This is what the series will cover
- Correct fit of shoes – choice of shoes
- Correct fit of harness – choice of harness
- Tying in – Figure of 8 knot and retied figure of 8 knot
- Belay devices – origins and use
- Climbing indoors – Communication
- Bottom rope belaying – taking in and lowering
- Basic climbing techniques – using feet (toe, accuracy and smearing) and centre of gravity
- Choice of climb
- Holding a bottom rope fall
- How to use holds – jugs, slopers, side pulls, crimps
- Moving Outdoors – Helmets – suitability and fit
- Bottom and top roping – choice of anchors
- Using a guide book
- Reading the rock
- Different types of rock
- Learning to Sport Lead – Rope length – tying a knot in end or 2nd ties in
- Rope management
- Number of quickdraws
- Clipping – correct, back and zed clipping
- Mock leading
- Lead belaying – emphasising potential to hit the floor from 3 or even 4 clips up
- Paying out slack – to promote free movement for leader and for clipping. Tight rope spells danger.
- Leader position to clip – left and right handed
- Taking in – back to bottom rope belaying
- Leader falls – taking and holding
- Use of Gri Gri – pros and cons
- Threading the lower-off/belay and keeping safe (sling)
- Learning to Trad Lead – Racking up
- Placing cams and nuts – selection on lead
- Creating belays
- Using double/half ropes – rope management
- Rock leading > Instructor by side > strategic bits of gear
- Using fixed gear – pegs and threads
- Abseiling and recovering ropes
- Multi-pitch climbing
So, you’ve heard of climbing, but it’s for big roughfty, tufty men with lots of clanking metal attached to them…
Not so; climbing comes in all shapes and sizes and is accessible to everyone and you don’t even need to have any equipment.
If you pop along to your local climbing centre, or contact me on 07814555378 you can join a course to learn to climb, and the price you pay will include all the equipment you need for you to learn the ropes. And once you’ve learnt the basics it’s quite easy to progress.
Climbing is especially good for keeping fit, as it is a form of physical activity that involves the whole body and once you begin to lead climb it is mentally challenging too and all the worries and stresses of the day are lost in your own journey up the wall.
You can begin climbing with no prior experience, although walkers who begin todevelop scrambling skills, and then want to take things further, find the move towards climbing less daunting.
From the Ground Up
So over the next few months I will be looking at climbing in great detail, from your first steps as a beginner to multi-pitch trad climbing (this is where the clanking metal comes in).
I will look at buying your first harness and the correct choice and fit of shoes – the fundamentals of climbing and how to tie on and belay correctly.
You will learn how to transfer your indoor skills to the outdoors and the differences you will encounter.
You will discover how lead climbing enhances your skills, how your technique becomes more accurate and your movement more fluid, your balance more important and your dexterity with one hand incredible.
You will also learn that climbing is all about choices: choice of venue and rock type, choice of route and grade, choice of style and gear (climbing equipment not top fashion) and choice of when and if to push your limits.
If you let climbing into your heart it will open so many doors and if you learn to lead, either sport or trad, you can climb on single pitch or multi-pitch routes, anywhere in the UK or all over the world.
You will learn to trust someone with your life.
If nothing else I hope the articles will inspire.