Rock Climbing/Equipment

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Basic gear[edit]

Shoes[edit]

Climbing shoes should be tight, but not cause pain. Entry level shoes will have flatter soles, while those that arch are meant for more skilled climbers.

Chalk[edit]

Just as in certain types of gymnastics, rock-climbers typically use chalk (in fact usually magnesium carbonate) for drying their hands to prevent slipping. Chalk comes in three general forms; blocks, powder inside balls of cloth, and liquid.

Blocks of chalk tend to cruble and make a mess so some gyms don't allow their use. Liquid chalk is a mixture of powdered chalk with a volatile liquid which evaporates in a matter of seconds, leaving a relatively long lasting coating of chalk. Chalk balls are probably the most common of the three.

Helmet[edit]

Some climbers use a helmet to protect themselves in high falls, or from falling rocks and other objects.

Top-roping[edit]

Harness[edit]

Unless when bouldering, climbers are usually secured with a rope which is attached to the climber's harnesses, a webbed belt that fits around one's waist and thighs. The belayer will typically also wear a harness to which the belay device is attached, using the belayer's weight as an anchor.

Rope[edit]

Carabiners and webbing[edit]

You will need a few for the anchors.

Lead-climbing[edit]

Quickdraws[edit]

These are pairs of carabiners connected with webbing. These are clipped into anchors bolted into the face of the rock.

Removable protection[edit]

On traditional lead climbes where there are no bolts, protection devices are secured in places such as cracks by the lead, and cleared by the second. These include:

  • Aluminum or steel nuts
  • Hexagonal-shaped chocks
  • Slings
  • Spring loaded camming device
  • Tricams