Do you want to know how to use mountain climbing ropes? Being familiar with ropes plays a great role in climbing safety. Practicing and acquiring skills on safety maneuvers will definitely add to your safety on the mountains. The following is the most common way to use a climbing rope for protected climbing, either outside or at a gym wall.
Things you need to use mountain climbing ropes:
- A cliff or climbing wall
- An anchor at the top of the wall or removable holds for lead climbing
- A climbing rope
- Two climbers, each with a harness
- A locking carabiner and a belay device
- Tie one end of the rope to the harness of the climber, using a figure eight follow through knot.
- Make the rope go through the belay device and the locking carabiner linked to the harness of the climber that will act as belayer.
- The climber will use his side of the rope to either gradually clip it into the movable holds if leading or just climb hanging from the top anchor if top roping. The latest is the most common practice in gyms and other regularly visited climbs.
- The belayer will feed or take rope as required by the climber movements. It's important to build a good climbing team, as communication between climber and belayer is vital.
- The rope must be protected from dust, sun, water and oil. To do that, a rope bag is recommended. There are several commercial models or you can just use a duffel bag big enough to accommodate the rope.
- When stored, the rope must be perfectly dry, clean and coiled. Otherwise, it may rot or memorize bends that will later prove dangerous.
All in all, the rope is the most critical piece of safety equipment while climbing. Being familiar with its use and maintenance is critical and retiring a worn rope at the right moment could make a big difference. Play it safe and have fun!