there is some slack, then haul it in without even thinking. If the climber falls, it's rare the fall with be more than a foot ...


42

The following references from a few major rope manufacturers cover rope care thoroughly. Please see the bottom of this answer for a summary. From Bluewater Ropes: Avoid stepping on your rope. Beside the potential of cutting, stepping on a rope will grind dirt into the core and increase the possibility of internal abrasion. Protect your rope from ...


37

How you react will depend on the situation. If you're climbing and you hear someone yell "ROCK" then your default reaction should be to hug the rock, brace for impact, and hope the rock misses you, or glances off your helmet. If the call comes from above, you should repeat it in case your belayer didn't hear the person above you. If your belayer makes the ...


36

Apart from the reasons already stated, namely getting used to doing it that way as it will help you on smaller footholds, there's also maneuverability: If you step with the entire foot, it is really hard to turn your foot if you e.g. need to reposition yourself to reach the next hold. You often see beginners especially in gyms doing the "frog move", where ...


35

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 during the day temperatures would regularly get above 50 °F (10° C). In the summer the heat can be overwhelming. Aside from the difficulty of performing extremely ...


33

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 a climb of that height, the fall could easily hit 3m. The only way round it is to keep more tension on the rope in the first few metres. As you're already ...


33

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 than a treadmill. But I am by no means a serious climber. Safety gear is harder to find. I am a big dude, not just fat (though I am that too). Finding size 16 ...


32

Both sport climbing and trad climbing are a form of lead climbing, which means the first climber to go up is not protected by a rope from above. A sport climber uses quickdraws which, as you mentioned, get clipped to bolts that have been placed in 10 to 15 foot intervals. At the end of the climb a sport climber can expect to find a belay anchor consisting of ...


32

In addition to what the other answer says, a fire burning near a crag could weaken bolts; so if there is fire damage anywhere nearby, the bolts should be considered suspect and replaced (at least the anchors). As for the rock itself, I'd approach it like a new crag that has not been climbed before, i.e. expect holds to come loose and be prepared for ...


32

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 way that you see what is happening up while looking straight in front of you. They help to avoid neck pain, and they also make it easier to always keep an eye on ...


31

I am not sure about the being able to feel more, but the most important reason I don't use socks is to avoid the rock boot sliding on my foot. If you are on a marginal grip using just the edge of your sole, you don't want the boot to move at all. This is also one of the reasons that rock boots for more experienced climbers are much more rigid than those ...


31

First, prevention is going to give you the best bang for your buck. Make sure you dry your shoes properly between uses by hanging them out, and don't keep them in a bag/trunk/confined space. During your climbing session, it's a good idea to take your shoes off between climbs (at least once in a while) to let them dry out some. For odor control, I find ...


31

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 indoors: Big pool of climbing partners, lots of courses, easy access, independent from weather and probably more. The last point makes it very suitable to learn ...


29

Failure by cutting is a primary concern In terms of safety (rather than e.g. rope life) laboratory (UIAA) fall testing may not be the most important concern. Even a new, thick rope can be cut in a single fall across a sharp edge. This also applies to so-called "edge resistant" (defunct UIAA 108 standard) ropes. See this Yellow Spur fatality report. ...


29

For the sake of your tendons, it is better to use your ring and middle finger in two finger pockets, because of how your muscles in your forearm insert on your fingers, and how they're wired to your nervous system. You essentially only have one muscle which acts on all of your fingers, called flexor digitorum profundus. This muscle fans out into four ...


27

The manufacturer of your rope says: Time in use : The potential lifetime of BEAL PPE in use is up to a maximum of 10 years. The lifetime of the rope in use must never exceed 10 years. The rope must be retired immediately: if it has held a major fall, approaching fall factor 2 if inspection reveals or even indicates damage to the core ...


26

A forest fire can definitely affect the rocks and cause hazards (in addition to the hazards in the forest). Hot burning fires destabilize rock. This can result in removal of rock coatings, flaking, scaling, and/or abrasion. Source Spall is flakes of a material that are broken off a larger solid body and can be produced by a variety of mechanisms, ...


26

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 because of obvious and already denoted reasons. Besides that, as for runners, do the sport but don't start over-motivated. Often people who like to get 20kg off ...


25

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. This will give you introduction lines like: I haven't seen you around here very much. Are you new? I noticed you mostly stick to bouldering. Last week ...


24

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 right away. Another big factor is the abundance of large(ish) foothold. When setting in a gym (from 7 years of personal experience) even the tiniest jib can ...


24

It's possible that it could damage the soft gear, Tests done by the UIAA Safety Commission and some rope manufacturers have shown that marking ropes with liquids such as those provided by felt-tipped pens can damage them; even with those markers, sold specifically for marking ropes. The test results have shown a decrease of up to 50% of the rope ...


23

When using lead climbing techniques the lead climber is belayed by his partner and as he climbs he places protection (e.g. camming devices). Once at the top of the pitch, the lead climber then belays his partner on the pitch. The second climber retrieves the protection as he climbs.


23

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 moves to get up them, like climbing upside down (literally). Basically they are cracks that are just the right width to not be fun, and take a lot of physical ...


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