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Crack Climbing Techniques and Tips

Crack Climbing Techniques and Tips

Crack climbing is a sport that involves ascending along the various sized cracks in a rock. It is also known as jamming. It lets the climber place protection in between the crevices to aid the climb. There are a number of techniques involved in crack climbing which can be used for the different types of rocks as they each differ from each other.

Here are a few tips for mastering crack climbing techniques:

Understand the Type of Cracks 


Cracks can vary in size and shape and thus the techniques used to climb them are also different. One can categorize the cracks according to the way they can be used to climb. Hand cracks, fist cracks, and finger cracks are a few examples. Cracks large enough to fit a person in are known are chimneys while smaller ones ranging between 4-10 inches are called off-width tracks.  For beginners, it is best to try out a combination of cracks and practicing each crack climbing technique before moving on to the next level.

Learn the Technique of Jamming


Jamming is an important skill that all crack climbers should add to their repertoire. It takes practice to master it, but once you have learned the right technique, crack climbing becomes immensely easy and satisfying. Jamming involves wedging your body parts into the different types of cracks to aid in climbing. Combining this skill with the right climbing footwork can make one accomplished in this sport.

Focus on Foot Placement 


Crack climbing is not only about jamming and brute strength of your arms. It also involves your legs and the lower half of your body. Make sure you master climbing footwork for different types of cracks. Your legs have more strength than your arms and so it is important that you pay attention to using them well so as to avoid exhausting yourself soon.

Look for Constrictions in the Rocks 


Constrictions in the rock help in jamming and holding your body part in place. So while crack climbing, constantly look out for such constrictions to help you wedge your body parts in a more secure manner. Try to focus on your footwork here as feet are more secure in anchoring you to a surface as compared to fingers.

Follow these tips to help you climb cracks and master various climbing techniques.  Crack climbing requires a lot of patience and practice as it is a difficult sport. Make sure you train well in all aspects including endurance, flexibility, and strength to get the most out of this unusual and grueling sport.

Common Climbing Mistakes and How to Avert Them

Common Climbing Mistakes and How to Avert Them

Not all errors in climbing are life threatening — some may just spoil the entire climbing experience. It’s important that you learn from your mistakes. In climbing, futile experiences can be the foundation of good judgment. With this in mind, we’ve put together some of the most common climbing mistakes and ways to avoid them—in hopes of accelerating your journey toward being a safer, smarter climber.

Too Much Weight on Arms

Beginners usually rely on their arms too much while rock climbing. They do not realize that arms can pull the body up while legs continue to remain a dead weight. This eventually leaves your arms feeling exhausted which can be dangerous. Hence, always try and keep most of your weight concentrated on your legs.

Double-Checking Your Belay and Knots

Respect your gear. Getting the most suitable repairs and maintenance for your equipment is a must. For those who are belaying, the rope needs to be threaded perfectly through the belay device. Also, make sure that the carabiners in the system are locked. Double-check your knot, it needs to be fastened in an accurate manner.

Without a Head Gear

Helmets are a must for outdoor rock climbing! Traditional climbers wear helmets more often as compared to the beginners. Rock climbing can always be a risk. A climber can suffer severe head injuries and skull fracture in case of an accident. If a helmet can safeguard and mitigate a head injury, then why should not a climber always wear a helmet during his expedition! Consider all the risks before you make a fashion-centric decision of not wearing a helmet.

Ill-fitting Shoes

Beginners usually go for shoes that are slightly bigger. One of the most important things to remember while climbing is that climbing shoes shouldn’t have dead space. They need to be tight. In case they are not, you’ll keep moving your foot within the shoe which could make climbing uncomfortable and, sometimes, dangerous.


Maintaining a calculated balance is utmost important while climbing. An incorrectly balanced body tends to turn away from the rock, resulting in a dangerous hang or a possible fall.

