Rock Climbing Safety Tips

The exciting sport of rock climbing could also be a dangerous one. To lessen the risk of falling, you have to take special precaution measures. The key to safety in rock climbing stays in redundancy. You have to always use a backup anchor at a rappel station and a belay. It is recommended to have a backup for your every important piece of gear. As a beginner climber, you need to take extra safety measures, since your life is at risk. Statistics show that beginners are most prone to accidents. Respect climbing dangers and always pay heed to safety tips. Here are some useful rock climbing safety tips:

Always check harnesses
Always check that the harness buckles of the belayer and climber are doubled back after you have secured the rope at the route’s base. Most harnesses feature adjustable leg loops, so it’s also recommended to ensure that they are snug.

Always double check the knots
Be sure to check that the lead climber’s tie-in knot is not tied improperly. This precaution is imperative before you begin your rock climbing adventure. The lead climber’s tie-in knot should have a backup knot at its end. Also, ensure to thread the rope on the harness through both the leg loop and the waist loop.

Don’t forget your climbing helmet
For rock climbing safety, it is essential to wear a proper climbing helmet when belaying or climbing. A helmet can ensure protection for your head in the eventuality of suffering the impact of falling or from falling rocks. Head injuries from rock fall and falls are serious, life-threatening events.

Always check the belay device and the rope
Always check before you adventure to lead a route to ensure you properly thread the rope through the belay device. Also, double-check all attachments. For instance, on belayer’s harness, the rope and belay must be attached from a belay loop to the locking carabiner.

Make use of long ropes
Your climbing rope should be long enough on both multi-pitch routes and a sports route – this is always recommended.

Always pay attention
When you are on a rock climbing adventure, you should pay great attention to what you are doing. Pay attention to the leader above when you’re belaying.

Always bring enough gear
Always determine what items of equipment you might need to bring before you start climbing on a route.

Always take care to clip the rope properly
Ensure to correctly clip your rope.

Always use safe anchors
To be safe, it is recommended to use at least two anchors. By respecting these rock climbing tips you can enjoy practicing your favorite sport in safe and pleasant way. Read more on tips for safety here.

How to Train for Rock Climbing

Rock climbing can be carried out on the outdoors on an actual rock or indoors on fake rock walls. Rock climbing outdoors characteristically engages predefined climbing tracks. A number of the tracks comprise clips that are bolted to the rock so the escort climber can effortlessly guard himself against a long descend. Other tracks need the expert climber to position oddly shaped objects or clamming apparatus securely on the rock to protect one from a fall. This risky technique is known as traditional or trad climbing. Rock climbing calls for an enormous amount of experience. Muscles are no alternatives for methods but can aid in developing climbing skills.

At times the objective of the climber is to come across a part to climb for the wholesome satisfaction of climbing. At further times the aim is to climb a mountain where the track to the pinnacle engages in climbing rocky terrains, which is known as Alpine Climbing.

Endurance training: If you are a comparatively new climber, your usual exercises at the neighborhood climbing gym might entail a short cardio warm-up, a few upper body stretches, and a simple route or two. After, you might try 3-4 further advanced routes to develop your forearms. This approach might be acceptable while you are acquainting yourself with different methods of climbing and rendering yourself to a variety of moves. However if you by now believe you have a reasonably reliable approach and have been climbing for more than six months, you maybe be ready to increase your level to the next stage. In this case, make an effort to pursue a methodical progress via a set regime.

If you are new and experienced to alpine or sports climbing, you must sign up to acquire the assistance of a professional climbing trainer. A professional climbing coach can instruct you on keeping your legs stable, having a heightened awareness of your footwork as well as learning some new moves. In addition to this, on the whole, a professional climbing trainer can evaluate your method. Remember these are professionally trained instructors looking for the slightest mistakes in your technique.

There is a four-part sequence, for instructing various levels of climbers be it, beginner, intermediate or advanced students to improve their techniques and develop their physical conditioning.

First watch this video so you can understand the theory and mindset required behind all the training:

Part I
Part I is carried out for four weeks and consists of guidelines for your climbing practices at the fitness center in addition to the muscle training workouts to assist you to remain stable and in good shape. Part I will offer you a good foundation for the rest of the series by building standard muscular endurance.

Part II
Part II will be pursued for three weeks and will pay attention to power, together with ideas for fitness center climbing training as well as balancing muscle training if you can not reach your neighborhood mountains or climbing gym.

