Rock Climbing Techniques and Basics
If you are bored with the usual routines during the weekend, and want to try out something new and exciting, that wouldn’t cost much, than you might be interested in trying out rock climbing and basic rock climbing techniques are very simple to follow. With the right gear and an onsite instructor, you can have a taste of what it really feels like when you see it being done on TV by professionals along a mountain side. Even if all instructors should bring proper safety gear when hired for a day trial, you should be aware of all the items you should lookout for.
Safety is a very important issue in rock climbing, even if it’s basic and a very short climb. When it comes to footwear, get a good rock climbing shoe that fits snugly. Safety ropes are also of great importance. They are what will break your fall if you lose grip at any point in time during your climb. To protect yourself from injuring your head a hard hat is also advised. Lastly, when the climb is going to be long, or the surface is too slippery, a chalk bag and some chalk is also needed to keep your hands dry and give additional friction.
Since legs are stronger than hands, during rock climbing it is important to focus all your energy into your legs and use that power to push yourself upwards and use your hands only to hold yourself close to the surface. If you are using a rock climbing shoes, you can use find a grip with virtually any side of your foot. There are a number of different grips and names but mainly they all imply finding a grip and pushing yourself upwards using either the inside of your foot, placing your foot directly on the surface, the use of the heel or using your toes to hook on a rock.
Belaying is a technique of rock climbing that uses safety ropes to break the fall of a climber. While one climbing is working his way up the rocks, another person is on the ground controlling the ropes through a belay device which allows the rope to flow freely while climber is moving upwards but will quickly lock as soon as the climber falls. Once it locks, the person controlling the ropes than is able to hold the whole weight of the climber and lowers him or her slowly to a safe area.
Abseiling is basically walking your way down from a rock surface, it is easier to do since you don’t need as much strength as when you were going upwards, but is more dangerous since if the rope had to break you are basically holding on to nothing as compared to rock climbing where you were holding on with your hands and feet. Abseiling uses the same basics as belaying with a person on the ground ready to hold your weight and break your fall if you had to slip.
This is a climb where more than one person is taking part in the climbing together. The leader goes up first, finding the right path and leading the other climbers upwards. The leader is usually the most experienced climber of the group and as he or she is climbing upwards, they responsible of placing protection to avoid rope drag and make sure all climbers behind him or her are safe. The protection are then used by the other climbers to hook their ropes with just in case they fall while the leader is ascending using the either the belaying technique, or more risky, a free climb where no ropes are used but just the strength in the hands and legs.