Rock Climbing 101 –
Welcome to Rock Climbing 101. Are you ready to learn the basics of rock climbing? We sure hope so. Rock climbing is dangerous. You must understand and practice safe climbing technique whenever you climb in order to reduce your risk of injury, paralysis, or death. You are responsible for your own safety and the safety of your climbing partners. Climbing at indoor gyms and outside on real rock both present serious risks to your safety, physical health, and life.
Here are some rock climbing 101 tips for safety.
- Check your knots and harness buckles
- Inspect your gear and replace when needed
- Know your climbing partners and their habits
- Check your belay
- Keep an eye on the weather
- Rock breaks – check your holds (loose holds are marked with a white X)
- Always double check your rappel system (this is a climber’s most dangerous mistake)
- Get to know the different kinds of climbing; bouldering, sport climbing, traditional climbing, and indoor climbing. What are you most interested in?
- Understand what kind of climbing gear you need and how to use it.
- Check out the benefits of rock climbing.
- Take an intro climbing class often called (Rock Climbing 101) at a local indoor climbing gym. This will be a chance for you to learn how some basic techniques from someone who knows how to climb.
- Top roping is a great way to learn some basic technique and become familiar with and gain trust in the climbing rope systems.
- Find someone at a local gym or a friend to coach/mentor you; they can give you important pointers and advice.
- Remember learning to climb is a process. Every time you climb make it a goal to learn something new and have fun.
Getting StartedHaving the proper gear is essential if you want to climb strong and safely. You’ll want to get a good pair of rock climbing shoes, a chalk bag, and some chalk to keep your hands dry and increase the friction between your skin and the surface of the rock and holds. What other kind of gear do you need? Now remember the gear you need depends on what type of climbing you are going to be doing. Since, Rock Climbing 101 focuses on rock climbing for beginners, we recommend you stick with top roping and bouldering to start. These will help you learn the rock climbing basics. Check out climbing gear to get complete information about all the gear you need to climb.
Rock Climbing Basics, Technique
Rock Climbing 101 Hand TechniquesCrimp: the most natural and stressful way to grip a rock hold; characterized by hyperextension of the first joint in the fingers and nearly full contraction of the second joint. Open Hand Grip: gripping the rock with the first joint in the fingers and keeping the hand open. This is the safest hand position for your joints. Gaston: best described as a handhold that is only good from the side; you must hold it with your elbows pointing out and palm facing away from you. Jug: a massive, easy to hold onto hold. Pinch: a hold where you must pinch using your thumb and fingers to hold on (they vary in size). Side pull: crimping or using an open hand grip on a vertical or near vertical hold. Sloper: sloping hold with very little positive surface like palming a basketball. Undercling: grabbing a hold with the palm facing up.
|Crimp||Open Hand Grip|
|Crimp||Open Hand Grip|
|Crimp||Open Hand Grip|
Rock Climbing 101 Basic Climbing TechniqueCross through: crossing over or under your hand to reach a hold. Hand-foot-match: placing your hand and foot on the same hold at the same time. Drop knee: an exaggerated backstep in which one knee is dropped toward the ground with the other pointing up, great for overhanging rock. High step: a technique to use with a high foot placement. Mantle: a climbing technique that requires you to transfer from a pulling position to a pushing position; typically used to topout on boulder problems and to climb past a shelf on roped climbs. Foot switch: a technique used to replace one foot with the other foot. It is best accomplished by slowly replacing the foot and without jumping. Match: to place both hands on the same hold typically done when switching hands on the hold.
|Cross Over||Hand Foot Match|
A Final TipMake sure that you enjoy the people and the places climbing takes you more than the difficulty of the routes you climb. Climbing is so much more than grades and numbers. It is important to start enjoying the beauty of nature and community right from the beginning. “The best climber is the one having the most fun.” -Alex Lowe
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