Part III
Part III consists of power training, which goes on for two weeks.

Part IV
Part IV is a week of energetic respite or revival.

A strength-training program for rock climbing is outstanding as well. It should concentrate on the leg muscles and other muscles in the torso, neck, arms, midsection, and forearms. Although forearms are not perceived to be a vital muscle group, exercising them is very important, as a climber should always have a super strong grip.

Best Diet for Rock Climbers

When speaking regarding the best nutrition for rock and ice climbers, it is a relative topic that depends particularly on the build of each person, but also on the activeness and other physical attributes of the individual. While it would be a good idea to do some more substantial research, talk to your gym instructors and local nutritionists as well. Also try to do some experimenting of your own with various healthy foods, incorporated before, after (or even during) your climbing session.

One of the foremost important things to do is to find out what the intensity you’re looking to climb at, and the duration of the course as well. With shorter time durations, but higher power regarding physical workouts such as bouldering (a popular kind of indoor climbing) it is a good idea to fuel up beforehand with healthy carbohydrates and fats that are easy to digest.

Some of these foods are bananas, dried fruits (that’s why ‘trail mix’ is almost always 1/3 dried fruit!) rice milk, oatmeal (known in the U.K as quick oats) and sweet potatoes. However, if you’re looking to do slower, less intensive climbing sessions with a much longer duration, you’ll want to invest in slower burning fats and carbs to keep a steadier stream of energy. It would also be wise to eat this at least an hour before your workout. Some of those foods for this workout would be brown rice, beans, nuts such as almonds, cashews and peanuts, and quinoa.

Make sure to avoid fatty foods (even if they’re natural fats and not saturated fats found in junk food) before any workout, but especially climbing. They are far slower to digest than carbohydrates and protein and can cause cramps or other stomach problems when you’re working hard.

One thing to keep in mind is what you eat before the workout. Not an hour, but three or four hours prior. If your last meal has a healthy balance of natural fats, protein, (see article) and carbohydrates, you won’t need to take a workout supplement to boost your energy before working out.

Depending on the duration and physical acuteness of your climb, you may need to refuel your immediate energy stores mid-climb. Try to replenish your glycogen stores. These fast-acting energy stores are where your body gets energy, if it runs out of standard carbohydrates, and requires immediate energy. It acts almost like a natural 5 Hour Energy drink.

If you have any form of diabetes or even a simple problem with keeping your blood sugar down, aim to refill your glycogen stores every hour or so, as opposed to doing it more frequently. Going any longer without refilling could potentially increase the risk of your muscles breaking down (because there is nothing to rebuild them) and an increase in fatigue, as well as an apparent decrease in performance.

If you have caffeine gum handy, or any energy gel, be sure to hydrate regularly. Obviously, it’s best to drink before you even feel the need to drink, but drink a large amount of water every 30 or so minutes also.

Now, there is a lot more to it than what I’ve written here; it’s always a good idea to commit to researching as much as possible before changing a habit, especially if it’s your diet. These are just the main few things that you’ll be wanting to look out for, but for now, you should stick to these tips and build off of this as a foundation.

Oh, and in case you’re vegan:

Dangers of Rock Climbing

The dangers of rock climbing are many, unfortunately. There are so many factors that could go wrong, and even though you may check your gear, buckle, strap or whatever you may have, something could always go wrong at any moment. Like Murphy’s Law says, ‘anything that can go wrong will go wrong.’

Let’s start off with the most common danger; inexperience. Not only can this harm you, but it can hurt the people around you as well. Chain reactions on ice or rock climbing expeditions are far from uncommon. If you were to attempt to scale a dangerously flat rock formation or try to climb the side of a mountain with no experience, you could end up falling and taking someone else with you. Proper experience when doing something as dangerous as rock climbing is a given; no doubt about that.

Something could also go wrong with your gear. While it is true that the utmost care is taken into creating mountain climbing gear for enthusiasts, even the most basic and simple errors, or even forgetting to check something, could snowball into a huge problem. If you don’t check each single piece of gear that you will be using to perform the sport that is rock climbing, you could very well die.

We aren’t trying to scare you away from this sport, but it is imperative that you check your kit and gear, and have someone else check it for you as well. We would not, under any circumstance, advise climbing alone or without an instructor, especially if you have little to no experience or are new to the hobby.

