Warning: Deep Water Soloing Might Make You Never Climb on a Rope Again
Deep water soloing ‘DWS’ is considered the ultimate in rock climbing. Climbers experience full freedom with no fear, no ropes and a whole lot of water underneath them.
Not only do you have to be an experienced climber but you also have to be a good swimmer. A bad fall while ‘DWS’ can result in very serious injuries and consequences.
Before beginning ‘DWS’, you should have a very good understanding of basic rock climbing and bouldering.
This is not a year-round sport; in fact the best months are between June and October. Any other time of the year you may meet arctic temperatures in the water below you – the warmer the better.
If you have never been deep water soloing before, you’re better off going with somebody who has. You will also want to choose a suitable venue for your level of climbing. It is best if you began at your grade first and then build up to more difficult routes. You’ll also want to bring all of the necessary equipment and a guidebook, if there is one, for the area.
There is some equipment that is used and you need at least one of the following but having several is better; rock shoes, chalk bags, clothes, dry bag and towels.
Before beginning your climb, you’ll want to make sure that you are allowed to be in the area of the venue. You also want to check the local weather and swell height calculations, as you will most likely end up in the water at some point if you don’t begin there. It is a good idea to get a tide timetable and read up all you can regarding the route heights, rock quality, water depth and even the water temperature.
Upon arriving at the area, you’ll want to note your access points both at the top and bottom of the crag. You want to be sure that you know how to get out of the area if you need to.
It is also a good idea to practice a couple of jumps or maybe even take a swim to check out the seabed and the possibility of any riptides. If you choose to take a swim, you want to be sure to see where you’ll be climbing and when you fall where you will be landing, this will allow you to see how deep the water is in that area so you’ll be prepared to swim.
You also want to check for any submerged boulders and any other hazards that may be under the water.
If you’re unsure of the rock and the conditions of the area you will be climbing, you can always repel down or down climb it to check the rock, discover what kind of moves will be necessary and what your options will be while climbing. While climbing you’ll want to be aware of any other additional natural hazards such as rock covered in salt, greasy rock, wet rock and even animals that might not like you in the area.
Typically, when climbing you want to avoid falling but it is almost inevitable in deep water soloing. You do have a few options on how to control the fall so that you do not do a belly buster in the ocean. One way to get used to falling from a high altitude is to practice jumping in and slowly going higher and higher.
Controlling the fall is also important when you’re deep water soloing, as your body position will make the water entry much more comfortable. The key is to have an upright body position with your feet together and your arms either at your side or straight up above your head. Try to stay loose and fluid on the way down and try to avoid rotating sideways at all costs.
Deep water soloing is exciting and fun but you should never go it alone. You may never know when you’ll need help after hitting the water, especially if you may have suffered an injury on the way down or if you were to get caught in a riptide in the water.
Preparation and knowledge of the venue is key in deep water soloing.
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Tags: Deep Water Soloing, Dws, Full Freedom, Good Understanding, Local Weather, Lot Of Water, Necessary Equipment, Quality Water, Riptides, Rock Quality, Rock Shoes, Seabed, Suitable Venue, Tide Timetable, Water Depth, Water Temperature
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