25 votes
Accepted

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
17 votes
Accepted

How can I safely practice trad climbing?

The best way to lear how to place protections is to climb sport routes that are also suited to protection placement. Bring plenty of quickdraws (and of gear to place of course). Use the bolts, but ...
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  • 4,545
13 votes
Accepted

Is there a utility / method to organize trad gear so that each piece is immediately accessible?

When racking up, you have a spectrum of possibilities between two extremes: At one end, you could put every single piece of gear on the same carabiner. While the weight savings would be incredible, ...
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  • 3,773
12 votes
Accepted

How to second a "french free" / A0 move?

Assuming a vertical, as opposed to traversing, route that is not overhanging, you unclip the rope from the piece and then pull yourself up just like the leader did. Once you are high enough above the ...
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  • 10.5k
12 votes
Accepted

How do UIAA falls add up over time?/When to replace a rope

I am sure there is no simple formula to add everything up as the load of a high factor fall is not increasing linearly. There have been experiments conducted by Pit Schubert in which he tested a rope ...
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  • 6,135
11 votes
Accepted

What is the best way to place a sling on a rock spike so that it's prevented from lifting off?

Here are some ideas, with the usefulness depending on the terrain and rock quality and the terrain: Hold it down with an upside-down nut: Place a nut below the spike and clip it to the sling. The nut ...
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  • 4,417
10 votes

Statistics on types and survivability of anchor failures?

Personally, I can easily see how this unintended loading can happen. Second gets to a tricky part, asks leader for beta, leader moves over to get a better view of second. This question is an ...
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10 votes

Belaying two seconds?

Double Rope You need two ropes (of obviously different colours so as not to confuse them). Tie into both ropes, one on each side of your belay loop, your seconds will each tie into the other end of ...
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  • 53k
10 votes
Accepted

Belaying two seconds?

While belaying two seconds at once using the method ShemSeger pointed out is my favorite, it does take a fair amount of experience so I would not recommend it to someone climbing for the first time ...
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  • 6,759
9 votes

Will aid climbing make you a better trad climber?

Before I started to trad climb, I was using mobile protection in an alpine environment. As a consequence, I never fell into a piece of gear and belays (that were not bolted) were save by location, ...
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  • 21.5k
9 votes

Has any late-starting climber (36 years old) ever accomplished anything noteworthy?

I've been thinking if it is possible to achieve anything (worthy of mention) for someone who started at [36] Lee Sheftel started climbing at 33, climbed 5.14a at 59 and 5.13b at 68 Margarita Martinez ...
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  • 762
8 votes

Belaying two seconds?

I assume you are only looking for options by going from belay to belay (as opposed to continuous securing like going on taught rope). Method using half-ropes: You tie in on both ropes, your partners ...
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  • 21.5k
8 votes

Will aid climbing make you a better trad climber?

Learning how to place gear is a lot different than actually using it. Trad climbers place their pro, but hope they never have to fall on it. They give it a few tugs, maybe weight it to make sure it'll ...
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  • 53k
8 votes
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How do I get cam slings replaced?

They are user replaceable, in fact some manufacturers recommend replacing slings every 2-5 years if they're very frequently used, but they're only user replaceable if you know how to sew structural ...
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  • 53k
8 votes

How can I safely practice trad climbing?

Liam hinted at the method that was popular in the US while back, and probably still is: follow an experienced climber and clean their gear. You'll get to see actual placements & find out how hard ...
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  • 1,770
8 votes

Efficient technique for handling trad gear?

I don't grab the biner first, I grab the cam first, pretty much as I would if I were placing it, I then unclip the biner from my gear loop with the cam in hand. There's no fumbling with it during or ...
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  • 53k
7 votes

Efficient and reliable method for managing a nut tool while following on a trad climb?

You probably want your tool to have a longer extension, more like 100 cm. If this length bothers you, consider using an extendable bungee cord (e.g. 80 cm long, which you can stretch to 100 cm); twist ...
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  • 4,106
7 votes

Are nuts and cams less safe if the rock is wet?

The short answer to that is yes - but the real answer is it depends. If you are climbing on sandstone, this could actually be very dangerous & unethical. The issue with sandstone is that it tends ...
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  • 510
7 votes

What would be the disadvantage of racking trad gear around the shoulders rather than the harness, if any?

Developing a flexible system for racking your gear I guess that racking using a particular pack would work in certain specific circumstances, but to me it looks inflexible: Everything is in a fixed ...
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  • 11.6k
7 votes

What to do when one point in a climbing anchor breaks?

I disagree with the other answer. If you are anchored to 2 "solid" pieces and one fails, you are now in a non-redundant state and your goal should be to resolve that situation as quickly and safely as ...
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  • 10.5k
7 votes

What is wrong with this belay setup?

I see what is essentially an direct belay but rigged off the harness serving as a pseudo indirect/body belay, you also have a direct clip-in to a third piece as a personal backup. The good. You are ...
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  • 1,323
7 votes
Accepted

Question about climbing in "A Line Across the Sky"

In his book "The Push" he describes this a bit. Most of the time they were using a running belay which means they were climbing at the same time with some pieces of protection in between them to avoid ...
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  • 6,135
7 votes
Accepted

Best uses for a twist-lock carabiner

Nobody ever complained of having too many carabiners; you did not waste your money no matter what you do with it right now. Clip it to a stopper knot on the end of your reserve/back-up rope, or use it ...
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