If you must do rock climbing, make sure to pick a cliff or rock formation that has been checked before your climbing, or has been authorized by the proper authorities. You could very easily mistake a patch of soft limestone to be sun-beaten and weathered rock. Imagine this scenario; you are one of the few brave, maybe stupidly brave, daredevils that climb ice and rock with no harness, clip, or gear of any sort aside from a pair of gloves and a helmet.

You swing your left arm in an upwards motion, grabbing ahold of the nearest crevice about your position. You move slightly to the left, preparing to make the jump. Your adrenaline is pumping, and you’re ready to do this! You count in your head… 1… 2… 3… Go! You launch yourself upwards-

And you come falling down the mountainside, slamming into the hard ground, hundreds of feet below you. You grabbed a soft chunk of weathered limestone. It broke before you even had a chance to position yourself.

Sadly, this is the kind of thing that has happened to many rock climbers in the past, and will likely continue to happen. Unauthorized cliffs and rock formations lead to the death of many climbers.

When rock climbing, please (for the sake of everything that is holy and good) make sure you that you fully understand the risks that you are undertaking. Make sure that you have an instructor or partner with you to assist if you if anything goes awry, and most importantly, that every piece of your gear and kit has been checked by you multiple times, as well as any partner that you may have with you. Good luck climbing, have fun, and most importantly, be safe!

For additional advice…

How Rock Climbing Changes Your Body

Rock climbing can have significant fitness benefits, being an intense physical activity. When you take your spirit, body, and mind on an adventure to conquer the most challenging climbs, your body can undergo some profound changes. We will discuss here how rock climbing changes your body, toning your muscles for better endurance.

Arms and chest

When you are scaling a rock wall, your arms get a major workout. In the rock climbing sport, strong forearms are a must. When you climb to the next foothold or ledge, you will use your forearms’ strength as leverage, drawing power from the muscles that run from your wrist to your elbow. However, your forearms are not the ones doing all the work, As you press down into the largest muscles of your chest to provide even more power to your forearms, your chest gets an excellent workout as well. Your biceps, triceps, forearms, and chest are all getting a workout during rock climbing activities.

Back and shoulders

A beginner rock climber may think that climbing is all about the arms. However, an experimented rock climber doesn’t make this rookie mistake. Compared with the muscles in your shoulders and back, the muscles in your arms are quite small. When you engage all of your upper body, it becomes easier to climb the ledge or the rock face. An experienced rock climber needs the use his shoulders and back when dealing with a challenging steep rock face. If you have a proper technique, the day after a climb you will feel sore up your shoulders and upper back. Soreness is proof that those larger muscle groups are toning.

Core
The muscles wrapping around your midsection are called the core muscles. They play an important part in stabilizing the rest of your body. In rock climbing activities, your core needs to stay engaged meaning these types of events can have some positive benefits for your lower back, obliques, and abs. You are using those muscle groups to draw power each time you pull up on another ledge or hold.

 

Lower body
Your arms are involved in rock climbing more than in an average sport. However, your legs also play a vital part. Rock climbing can help you in shaping up your thighs and glutes, particularly when you’re using these groups of muscles to provide leverage to all the maneuvering you are doing with the upper-body. Rock climbing can also be excellent flexibility work since you have to stretch your lower body to ensure the most secure position.

Check out other benefits of the high intensity sport.

Packing Essentials for a Rock Climbing Weekend

The sport of rock climbing is intense, exhausting and wholly thrilling. Whether you’re working on an indoor wall or in the great outdoors, the strength and determination needed to scale your objective is a challenge for anyone.

Unlike conventional exercise, rock climbing is far from monotonous. Nature offers so many tempting surfaces to scale that as long as terrain has hills and rocky outcrop you’ll find something to interest you.

The sport doesn’t require the use of heavy gear, just a few essentials which are imperative regardless of how seasoned a climber is. Discard reality and record-making drama that feature professionals scaling objectives without safety equipment. The chances of a serious or fatal fall are just too high.

Beginner climbers begin with walls several meters high and progress to higher and more challenging objectives. Even so, professional-grade equipment should be chosen at the outset because they meet quality standards and last for long. So once you’ve learned the basics of the sport, invest in some quality gear and get ready for adventure. Here are some important pieces of gear you need to pack while going out on a rock climbing weekend.

Rope – The rope is your primary safety gear because it’s the only thing that’s preventing you from falling. Don’t skimp on cost and quality. Cheap ropes tear easily, will have difficulty supporting quick movements with a lot of weight. UIAA-rated is the best quality ropes since they conform to international standards.

