May
14
2017

The Basic Rock Climbing Kit

Rock climbing is an adventurous and exhilarating sport. The challenges of climbing steep rock formations require strength, endurance and mental control. Moreover, it is essential to have a thorough knowledge of climbing techniques, and the use of the right rock climbing kits and equipment is crucial.Harness, Belay Plate and HelmetThere are two types of harnesses – fully adjustable and partly adjustable. While the former is an all season gear, more so for winter climbing, the later is typically used only in summer. Whichever harness you choose, ensure that it has lots of sturdy gear loops that are well padded. Harnesses also come with different types of buckles and different ways of tying the rope on. Before buying the harness, hang around it for ten minutes and check your comfort levels. The harness should fit you snugly, especially the leg loops which can slip upwards to uncomfortable places if loose. The waistband should be above your hips, tight enough to prevent it slipping down past them.There are many different types of belay plates but not all plates suit all kinds of climbing. Check their safety levels before buying one. ATCs are popular and easy to use, but will not hold a big fall on a wet 9mm rope. A VC (Variable Controller) is a good all-round choice and can be designed for either high or low friction. A Sticht Plate with a double rope and screwgate karabiner is a cheap all-rounder.

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The helmet is a must for a rock climber. It prevents head injuries from falling rocks or accidental tripping over rocks. If you’re going mountaineering, get a helmet that holds a head-torch. Choose a helmet that can withstand sever impact for better safety. The helmet should be fitted to about half an inch to an inch above your eyebrows. It should sit level on your head, and even with the chin strap undone, should not come off in normal use.Rock BootsComfortable boots that fit you snugly are crucial gear for rock climbing. For bouldering, tight boots are fine, whereas slightly loose fitted ones are better for long days on big mountain routes. Tight boots make your climb better but may also cause your foot to turn black and fall off a bit sooner. Even loose fitted boots should squish your toes together just a little; however, if you are uncomfortable with tight shoes, take the looser option. Except in very cold conditions, rock boots are worn without socks. Once you have progressed to advanced rock climbing you should also progress to new and better quality shoes. Anasazi are a popular pair recommended by many rock climbers.Prussiks (basic rescue kit)If you are planning to go multipitch climbing, Prussiks are a must. Get a snaplink karabiner, three metres of 4mm load-bearing cord from the climbing shop and understand thoroughly how to use this equipment to climb ropes, safeguard abseils and pulley systems as well as open beer bottles. The other essentials are HMS Karabiners, chalk bag and a 120cm sling. You will also need warm clothing, waterproof clothing, a rug-sack, compass, first-aid kit, water bottle, gloves to wear when not climbing, towel to clean rock boots with, head torch and a sleeping bag.RopesOccasional sport routes require a 60m single rope. Ropes come in a variety of styles and should be clearly labeled as to their use.Dynamic Single- Designed to be used on its own, it is great for single pitch routes as well as to use indoors. Thickness can range from 9.5mm to 11mm. The thinner ones are lighter and just as safe, but more expensive and they sometimes have a smaller falls rating which is the number of significant falls before you have to retire it.Dynamic Double- is designed to be used as one of a pair and good for multipitch climbing and routes that zigzag around a lot. Width tends to be about 9mm. You can also abseil twice the distance without running out of rope. Finally, they’re safer, very occasionally, when loaded over a sharp edge, single ropes have been known to break – but this has never happened to both ropes in a pair of halves.

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Dynamic Double- is designed to be used as one of a pair and good for multipitch climbing and routes that zigzag around a lot. Width tends to be about 9mm. You can also abseil twice the distance without running out of rope. Finally, they’re safer, very occasionally, when loaded over a sharp edge, single ropes have been known to break – but this has never happened to both ropes in a pair of halves.Static ropes are for abseiling and rigging only.Static ropes are for abseiling and rigging only. The rack that you get will depend on the type of rock you are planning to climb, what you prefer to use and what gear you lose. If you only climb sport, all you need is 12 quickdraws. For the rest the following is advised.2 x 120cm sling (The length that wraps twice around your chest – i.e. the length of tape is 240cm but the loop is of course half of this)Set of nuts size 1-108 quickdraws of various lengthsA few large rockcentricsFour extra snaplinks to store the nuts and rockcentrics onTwo extra screwgates for belaysA nut key

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