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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.

5 Stretching Exercises to get Warmed Up for a Climb

5 Stretching Exercises to get Warmed Ufor a Climb

Rock climbing is an adventure sport, loved by many. When planning any climbing activity, you need to learn the techniques, work on postures and enhance not just your strength, but skills as well. Once you’re actually ready to start climbing, there’s just one last thing you need to do. A warm up before climbing is absolutely essential. It prepares your body for the rigorous physical activity. It enhances the flexibility of your body and improves muscle fiber performance.

Types of stretches

In the warm up session, you should practice stretches. There are two types of stretches. The first is dynamic stretching, in which you have to make slow and controlled movements, while gradually speeding them up. You are not supposed to hold any position while performing dynamic stretches. It involves exercises like neck rolls, arm circles, shoulder rolls, squats, side bends, and high steps. These exercises are meant for your joints.

The next type is static stretching. In this type, you have to move your muscles without moving the body. You have to hold the position for a minimum of 15 seconds. Drink lots of water before performing these stretches. Ensure that the movements are smooth and controlled. Avoid jerks to prevent injuries.

Warm up stretches

Here are 5 climbing warm up stretches that will help you perform better, when out climbing:

  • Forearm Flexors and Extensors: 


Keep your arm extended, in a horizontal position, with your palms open and all the fingers joined and pointing upwards. Gently pull the fingers back with your other hand. Keep pulling till you feel the stretch on the lower portion of your forearm. For extensors, follow the same method, with your fingers pointing downwards, instead of up. As a result, you will feel the stretch at the top of your forearm.

  • Standing High-leg Bent Knee Hamstring Stretch: 

Use a small table for this warm up exercise. Keep one foot on the table, with your leg bent. Move your chest towards the bent knee. This exercise will help to stretch the muscles of your legs and knees.

  • High-steps: 

As the name suggests, this exercise will help you to do high steps. Initially, use your arm to pull your bent leg upwards till you feel the stretch. Hold the position for 15 seconds. Try to maintain the position without the support of your arm and then relax. Next time, raise your bent leg without using your arm.

  • Squatting Leg-out Adductor Stretch 

Stand straight and keep your feet wide apart. Bend one leg and point the toes outwards. Lower the rest of your body till you feel the stretch. Keep one hand on the ground and the other on the bent knee.

  • Child Pose: 

Kneel on the floor with your feet touching the ground. Now, lower your body so that your hips touch the feet. Extend your arms, tighten your core and keep lowering your upper body, until your head and arms make contact with the floor. Hold this position for 15 – 20 seconds.


No matter how skilled or strong you might be, don’t forget how important it is to stretch before you start your climb. Warming up with these stretches will work wonders, they are perfectly geared fore rock climbing.


2010 Shared Summits Makalu Expedition

The 2010 Shared Summits Makalu Expedition is on it’s way. Read the blog, see the pictures and watch the videos on

The World’s 5th Highest Mountain

(8,485 meters – 27,838 feet )

Makalu, the “Great Black”, has been summited 323 times: only 13 times by Americans. The last time a new route was completed on Makalu was in 1997. It isn’t that Makalu is totally ignored, it is really hard. Almost every ascent is made by the French Route on the North Western side. Like most 8000 meter climbs, it is accomplished with the help of Sherpas, bottled Oxygen and big teams.

Our plan is to attempt to climb a new route on this giant peak. Our team is small, just two climbers. Chris Warner and Marty Schmidt are among the leading American 8000 meter climbers, with over 40 years of experience in the Himalaya, and over 55 years of exploring the world’s mountains.

Meet the Makalu team

Roc Comp Results

Results for Citizen’s Comp, Friday April 23, 2010

  • Mens Citizens Results – Updated 042410
  • womens_citizens
  • ccs_scores
    REMINDER: If you were a 1st-5th place finisher in the Citizen’s Comp and have not picked up your prize & medal, you may either pick it up at the Columbia gym or we can make arrangements to have it available for pick up at either Timonium or Rockville. Email christina at earthtreksclimbing dot com if you have any questions.

Results for Pro Qualifying Red-Point Round, Friday April 23, 2010

Results for Semi Finals, Saturday April 24, 2010

Results for Finals, Saturday April 24, 2010

Climbing with Kids

Climbing with Kids

Climbing is a pretty intense sport and those who love it, will always love it way beyond their means. And nothing stops them from going climbing, not even kids. Besides, climbing is a great teacher of teamwork, decision-making and managing fear. The level of commitment required for climbing teaches kids patience and sometimes the ability to let go. It also helps kids appreciate the nature.

While for some children climbing comes naturally and they enjoy it, for some parents it’s not so easy. It’s a task to manage yourself and the kids when all you want to go do is climb and they don’t want to. So while we are on this, lets discuss some ways of handling the kids and making them have fun rock climbing.


Target smaller milestones

As an individual climber, you may be used to challenging yourself and setting higher milestones but when climbing with kids, target smaller milestones. You can set more milestones as you start gauging how much they can take. Rock climbing for kids can be a fun activity, but let’s save some of their energies for them to enjoy post the climb.

Carry all required gear

Climbing with kids is a tiring responsibility since they rely on you to make their major decisions for them. Make sure you carry all the essential gear like helmets and harnesses, without which you shouldn’t be letting your kids climb.  Another essential is kids climbing shoes as a proper climbing shoe with the sticky rubber will help them tackle difficult terrain.

Make it fun

If you strictly make it a teaching lesson, the kids are not going to learn how to enjoy climbing like you do with a passion. Make it fun. Let them compete. Let them set their own milestones and watch the happiness when they accomplish it. Don’t keep the entire trip just about climbing and let them let their hair down and goof around, as that’s exactly what they are supposed to be doing at that age!

Involve their friends and bigger groups

Climbing, as an activity is more enjoyable in bigger groups and what better than letting your kids have their own friends. The more, the merrier. Let them unwind and have their fun with their own friends while you get to gloat about being the cool parents who like fun stuff like rock climbing. Try indoor rock climbing or one of your kids’ birthdays, as at a natural rock climbing spot it will be difficult to take care of too many kids.

Carry their favorite food

Kids get cranky when they get hungry and that’s the last thing you need when you are climbing. Carry their favorite snacks and they’ll be happy. After all, who doesn’t like crisps after a long climb?

Now go, have fun.