Rock Climbing involves a lot of different aspects. In this section, take a look at some of its essentials.These include rock climbing technique, styles & variations, and rock climbing training. Know the different Climbing Moves and learn how to tie Rock Climbing Knots.
Table of Contents
Rock Climbing Techniques
Rock Climbing Training
Rock Climbing Moves
Rock Climbing Rating Table
There are different rating systems used by many climbers. In this section, take a look at some main grades that are used in the Climbing world.
Rock Climbing Calls
Climbing Calls are very important and should always be clarified among the climbers before the start of a climb. In this section, learn the different terms used in rock climbing.
For clear communication between the leader and a second during a climbing session, Climbing Calls have developed. These calls are very important and should always be clarified between the leader and the second before the start of a climb.
It is important that these are called out loudly and clearly. One should not add words to these calls as this will cause confusion. If you are on a busy route, then always use you climbing partner's name.
A call from the leader that he is pulling up, hand over hand, with all of the slack rope between him and his second
A call from the second to indicate that all of the slack rope between him and the leader has been pulled up
CLIMB WHEN YOU ARE READY
Call from leader that comes only after he has put on his belay device, checked all knots, gates shut and done up, tight on belay, in line with belay, and is able to brake correctly
Call from the second, before starting to climb, after this call, the second does not climb until the leader calls out 'ok' or 'climb on'
OK or CLIMB ON
Call from the leader to affirm he heard that the second is about to climb
If the climbing rope has not been taken in for some time, or slack rope has been introduced due to unclipping a runner, etc.
Indicates that slack rope is needed, maybe to reverse a move or unclip a runner
This is called by the second, either when making an awkward move or when expecting to fall off
A call from the leader to indicate that there is no possibility of him coming to harm. The leader will normally say 'safe' at the top of a route to the belayer out of courtesy.
YOU'RE OFF or OFF BELAY
Call from the second in response to the 'safe' call from the leader
Call from the leader, to indicate that the first runner has been placed and the second must now be ready to hold a fall from a different direction
This is a call from anyone who has accidentally dislodge a stone (e.g. from a crag or a route). This call must be shouted in full volume. Once this call is given, those below should not look up to avoid receiving an injury.
This is a courtesy call when lowering or throwing out a rope, or when abseiling, top roping etc.
These are the usual calls used in Rock Climbing. These may vary, depending on the climbers. Just bear in mind that the set of Climbing Calls that will be used must be agreed upon by the leader and the other climbers before the climb.
Rock Climbing Routes
The rock climbing routes that you choose are dependent on numerous factors, including the location, weather, difficulty, and the climber's ability.
Rock Climbing enthusiasts have the entire world as their playground. While it costs a lot of money to pursue rock climbing as a serious hobby, its allure is unlike any other. From the physical endurance to the thrill of exploring new terrain, its rewards are endless.
Perhaps one of the trickiest parts of Rock Climbing is determining where to climb. There are so many routes to choose from all over the world. The routes that you choose are dependent on numerous factors, including the location, weather, difficulty, and the climber’s ability. There are formations well-suited for beginners, while others require intensive climbing experience to be conquered.
Different slopes are meant for different climbers. As climbers vary in their level of expertise, so does the grade of the climb. It is important for beginners, especially, to climb trails that match the level of their ability. Climbing trails or routes are generally classified into six grades or levels, with 1 as the easiest and 6 as the hardest:
As with all other activities, the weather is a big factor in your climb. Although it is possible to climb under different weather conditions, climbers must undergo proper training before climbing in adverse conditions (e.g., rain, snow). There are programs designed for that. It would be advisable for beginners to schedule their climb during dry weather conditions, regardless of the trail’s difficulty.
Deciding on which trail to conquer has been made easier due to online resources. Whether you fancy a climb in the Americas, Europe, Asia, or the Pacific Rim, there are online resource that match your needs. Most online resources categorize its routes per continent and difficulty level and maintain a large volume of forum topics to help novice, intermediate, and professional climbers. Route information posted online also contains its class or grade, so climbers can identify which ones they can pursue.
These are just the fundamental aspects of Rock Climbing that you should know. You need to be prepared and knowledgeable enough on these essentials before taking the climb. Moreover, you must understand that Rock Climbing is usually done in an environment that is potentially dangerous. Thus, make sure you have learned the necessary skills and techniques and have prepared everything you need before heading out.
The sections above are intended for informational purposes only. It is still wise to learn the essentials of Rock Climbing from qualified and experienced climbers. The information provided here cannot be a substitute to a formal training in Rock Climbing.