Over Confidence

You arrive at the rock spot and intend to be on top of it in no time. When you start climbing immediately, especially beginners, you start searching for the best moves to get ahead. This could drain your energy not allowing you to complete the task the way you wanted to. Do not race ahead. Be patient. It important for you to first become a better climber, and understand the risks. Only then, you will be able to evaluate your ability to mitigate the dangers.

Climbing Over Your Limit

Many new climbers will face the urge to climb beyond their limit considering that they’re proficient in roped climbing or have boulder at an indoor climbing gym. This could be due to pressure from fellow climbers or a novice who wants to show off their skills. But outdoor rock climbing is a lot different from indoor climbing walls. Such a scenario could lead to undesired aftermaths.

Dropping Gear

Do not try to clean the anchors while climbing when you have other climbers following you. You could injure the people behind you. Similarly, try and avoid following other climbers when they’re cleaning their route for safety reasons.

With the right equipment and lots of practice, you can have a wonderful climbing experience. By avoiding some of these mistakes, any climber, be it a professional or a beginner, could be prepared for a safe and stimulating climbing experience. To enjoy a climbing experience, please visit an Earth Treks Climbing Center.


3 Climbing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Climbing Mistakes You Need to Avoid 

Climbing is an activity that requires a combination of skills and strengthBefore you begin rock climbing you need to do some serious planning and you should make sure that you have all the information you needLearn about the different techniques and how to execute them correctlyAlways be prepared and carry the necessary supplies with you, to avoid any problem while climbing 

In their enthusiasm to begin climbing, most first-timers and amateur climbers forget to take certain precautions, often making mistakes that complicate what could be a pretty simple task. 

Some of the mistakes that new climbers make are: 

Not carrying enough food and water: 

Always make sure you’re well-stocked when venturing out on a climb. The rigorous physical activity will increase your thirst and hunger and although carrying water will weigh you down considerably, it is your most essential supply. You should carry water for a minimum of two days. This will spare you a great deal of discomfort in various situations that could arise, such as from accidentally spilling water, losing or breaking a bottle, or moving very slowly.  

 In addition to water, make it a point to carry extra food provisions. You require calorie-dense and nutritious foods to keep your body energized for climbingTo keep your body’s supply of energy replenished, carry oatmeal and have it with peanut butter. Fill your bag with chocolate bars, candy, and salt pills ayou require energy-dense foods while climbing. 

 Wearing the wrong apparel: 

Wearing denim pants while climbing is one of the most common climbing mistakes. While you may be part of the ‘selfiegeneration’, exercise some restraint when out on a climb! Besides, you don’t always have to look your best, so avoid turning up for a climb all decked up. No matter how fashionable they might be or comfortable at other times, clothing that isn’t suitable for a climb can greatly impede your abilities. Wear clothes made from synthetic fabrics, with a rain and insulation layer, to enhance comfort. 

 Not rappelling safely: 

Rappelling is the most dangerous activity when climbing. Ensuring proper safety while rappelling is very important. Your life quite literally depends on the quality of your gear and how you use it. You should thread the rope with a rappelling device and join it with the harness. Tie big knots at the end of each rope to stop the rappel when you reach the end. You also need to ensure that the lock is properly fixed with your harness. Always check to make sure that your hair or any piece of clothing is tangled in the rappel system.  Lastly, make slow movements while rappelling.    


If you haven’t done it before, there’s no shame in learning. Sign up for rock climbing instruction sessions to learn the basics thoroughly, so you can avoid such common mistakes. 

Exercises to Prevent Climbing Injuries

Exercises to Prevent Climbing Injuries

Climbing is an intense activity that involves vigorous and difficult movements of the body. Given its intensity, it is important for a climber’s body to be well trained for strength, flexibility and stamina. If you proceed to climb without training your body, getting injured will be inevitable. Here are a few exercises you can do to prevent climbing injuries:


Warm up

Warming Up is one of the pre-climbing routines that should be religiously followed by all climbers. Warming up help loosens the joints and muscles while preparing them up for the intense climbing activity that follows. Make sure your warm up session always precedes other climbing exercises and involves stretches and moves targeting each body part, including your fingers.



