Friday, March 30, 2007

Basic Equipment for Rock climbing


Well there are so many equipments out there. So which ones are the really basics ones??

If you’re a new to climbing, in here I will start to state some of the MUST HAVE equipments before advancing to higher level. For the advanced climbers, you may consider renewing the current climbing equipments of yours if it is aging.

Note: Take good care of your equipments and in turn they take care of you.

This is a universal truth and hopefully that goes deep into you from now. Suggestion will be you can use DRY rag to wipe off dirt or mud and NEVER drop your metallic equipments (carabinars, Belaying devices). You never know any micro cracks present which will aggravate.

And now I will highlight some pointers about the different gear and the technical names of climbing equipment.

First of all, Rock Climbing Shoes!!

The correct size and the comfortable level is the MOST vital. Thus you must choose it correctly. Be prepared to invest time and money to find the RIGHT kind of shoes for you.

Note: For Beginners, do not rush to buy shoes that are not too tight. This is because you will not want to feel discomfort during the climb and lose your focus. The shoes will stretch and wearing shoes will be the solution. Remember that durability and comfortable level which the rock climbing shoe that fit well are the most important factors.

Find one pair that can withstand to lots of use and abuse. This is because learning will be tough on your feet at first. Stiff, supportive soles, a substantial rubber rand around the outside will be a wise buy. High-cut shoes that protect and support your ankles will be highly recommendable. Anyway once when you get the feeling of it, you can try out different shoes.

All purpose shoes (Eg. MadRock Flash) will be highly preferred and most popular for the beginners. All-purpose shoes are designed to handle a wide variety of rock climbing situations and perform respectably in all of them. All-purpose shoes are typically cut high to protect your ankles and designed to be comfortable as well as protective.

Next is especially to Advanced Climbers but the beginners can take a look to so you can better prepare next time when you are buying shoes.

There are a lot of types of shoes on the market. Different shoes will work better in different situations. Below is an overview of another climbing shoes present in the market.

High-performance—They offer reliable, and high end performance when proper techniques are executed. High performance shoes are built for competitions and difficult sport-climb routes. High-performance shoes are cut low for added flexibility and lighter weight. They're also designed to fit tight for maximum rock-sensitivity and control.

Slippers: Slippers are NOT ideal for beginners, because they cling to all sorts of
overhanging stuff and nippy little holds easily because of their thin soles for maximum sensitivity. Slippers are lighter and useful during training as it is easy to get in and get out. Beware that slippers can stretch and wear easily. And slippers offer little ankle support but hang the footholds like the second skin. and climbing in these flimsy shoes will harden them up.

Next equipment on the list is Belay Device!!

ATC device is most commonly used due to its ease and light weight. Belay device is a mechanical device used to hold the rope of a belayer. And belay device is important to be well maintained because

When you take good care of your equipments and in turn they take care of you.

Never drop your belay device. You will not want to have micro cracks present in the device which your life depends on during climbing.

Carabiner

A carabiner is a metal loop with a sprung or screwed gate. and they are used for many different things in climbing such as top roping and also belaying. The opening of the carabiner snap close and screw is tightened to secure the gate.

Helmet

For this, I will not elaborate much. The main purpose is to protect the head from injury in falls, but also it will protect you from falling debris when you are climbing. However do not mistaken that you can use any helmet for climbing. One thing to take note: When a helmet takes a major blow or become brittle with age, it should be replaced. Which will offer more protection? Your aging and dented helmet or a new helmet in accordance with manufacture’s recommendations?

Climbing Harness

A climbing harness is a piece of equipment used to secure a person to a piece of rope in climbing or abseiling. A harness forms a chair when you tie-in. Remember that a good fit and comfort in the waist and leg loops is critical.

Sport climbers and indoor climbers will typically use a minimalist harness that is comfortable with sewn gear loops. It allows you to always know that your harness closures are double backed.

Big wall climbers prefer lots of padding because they have a ton of gear and are wearing their harness for a lot longer than a sport or top rope climber will be.
I personally prefer those will padding as comfort is my top concern during climbing.

Know your Harness.

Waist Belt prevents you from falling out of the harness and perhaps it the most crucial part of it. The key here is to make sure it is tight around your waist. A good estimate will be putting three fingers in between the belt and your body. If there is enough room to turn your fingers, the waist belt is not tight enough. This is to make sure the harness you are wearing is not so tight that it is restricts your breathing or movement.

Leg Loops are loops that go around your thighs tight. Similarly the placement of three fingers between the loop and thigh will be a good estimate. Buckles on leg loops can be used to tighten the straps.

Buckles MUST be double backed to ensure highest safety level. Some harnesses makes come with speed buckles which are already double backed. The climber just has to pull the belt part to tighten your waist belt or leg loops.

Gear Loops vary in many different sizes and designs. They are commonly sewn on to your harness and are used to carry gear such as the extra carabinar or quickdraws while climbing.

Belay Loop connects your waist and leg loops makes clipping into anchors a snap. The belay loop isn’t meant to be used as a tie-in point for your rope. Always tie in by threading the rope through both your leg and waist loops.

Padding varies among climbing harnesses. In the winter, harnesses with seat-belt material because you'll probably be climbing less and your thick clothes will act as padding.
Conversely during summer times, you'll want a padded harness since you will be not be in thick clothing as in winter .

Tips for Selecting a Climbing Harness
A harness forms a chair when you tie-in and fit in the waist and leg loops. Heavier climbers should choose a harness with wider leg loops and a thick padded waist to support their lower back. You have to be careful, because the wider straps may cut into your flesh,
Make a point to sit in the harness and make sure it is comfortable before parting your money.

Chalk Bags: Inexpensive but certainly required for serious climbing. Find one that you can put your hands in comfortably and choose one that looks cool too.

So far for climbing. I will post more revelant climbing news and reviews to share with you.


2 comments:

James W. Coates said...

I recently completed my first rock wall climb. You can watch the video of it on www.nomadik.com.

here is the link
http://www.nomadik.com/blogs/the_nomadik_fanatik/archive/2007/03/29/watch-this-video-rock-out-with-a-woodie.aspx

ylfoo said...

thank you fot your comment. I will improve on my blog to serve the climbing community better.