Basic Rock Climbing Techniques
Rock climbing is attracting people from all walks of life. These people are not just adrenaline junkies, but the regular run of the mill individual looking for some weekend fun and excitement.
There are several basic climbing techniques that a beginner climber will need to know to be safe and smart while climbing and descending.
Tying in is an essential rock climbing technique. If you are leading a climb or belaying, you will always need to be tied in. You will want to follow the specifications of your harness. The figure eight follow through knot is the most commonly used tie-in knot. When you are tying in, you are creating a belay loop, which will be used with your belay device. When you tie-in, you are connecting yourself to the rope. You need to take great care to ensure that your knots are tied properly and safely.
In rock climbing, belaying is a technique used to control the rope so that a falling climber will not fall very far and will be caught by the rope. The belayer is the person in control of the ropes as the climber is ascending the wall or rock. The belayer passes rope through a belay device, which allows the rope to flow freely while the climber is ascending. In the event of a fall, the belay device will lock off the rope to stop the fall.
Proper belaying technique is essential in climbing to ensure safety of the climber, especially a lead climber that is establishing a route. If a climber were to fall, the belayer would be able to hold the entire weight of the climber and to help lower them to an area where they may continue climbing.
This is one of the most important basic rock climbing techniques.
Find more information check out this belaying article
Abseiling is also known as rappelling. This technique is very dangerous and many people have become injured in abseiling. Jammed ropes, equipment failure, ropes being cut on rocks and sharp edges, as well as other accidents have occurred. All safety considerations should be made, although this does not always mean something will not happen.
Ensure that your equipment devices are secure and have a back-up anchor point if possible. Abseiling should only be done under the supervision of trained climbers. Be sure to have the necessary ropes, a descender, belay devices, carabiners, harness, helmets and anchors. Some people also choose to wear gloves, knee pads and elbow pads.
This gear can be found at REI Climbing
Do you want more information on rappelling?
If so, check out this article on rappelling.
In multi-pitch climbs the leader is responsible for leading the climb. For new climbers, being a leader can be somewhat exhilarating and nerve-racking. The leader is responsible for placing protection for those following behind. The leader should always remain calm and the leader will attempt to place protection as needed. The leader will want to avoid as much rope drag as possible by placing protection smartly.
Leading can also refer to sport climbing and in this sense it is much simpler.
The leader is the person who is climbing the sport route. They will place protection on the fixed bolts that are located on the route. Once the climb is finished the leader can either be lowered down or they can rappel down cleaning the gear as they descend.
If they just lower down you know have a top rope setup or you can pull the rope to allow the next climber to lead the route.
Be sure to master these rock climbing techniques.
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