How To Rock Climb Techniques
Do you want to know rock climbing techniques? If you find yourself in a situation where rock climbing is the only way out, you´ll probably do it and get to the top safe. But if you acquire some basic rock climbing techniques, the climb can be effortless and enjoyable.
What you need to know rock climbing techniques:
- A harness.
- A climbing rope.
- A locking carabiner.
- A belay device.
- A helmet.
- A climbing wall, either artificial or natural.
- An anchor at the top of the climb.
- A pair of rock climbing shoes.
- A chalk bag.
- Some medical tape.
Rock climbing techniques:
- Take a look at the climbing wall ahead of you. You may distinguish three main types of route. A limestone wall, with medium and big holds and gaps; a granite wall, with the presence of smaller holds or pockets and eventually a small balcony; or a combination of any material with vertical cracks of varied sizes ranging from just enough room for your fingertips to wide enough to go in, or chimneys.
- Define a route. It must make sense regarding your own skills and physical condition, the weather and the protection anchors available.
- Decide the type of protection to be used. The climber can sometimes choose to lead a climb and place himself pieces of protection along the way or use a top rope system, tying himself to a rope that is held by the belayer after going through an anchor at the top of the route.
- Gear up. Put your harness and helmet on properly, and tie in one end of the rope. If your hands sweat a lot, you can carry a chalk bag tied to the back of your harness, for regular use.
- Stretch and warm up. Take ten to fifteen minutes before you head up the climb to warm up and stretch your muscles and joints. This will give you longer climbing sessions with less pain. You also have to stretch after climbing to make sure most of the lactic acid generated under stress leaves your muscles reducing the chances of cramps and sprains.
- Identify the basic maneuvers of the climb. Major technique groups have the following features: hand pockets, hand holds, fingers and fist size cracks and full body cracks or chimneys. However, you will rarely find a pure route, in terms that you only use one of these along the way.
- Hand size holds. This is the typical beginner climb, where each hand and foot have enough room to grab friction in comfortable holds. The difficulty is given by the distance between holds and the angle of the wall.
- Smaller holds and pockets. More strenuous climbing conditions are found when the holds are not big enough to be comfortable, but allow the climber to have grip. In these cases, the climb gets harder, and a lot of finger and arm strength is required.
- Finger size cracks. Maybe the hardest of the cracks varieties, these still allow some grip by inserting the fingers in them. Sometimes they can be painful, but it´s all a matter of friction. Medical tape may be required.
- Fist size cracks. This is the ideal size for crack climbing, because it provides a hold firm enough to rest. You must practice crack climbing quite often to build full confidence, but inserting the fist properly and then expanding it inside the crack can give a lot of safety in the hold.
- Body size cracks or chimneys. In this case, the climber can literally go inside the crack, and by putting pressure towards the sidewalls of the chimney, you get a good ascending rate at a relatively low energy cost. Good rest positions can be found.
There´s extensive literature about climbing. Being a really new sport, techniques are developed on a daily basis. Researching and studying are sure to pay on the field. Also, learning the full capabilities of your equipment may save time and effort.