Thinner ropes are lighter and allow you to climb quickly but they also wear out faster. Choose a protective bag to prevent yours from damage and don’t leave it lying around when not in use.

Harness – Together with the rope, a harness is your next best friend. Where ropes should typically be thicker and a little weightier (unless you’re a seasoned climber), choose a lightweight harness that fits well and doesn’t hinder movement.

Belay device – Third on the list is a belay device that controls how much friction is applied to the rope. Some can control one rope while others can control two. Tubular devices are the most common as they dissipate heat caused by friction, and allow the rope to stop faster. Assisted-braking is another which prevents the brake line from being pulled through. You’ll find several variations produced by companies.

Shoes – Just like how exercise requires training or running shoes, rock climbing needs good climbing shoes. All-round styles are ideal for beginners, and you can progress to more specialized types once you’ve begun to master the sport. When buying your shoes, don’t be surprised if you have to spend a couple hundred. You get what you pay for, and with a sport like this, it’s not wise to settle for less.

Chalk – Chalk is for rubbing on your hand when they are sweaty to increase grip. Do remember that some climbing zones do not permit its use so find out what the rules are before using any. When purchasing chalk, include a chalk bag as well. Be sure to pick which lets you maneuver it to the left and right side.

Helmet – Of course you can can’t without a helmet. Purchase one that is hardy, comfortable and has good ventilation. As with all gear, don’t skimp on cost and quality. If you do fall, it may very well be the only thing protecting your life.

This list of rock climbing safety equipment works for both beginners and experts. When shopping, choose gear relative to where it’s to be worn. Those meant for indoor climbing may not be ideal for use in the outdoors so make sure you buy suitable components. Check out places like LL Bean or REI and no doubt you will find all this and more.

Check out what gear other climbers are bringing:

 

 

Benefits of Rock Climbing

Climbing is a fun sport which involves climbing either real or artificial rock walls. There are many benefits to rock climbing, including the fact that it provides a fun and challenging workout. Here some of the most common benefits of rock climbing, and it explains how you can go about learning how to rock climb in your area.

Fun
Rock climbing is an incredibly fun and thrilling sport. Many people take up the sport purely for the enjoyment that it provides. Artificial walls can cater for all levels of rock climbers, while outdoor rock walls are suitable for those with some experience in the sport.

Increased Flexibility
Rock climbing involving stretching many areas of your body to reach for the next foothold or handhold. This process will ultimately increase your overall flexibility. Flexibility is a great quality to have, especially since you age in life. It ensures that you have a good range of motion in your joints, and it can help to prevent the bones and joints from seizing up due to not using them enough.

Increase Strength
Rock climbing will most definitely increase your muscle strength. It takes a lot of effort and focus to pull your entire body up the rock wall. Increasing your muscle strength can help to improve your overall fitness level.

Lose Weight
Rock climbing requires that you use and work all areas of your body. Therefore you will find it to be a fun and effective way to lose weight. Research suggests that you can burn up to 500 calories an hour depending on your physical build and the type of rock wall that you are climbing.

Meet Like Minded People
Rock climbing is also a great way to meet like-minded people who enjoy participating in the sport. Many rock climbing centers will hold special events where you can enjoy climbing a rock wall as part of a team. There seems to be a long string of benefits! See this article at Huffington Post.

Learning How to Rock Climb
One of the best ways to learn rock climbing is at a specialist rock climbing center. They will help you with some tips and techniques on the best ways to climb a rock wall. Typically you will start on a beginners wall to get accustomed to rock climbing and what it entails. You can then work on your skills to progress onto more challenging rock walls.To look for a rock climbing center in your area is to search for one online. The next step is to join a rock climbing group where you can safely learn and experience how to climb a real rock wall. Always choose a reputable and trusted rock climbing center or group to make sure you will be practicing the sport safely under the guidance of professional instructors.

Best Places to Go Rock Climbing and Not Waste Time

There is something extraordinary to rock climbing. The feeling of rough rock under your chalked hands, the beating sun, the fresh air, and the grandiose natural landscape are all combining to leave you with some unforgettable memories. You don’t need to be a high-performance rock climber to enjoy the best places in the world. Whether you stay within national borders or you adventure to jet overseas, there are good odds that you’ll find a place you’ll like to explore in one of these best places to go rock climbing.

