Rock Climbing/Equipment

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Basic gear[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.


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.


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



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.


Carabiners and webbing[edit]

You will need a few for the anchors.



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 climbs 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