Essential Mountain Climbing Tools
Essential mountain climbing tools are designed mainly for safety during a climb. Modern mountain climbing equipment protects the climber from falling debris, slips, and dangerous falls. No matter the level of expertise in climbing every climber must be prepared with essential mountain climbing tools.
- Helmet. A well made mountain climbing helmet is designed to take impact from above. Falling rocks and debris are common in climbing and a helmet with proper impact resistance will protect the head from falling rocks. In a swinging or dropping fall, a helmet provided impact protecting on the top, sides, and back of the head.
- Footwear. The best mountain climbing footwear should mirror the shape of the foot with plenty of expansion for the natural spread of toes while walking or climbing. The type of climbing will determine the type of sole and material the shoe is made with.
- Clothing. The correct mountain climbing clothes are worn in layers beginning with the base layer usually of snug fitting and stretchy tee shirt and shorts that will absorb perspiration and insulate the body. The temperature and climate will determine the type and amount of layers to be worn. A climbing vest is essential clothing for mountain because it keeps the torso warm and has several pockets for storing snacks and equipment. Windbreakers are worn for cooler climbs and a jacket for cold climates. Layer can be easily removed or added as the temperature changes.
- Gloves. One of the most essential mountain climbing tools is a pair of climbing gloves. It is important to keep finger warm and dexterous during a climb. Begin with a pair of snug fitting glove liners. When wearing glove liners, the climber should be able to tie shoe laces, work with anchors and harnesses while keeping fingers warm. Over the glove liner wear gloves or mitts that fit well.
- Backpack. A backpack is an essential climbing tool that keeps necessary climbing tools, food, water, and clothing easily at hand. When selecting a backpack choose consider one that is designed for the type and length of the climb planned, internal or external backpack frames, and the weight of the backpack.
- Harness. The most important mountain climbing tool for safety is the harness. A harness fits around the legs and torso to create a seat when suspended from a rock or ledge. When choosing a harness select a proper fitting harness that is comfortable and strong enough to sustain the type of climb planned.
- Axe. An axe can be used as a walking stick and as an anchor with a rope tied around it. The axe is especially useful on an icy climb. To select the perfect size axe, hold the axe while standing with arms at sides. The spike (metal tip of the axe) of the axe should just barely touch the floor.
- Anchors. Anchors are the point where a safety rope or strap are secured to rock, ice or snow with a bolt, or tied to a tree. The tools used to create anchors are carabiners (metal ring with a spring or screw latch), leashes, and ropes. A thorough knowledge how to create the safest possible anchor is required before any climb is attempted.