The best stretching exercises to avoid climbing injuries are dynamic ones that involve spending equal amounts of time for the different areas of your body while you span a large range of motion. Climbers are advised not to make static or ballistic stretching a part of their pre-climbing exercise routine as these can actually increase your chance of having an injury.


Shoulder Exercises                              

Climbing can often contribute to shoulder injuries as a result of postural or movement faults. These may be avoided by performing shoulder exercises regularly. The exercises should improve the alignment of your shoulders, make them stronger and more stable. Perform shoulder exercises like the wall slide at least thrice a week as part of your exercise to avoid climbing injuries.



Cross Training                                 


Climbers need to indulge in cross training to keep their bodies fit and help develop muscles that are otherwise not targeted while climbing. This will help improve balance and soothe injuries caused while trying out new moves and techniques. Cross train by cycling, lifting weights, running and performing yoga apart from climbing routines.


Hand and Finger Exercises         

Most climbers tend to overlook hand and finger climbing exercises as a part of their workout routine, negligence of which can cause serious injuries. Just like any other exercise routine, start your session by warming up first. Some exercises for hands and fingers to avoid climbing injuries are gripping, finger extensions, pinching, and tendon glides.

Reduce your chances of incurring an injury while climbing or minimize its effect of any by performing regular exercises to keep your body strong and flexible. On the off-chance that you do get injured, recuperate by performing specialized exercises for climbing injuries.

How to Trad Climb

How to Trad Climb?

Traditional climbing or Trad climbing gives the climber a unique sense of freedom. It is a style of rock climbing wherein the climbers place all equipment/gear essential to protect against accidents and remove them once the passage is complete. A trad climber finds thrill in the complex rock forms, which establishes a deep connection between the climber and the rock as they examine and step every inch on difficult conditions. With the right training and skills, and with the necessary equipment, you really have the ability to climb the rocks. Here, we give you a lowdown on trad climbing.

Select the Route that Suits You

Choosing the right climb for your trad limit is extremely important especially considering that trad routes do not have bolts. Therefore, you must choose a hard on-sight route depending on the style of climbing you enjoy the most. If you find technical face climbing exciting, then do not opt for an off-width crack as your hard lead. Initially, go for really simple, low-angled routes that offer multiple opportunities to place protection. Placing protection appropriately at the right places can take time. It requires a lot of strength and stamina to perform the action smoothly. You’ll get better with practice.

Pick the Correct Gear

Trad climbing necessitates a lot of gear. Picking the correct trad climbing gear for the job can make all the difference on a difficult ascent. In addition to your harness, shoes, and helmet, you will also need nuts, micro-nuts, hexes, tri-cams, cams, micro cams, carabiners, quickdraws, slings, runners, cordelette, nut tool, gear sling, etc. What’s important here is to pick up the right size and type of protection for the rock you are about to climb.


Prepare a Strategy

Before you think of getting to the top at the earliest with trad climbing techniques, make sure you’re feeling solid and comfortable on the rock. Invest enough time in practicing to climb cracks of different sizes. Once you’re there, assess your projected route by standing back from the cliff. Then, take a detailed look at the base of the cliff. Begin with single-pitch routes which are easy to look at. This space will help you see all the features of the rock.

Take Small Steps

Take small and planned steps. Keep going slowly for as long as you can. Do not spend too much more difficult moves, which will help you climb the awkward sections with ease and look for places where you can hang on to place gear.

Keep Your Cool

If you can’t figure out the route ahead, do not get confused and run into making the wrong moves since the action can’t be reversed. You do not want to risk taking a big fall. Keep calm while you assess the safest route ahead. Remember that fear of falling or the fear of the unknown can make it difficult for you to function and propel you to make unsafe decisions.