Frankenjura, Germany

This rock climbing place in Germany has a reputation for being quite challenging. However, since Frankenjura has more than 8,000 established routes, you’ll certainly find there something that matches your rock climbing skills and your level of expertise. In fact, nearly 300 routes in Frankenjura grade under 5.9. This area is well known for its variety of course lengths and its pocketed limestone. In this land of picture perfect forests, everyone will be able to find something on its like. Experts can go hard on their down time, while beginners can pick up some knowledge and build up technique.

Railay, Thailand

Railay, in Thailand, offers a fair share of beginner routes for those who are new to the rock climbing sport. This pocket of paradise is considered to be one of the most exotic places for rock climbing. Railay is only accessible by boat. The tiny island features sparkling blue water and dramatic cliffs. A beginner can find there are more than a few easy routes among the thousands of options to choose. For climbers not yet comfortable with trad, nearly half of Railay’s courses include bolts. There is no trash at this elevation and no reason to call a trash broker like Waste Focus or any other environmental company at a site like this!

Mount Temple, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Mount Temple, despite being serious, big, and particularly difficult in winter conditions, sits right above the tourist town of Lake Louise. You can see the comforting lights of the city below while climbing the mountain. This makes for an exciting rock climbing experience. The Easy Ridge is one of the 50 classic climbs in North America, suitable for the mountaineer searching for a challenge.

Yosemite National Park, California, U.S.

Yosemite is one of the best and most magical places to climb. The area features magnificent cliffs and massive domes. Each year, Yosemite’s granite attracts thousands of climbers. They are all enjoying their experience in “the climbing Mecca of the world”. One of the perks of rock climbing on Yosemite’s granite is the opportunity also to enjoy the National Park’s beauty. The place is well worth a visit, to observe nature’s greats and learn some history.

Here’s another resources on favorite rock climbing places to look at before you plan your next trip! Have fun!

How To Get Started In Rock Climbing

If you are planning to go indoor rock climbing for the first time or if you are just after some hints, this article will give you some great indoor rock climbing tips and techniques to assist in advancing your indoor climbing skills.

If you are serious about rock climbing then you need to undertake training. You’ll need to improve your fitness dramatically as indoor rock climbing requires exceptional strength in the upper, lower and mid-body sections.

Therefore you should be working on weight training, aerobics, and endurance. Sounds tough and it is! But if you are serious about becoming a great indoor climber then you need to get serious about training. Even if indoor rock climbing is an occasional hobby for you, you’ll need to be quite fit so you’re not overly sore the next day after climbing.

Other tips for indoor rock climbing include:

Use good form when climbing. Consult an instructor to learn the basics about form. Perform stretching before and after climbing. You can also stretch in between climbing routines. Eat a diet that promotes strength and endurance. Carbohydrates and protein are important here. Carbs will give you short term energy and protein is essential for long term muscle growth and strength. Enhance your mental attitude

Mental clarity and attitude is a highly important yet often forgotten aspect of rock climbing. It is important that you are focused and positive about what you are doing. Especially if you are competing in events, you do not want nerves to get the better of you. Some people like meditation to improve mental attitude, however, even just conscious positive thinking can help.

You should also be aware of injury prevention and injury rehabilitation. Seek professional help if you have injured yourself and make sure you rest so as to recover quickly. NEVER push yourself to climb or train when seriously injured.

Rock Climbing Gear

If you are going to attempt indoor rock climbing then you’re going to need good indoor rock climbing gear. No one wants to be stuck 20 feet on a wall and have their equipment fail on them!

Fortunately, many climbing locations and centers allow you to hire gear. If however, you are a regular indoor climber or a little more serious about the sport, you will want to purchase your own gear so you can get a perfect fit and of course so you don’t have to share with other people.

There are several pieces of equipment you will need for indoor rock climbing. These include:

  • Rock climbing shoes
  • Climbing harness
  • Carabiners
  • Quickdraws
  • Climbing holds
  • Climbing helmet

The above list can add up to quite an expensive kit. You do not have to purchase every bit of equipment. For example, you may just like to have your own indoor rock climbing shoes and choose to hire the rest of the equipment at the climbing center. This is what many climbers do.

Also, many centers include the cost of most equipment in the price you pay to use their facility. You should not have had to pay extra for ropes, harnesses etc as this is basic safety gear.

When choosing shoes you should look at the material and comfort of the shoe. You want something flexible yet sturdy. Climbing and outdoor stores such as REI specialize in these shoes so do not go looking in regular shoe shops!