In the United States, rock climbing has increased in popularity over the last several years. This is not a sport for everybody though, since there are special talents and physical skills necessary to perform it. There is also equipment that has to be purchased including a helmet, rope, shoes, a harness and other assorted items.
Probably the most important safety equipment for climbers is the helmet. This will protect the head against fallen rocks, and will keep a climbers face from smacking into a rock face altogether.
Another item that is indispensable for rock climbing is the proper rope. There is nothing more important to a rock climber than his rope because this is essentially a lifeline. Rope used for rock climbing is much improved due to many manufacturing innovations that have been implemented.
Climbers used to carry about 150 feet of rock climbing rope with them on all of the ascents. Then the standard increased to 50 meters, and is not at 60 meters for some people. Of course with the additional length comes extra weight and increased cost. It may also be hard to play out when used on the mountain if it is too long. That is why most participants only carry a 50 meter length. It is important to have just enough to do the job. Experienced climbers know their limit, but novices should check with somebody else first.
The most troublesome thought on a beginner’s mind is falling due to the rope breaking. However, most veteran climbers know that their ropes are probably the most sure thing in their equipment bag. Designers and engineers have fashioned it to stretch quite a bit under load. It is actually composed of two layers, with the outer sheathing protecting the inner core. A sharp rock is the biggest danger to climbers as far as rope possibly breaking. It is a good idea to watch out for these edges while climbing.
Rock climbing rope is specifically designed for climbing purposes and shouldn’t be used just to carry gear. This is the purpose of a static line, which is not designed to stretch.
It is very important to keep the rope dry as much as possible. A wet rope will weigh more and can also lose much of its strength in this condition. It is also harder to handle in this state. And if the mercury drops below the freezing point, this rope is virtually impossible to use for any purpose. A dry rope is a type of rock climbing rope which has undergone special water repellent treatments to make it impervious to moisture. They generally cost around 20% extra, but they aren’t really necessary for climbing when the weather is nice. It is important to try and avoid unnecessary expenditures that can be used to purchase something more worthwhile for climbing purposes.
There are also special shoes needed to perform this kind of activity. They are quite stiff and fit the foot very snugly. Since all rock climbers are quite safety conscious, a harness is an important piece of equipment too. It is usually cinched up around the waist and lower body to prevent a fall. For a better grip, most climbers carry a chalk bag which can be attached to the harness for quick access. Finally, a belay is a device that is used to keep the rope within easy reach and can be easily accessed.
There is no way to get experience except for actually climbing, but there are instructions that should be obtained from a veteran instructor. He will provide the right information on the proper use and deployment of safety equipment. This is extremely important to know before beginning any ascent up a rock face. Although the data can be accessed from books available at the local library or online, it is best to ask a veteran climber for his opinion. His viewpoint will also be valuable when looking for the right equipment, since matching up proper gear with skill level is vitally important. Rock climbing equipment can be purchased from a number of online and offline shops, and getting the right stuff can make all the difference in the world when enjoying this activity.