There is a sense of exhilaration and accomplishment when you pull yourself over the edge of a summit you have been climbing. Whether this is at a training centre, or on an actual climbing spot, nothing is more important than the integrity of your climbing and safety equipment.
There must be no compromise on the equipment you carry, in terms of necessity and quality. Take a look at some of the important gear you should have:
Climbing Helmet: You should choose a helmet that provides protection and comfort. Rock climbing enthusiasts like you need to protect your heads if you lose grip and bang into a rock face, or end up tilted at odd angles. Select one that you will be comfortable in for long hours.
Climbing Harness: There are different kinds of harnesses available such as:
- Gym harnesses: These are available in a range of simple as well as high-end versions. The most basic is suitable for indoor rock climbing. Others such as the double back waist belt buckle or the thin belay harnesses are great when you want to get in and out of them quickly and carry minimum weight on you.
- Traditional Harnesses: These are generally light and comfortable, but need more gear than required by gym harnesses. They come with features such as adjustable leg loops, gear loops, durable padding for lumbar, etc. Ice and mixed harnesses are available to deal with extreme climes.
- Alpine harnesses: These may be used in most seasons and are flexible.
- Specialized harnesses: These are created for unique climbing styles such as competitive climbing, canyoneering, big wall climbing or rescues.
Belay Device: This is a device that grabs hold of you if you slip and fall, preventing a fatal accident. It is also used to give you a breather when climbing. These devices come in three forms:
- Tube, usually used by novice climbers.
- Auto-blocking, a slightly advanced version of the tube.
- Assisted braking which is popular among climbers because it has a mechanism that grabs a rope if a climber slips.
Climbing Ropes: These are ropes that help you gain leverage as you move up a rock face. Dynamic ropes are most preferred as they stretch, which is good if you fall, as it reduces the shock on your body.
Knowing what you need and getting comfortable with your climbing equipment before you use it in the field is a good idea.
Rock wall climbing is turning out to become one of the world’s fastest growing mainstream indoor sporting activities. Conventionally perceived to be a sport only for the adrenaline junkies; reliable instructions, training and modern day safety equipment has made the sport of enjoyable for people of all ages.
Depending on your personal comfort and level of ability, anyone can pursue this sport and reap its benefits. The advantages of climbing are summarized in three main areas:
Let’s take a look at the mental benefits offered with rock wall climbing:
Decision-Making and Goal-Setting
Each indoor rock climbing route is like a puzzle in its own self. This takes significant patience and strategy. While climbing, you will be expected to set your goal and make spot decisions as in your path. Furthermore, you will be expected to commit to your decisions and follow through. This activity helps you in nurturing your ability to assess a problem, identify a viable solution and execute as the situation demands.
While beginners may choose to decide their route hold by hold, over a period of time, you will be able to look at the larger picture in front of you. Soon, the climber is able to visualize the entire route even before he or she grabs the first hold. With practice, you will able to build your planning and problem solving abilities.
Once the climber has established his or her abilities to strategize and set goals, the power of concentration and determination is naturally inculcated. With each decision that you make having an overall impact on your climb, you are forced to develop certain levels of concentration that eventually translate into your approach in the real world.
Finally, the mere knowledge of having accomplished something that seemed so impossible in the beginning is a great way to develop self-confidence. In addition to this, buildingself-awarenesswithin oneself adds to the confidence levels of a climber.
A great way to pursue comprehensive physical, mental and social development is by signing up with a climbing gym that allows you to pursue this sport all year round.
You may attempt climbing with a group of people, but the experience on the way up is yours alone to enjoy. Nothing may be more satisfying than completing your climb successfully. However, there are dangers that you need to protect yourself against.
This may be done with the right rock climbing gear and training. Here are some pointers that may help:
Check your Harness: After you have strapped on all your gear, double check your climber as well as belayer harness buckles. These need to be secure and doubled backed. Always make the time to do this before you begin rock climbing.
Check Knots: Begin a check of knots with your lead climber and go through each member of the group. Ensure the tie-in knot with the leader is securely finished with a back-up knot. Thread ropes through the waist and leg loops of your harness. This has to be done for every member.
Wear a Climbing Helmet: Your safety measures are incomplete if you do not wear a climbing helmet. These will help protect your from falling rocks, accidents mid-climb, losing grip on the rope and hitting the rock surface, and more.
Check Both Rope and Belay Device: Your rope must be threaded through the belay device. Both of these must then be attached to the belayer’s harness loop with a locking carabiner.
Use a Long Rope: Before you begin your climb, always ensure that you have a rope that reaches to the anchors or to the belay edge. This is particularly on multi-pitch climbing routes. If at any point you are unsure of the length of the rope, tie a stopper knot to prevent dropping down to the ground suddenly.
Stay Alert: When belaying, the leader of the group carries a biggest risk of falling. It is important to pay attention to their movements and not be distracted by gadgets or by other climbers. Take the leader off a belay only when they call “Off Belay” and you are sure he/she is anchored in and is in a safe place.
Carry Sufficient Gear:A lways conduct a review of your climbing route to determine what gear you will need to carry. Never cut back or go by a rule book. If you feel something is necessary, carry it along, irrespective of what others might have to say. Climbing is a difficult sport but one that may be a source of a lot of fun if done in the right manner and with the right climbing equipment to support you. For information on climbing equipment provided by Earth Treks Climbing Centers Click Here