10 Tools Used by Mountain and Rock Climbers

Mountain climbing and rock climbing have always been popular but have become even more so recently. There are classes devoted to the sports, there are tours in places in the word and some stores, like REI, even have indoor climbing walls to practice on. As in any sport, there are certain tools that one needs in order to participate properly.

The below, in no particular order, are 10 tools used by mountain and rock climbers.

1. Harness – This secures the body during the climb. They are available in different shapes and sizes and must be tried on to ensure a perfect fit. Features include adjustable leg loops, special linings to keep skin free of moisture and foam padding for extra support and more comfort. Keep in mind when shopping that harnesses are made differently for men and women.
2. Descenders – This is a belay device used for the purpose of descending on steep rock. Descenders are used in abseiling and rappelling techniques. There are various descenders for different styles of climbing and different types of terrains.
3. Ascenders or Pulleys – This is also a belay device but is intended more for solo solo climbers. There are various ascenders for different styles of climbing and different types of terrains.
4. Carabiners – These are hooks climbers use to anchor. Climbers need a combination of these; some should come with screw/snap gates and some should come with straight/bend gates.
5. Crampons – Hooks for anchoring that are used mainly for climbing ice or for very steep climbs.
6. Helmets – These are protection for the head in the case of falling down, falling rocks or other such debris. In ice climbing, for example, the lead climber may unwittingly cause chunks of ice to fall back on everyone lower than him. Falling stones or ice can be fatal, but a helmet is designed to protect against that. A proper helmet should be light weight, have plenty of ventilation and should be snug, yet comfortable.
7. Chalk – These will keep hands dry and able to grip securely. Hands can get sweaty when climbing but chalk absorbs the sweat and allows the climber to grip things firmly.
8. Hydration Packs – It goes without saying that water is one of the most important things to have on hand. With a hydration pack it is easy to carry water in up to 100 ounces and even more with additional packs.
9. Shoes – Rock climbing shoes are very important. With the wrong ones, climbers can end up in extreme pain. With the right ones, however, they will find themselves climbing all day. Buy climbing shoes at a reputable sports store where answers can be answered and helpful advice given. Climbing shoes should be snug, yet comfortable. Keep in mind that they will widen so if they are a bit too tight in width, that is all right. If they are tight by the toes, however, do not buy them. Climbing shoes can be quite expensive so consider purchasing last years models. Climbing shoes can also be rented; in this way, shoes can be tried out on smaller ventures before putting out the money and heading for bigger climbs.
10. Rope – There are two kinds of rope used for climbing; dynamic rope and static rope. Dynamic rope is made to stretch, this minimizes the impact of a fall. Dynamic rope is used in lead climbing. They are used in rappelling, conveying gear and top-roping (although, using dynamic rope for these uses will cause them to wear out fast) . Static rope does not stretch and should never be used in lead climbing. It is mostly used for rappelling, conveying gear and top-roping. Static rope is more durable for these uses that dynamic rope.

There are many more items that are either needed or helpful for rock and mountain climbing. It is always good to talk to an expert and go from there.