Guide to Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing

How do you feel when you see someone inching their way up a steep rock or mountain that seems to be unconquerable? Now imagine if you were that person on the rock clinging to dear life; seems like madness to put yourself in that position doesn’t it?!
Rock climbing is an extreme sport that requires the strength of every muscle in your body combined with great poise and skill. It also requires special equipment to keep you from falling down hundreds of feet.
What is rock climbing: Useful information covering the basics of rock climbing
Chockstone: This site has tons of information including guide, technical tips, articles and reviews about rock climbing in Victoria, Australia
Smith rock: a complete rock climbing and hiking resource guide with detailed climbing routes, weather, photos, videos, state park and camping info, online store, and a blog for rock climbers and hikers
Beginner’s guide to rock climbing: An excellent guide that provides information about various aspects of rock climbing
Bouldering History: A history of bouldering and its origins including an Australian section

The History of Rock Climbing

Rock climbing was considered a part of mountaineering for a long time and only about 60-65 years ago did it begin to be considered a sport in its own right. Before that it was just a training method for mountaineers; they climbed difficult routes to train themselves for formidable mountains. Two countries in Europe were instrumental in developing rock climbing as a sport. Several climbing clubs were operating in Germany in the early twentieth century, with hundreds of active climbers. England was the other country that promoted rock climbing, where many climbers made a name for themselves by climbing very difficult and treacherous routes. The grading system for climbing routes also originated in England during this time.
Rock climbing history: A concise account of rock climbing history
Rock climbing history explained: A fairly detailed description of different aspects of rock climbing history.


Types of Rock Climbing

Rock climbing comes in different flavors such as traditional rock climbing, indoor climbing, sports climbing, solo climbing and bouldering.
Traditional rock climbing: This involves scaling enormous cliffs and towering rocks with specialized equipment
Indoor climbing: This is the safest from of rock climbing, which is performed indoors on vertical structures made of concrete, plywood, etc. with permanently placed handholds and foot holds
Sport climbing: This is a safer form of traditional climbing in which handholds, footholds and other protective articles are permanently placed on the rock. So climbers don’t need to carry such equipment with them.
Solo climbing: This is the most dangerous form of rock climbing in which the climber relies only on his hands and feet and does not use any protective gear
Bouldering: This is usually done on the sides of buildings, artificial boulders, inside sports facilities, or on natural boulders. Bouldering is also done without a rope or other protective gear.
Getting started rock climbing: In this article, REI Outdoor School instructors offer tips and video instructions to serve as a basic primer
Rock climbing ABC’s: Several rock climbing training articles covering topics such as endurance, strength and nutrition
Rock climbing: This is a rock climbing community website where climbers can find information about rock climbing routes, gear, news, forums, photos, videos, etc.
Rock climbing routes: This is the largest directory of rock climbing routes on the web
Indoor rock climbing: Tons of useful information about indoor rock climbing
Mountain project: A definitive resource for the climbing and mountaineering community

Rock climbing equipment

In addition to a fit body with strong hands and feet, some specialized equipment is needed for rock climbing. This includes:

  • Climbing shoes - that have soles with good grips and which fit very snugly
  • A Helmet - to protect the head in the event of a fall
  • Ropes - of varied thickness, weight and length are used in different situations
  • A Harness - that wraps around the waist and upper thighs to prevent falling
  • Carabiners - which are metal loops that are used as connectors
  • Quickdraw - to attach ropes to bolted anchors

Rock climbing: This is a website with information on rock climbing equipment, clothes, routes, and techniques including bouldering, indoor, ice, and traditional climbing with thousands of pictures, videos, and route information
Rock climbing equipment and techniques: Illustrations and descriptions of basic climbing methods and equipment
Climbing and outdoor gear reviews: An article with in-depth information about rock climbing gear
Rock climbing techniques: An excellent presentation that discusses rock climbing from almost every aspect

Rock Climbing Techniques

When we look at climbers, it seems that their hands are doing all the work of lifting and moving forward, but in reality it is the legs that support a climber. It is important to effectively use the legs when climbing a rock because legs are far stronger than arms and can carry a lot more weight. There are several techniques to effectively use the hands and feet:
Hand techniques: These include open hand grip, jug, side pull, gaston, crimp and undercling.
Foot techniques: These include backstepping, flagging, edging, smearing, toe hook and hell hook.
Hand strength for rock climbing: Great information about grip and forearm training for rock climbers
Rock climbing techniques: This site has a lot of practical information about rock climbing techniques
Introductory rock climbing techniques: An REI Outdoor School instructor demonstrates some introductory climbing techniques in this video
Rock climbing basics: A detailed article that discusses the basics of rock climbing
ABC’s of rock climbing: The world’s largest rock climbing portal including informative articles, a gear shop, travel services, pictures and forums
Extreme Rock Climbing: An exciting rock climbing video of Dan Osman, two-time rock climbing world record holder


Safety Tips

Plan ahead: Rock climbing is a sport where one step can be the difference between life and death. Therefore when you are on a rock or mountain carefully review the situation and plan every step before moving your feet.
Check equipment: Always check your equipment before beginning climbing to make sure that everything is in working order. It is very important to ensure that knots are properly tied and are secure. The rope should pass through the waist loops and the leg loops of the harness.
Not all rocks are same: Different rocks have different characteristics; therefore, you may need to use different techniques and approaches depending upon the type of rock.
Pick bright sunny days: Try to choose days that are bright and sunny so that you can clearly see ahead and plan your moves
Essential rock climbing advice and tips for beginners: This site is packed with information, advice, articles, tips and videos to help you learn essential skills, safety tips and techniques
Training Guide: Useful information about different aspects of rock climbing
Australian climbing association: This is a central point where climbers can share information, organize themselves and communicate within the climbing community
Red center rock: A free resource for anyone thinking of rock climbing in Central Australia
The Crag: The world’s largest collaborative climbing database with an index of 194,470 routes.
Mountaineers: An e-zine dedicated to Mountaineering and Climbing

Related Categories

Rock Climbing
Indoor Sports Centres
Camping & Outdoor Equipment

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