What is safety precaution to some can be pretty scary and alienating to others. We will go through some of the rock climbing basics as adventurers tend to shy away and become intimidated by safety warnings and rules, treatment however, see safety precautions are in place not to be intimidating but to actually act as a guide, especially for sporting adventurers and those that enjoy the sport of rock climbing.
Rock climbing is a sport that can be done outdoors, climbing up and down on rock formations, while it can also be done indoors with improvised rock formation mock ups or artificially made rock walls. Whether done indoors or outdoors, beginners like you should keep safety in the forefront of your mind at all times.
Let’s go through some of the rock climbing basics together!
Types of Rock Climbing
This guide to rock climbing basics will let you decide what type of rock climbing you’re most interested in, whether that is indoors or outdoors, bouldering, climbing rock faces or a combination of all the aspects of the sport. Rock climbing will give you an adrenaline rush like no other.
Indoor Rock Climbing
No real rock formations whatsoever are in sporting clubs or climbing gyms, just climbing walls or pinnacles with improvised hand and foot holds to guide the climber. Indoor rock climbing is perfect for beginners because it’s done in a more controlled environment. Risks are minimized and there are climbing instructors to guide and teach you proper technique and how to be safe. This can be a perfect jump off, complete with all the climbing gear that can be rented and tried so you become familiar with “learning the ropes” (pun intended) before heading out to the real rock climbing world in real life conditions and experiencing nature from a completely different perspective.
Outdoor Rock Climbing
The real rock climbing adrenaline rush comes when you’re outdoors. You can choose from three types of outdoor rock climbing:
- Sport climbing
- Traditional climbing.
Bouldering is not that risky because the rocks are not that high. In fact, they are close to the ground. The goal is to work on your flexibility and strength. When you try bouldering your just using your rock climbing shoes and a crash pad aswell as some chalk to assist with grip strength.
Sports climbing, on the other hand, will require you to use your rock climbing shoes, a chalk bag and a rope. You make your way up through the ropes, and you make your way down with the ropes aswell. However, before your actually climb, there must be anchors that are pre-placed on the rocks where your ropes are to be clipped. The anchors will then be your route guides as you make your way up the rocks.
Traditional climbing, meanwhile, is the real thing. Its routes are guided by permanently fixed anchor points. The climber in front, usually the leader, uses camming devices so he doesn’t fall. The next climber then removes the camming devices used by the previous climber and again places it into a different area for those who will use it next. You have to use carabiners to connect the rope into the protection devices.
Rock Climbing Knot Basics
There are four basic rock climbing knots that you have to learn before venturing out into rock climbing.
These are Figure Eight, Girth Hitch, Clove Hitch and Munter Hitch.
Create a loop by twisting the rope. Do another twist, and make sure that the end of the rope passes through the loop. The end of it, meanwhile, should pass through the closed loop then bind it real tight.
Check out the object you’re tying your knot into. Make sure you find the most stable part of it and then tie the rope around its back. The knot’s strength will depend on the object you’re choosing so it’s better you if you get a tree or a rock. Find one end of the loop and pass it on through the other end. Tighten the knot.
Make two identical loops by coiling the rope two times. Pass one end to the other. Use a carabiner to clip both loops and tighten.
Make a knot on the rope. Twist in 360 degrees and make sure to clip the carabiner below the twist. Clip it also above. With the carabiner now anchored, tighten by pulling the rope’s other end.
Make sure you use finger boards as part of your training and rock climbing shoes when you go out to practice. Finger boards strengthen your finger grip and gripping strength, so you have a tighter hold on the anchors and rock edges as you make your way through the route your on. The rock edges and crevices you’ll encounter on your journey to the top will be very challenging and very exhausting. Consider using climbers chalk to increase your grip and to reduce slipping as your hands will become sweaty and weaker effecting your ability to climb.
With the basic knowledge of rock climbing and the basic knots usually used, the gear that is recommended especially for beginners, along with some finger board training and a quality set of rock climbing shoes, you’re set for an awesome rock climbing experience.