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…

Joshua Hicks