Rock Climbing Techniques: Basic Principles and Good Form

If you have always been interested in rock or mountain climbing, learning good rock climbing techniques is a must. Rock climbing can be a dangerous sport, so it is imperative that you know the basics. Begin learning by climbing walls at your local gym, taking classes and doing as much research as you can to ensure you fully understand the sport before you put yourself in danger’s way.

Safety is Number 1

Before you are ready to climb anything, including walls at the gym, be sure you understand the importance of the knots and harness buckles and how to check them. Know how to inspect your gear and how to identify when it needs replacement. Know what a rappel system is and how to check it. Make sure you know your climbing partners and understand their habits.

Proper Gear

It is essential for you to have the proper gear to be able to climb safely. This includes a chalk bag, chalk, and rock climbing shoes. The chalk is essential in keeping your hands dry to increase the amount of friction between your hands and the rocks and/or holds. You will also need to have a climbing rope, webbing, carabiners and quickdraws. You will need to invest in a good harness and a belay and rappel device. Other gear that you might want to consider includes a helmet, climbing tape and a rope bag.

Basics of Rock Climbing

It is said that one of the most common mistakes that new climbers make is they don’t use their legs enough. New climbers are under the impression that climbing is all about arm strength, so be sure to utilize your legs as well. Make sure to focus on using your legs to push you up onto the rocks.

Foot Techniques

There are foot techniques that are important to learn.  One such technique is edging, using the inside of your foot to stand steady on a foothold. Smearing is another technique you will want to learn. This is when your foot is placed directly on a rock or the wall. You will need to learn how to toe hook, which is when you hook your toes on the wall to help balance yourself.

Hand Techniques

Along with foot techniques, there are hand techniques you will need to learn. To climb you do not have to be super strong. You do need to have good techniques in both in your feet and hands.You will need to learn to crimp, which is a way of gripping onto a hold using your fingertips. You will need to know that a Gaston is a hold that is made from the side.  You need to learn the proper technique to do a Gaston, ensuring your elbows point out and the palm of your hand is facing away from your body.

Climbing Techniques

Some of the other climbing techniques you will need to familiarize yourself with will include drop knee, mantle and match. These are whole body techniques that involve pulling yourself into position, knowing where your hands need to be as well as the placement of your feet.