Sport climbing is a type of rock climbing that requires more expertise than just standing on a few bolts and going up. While most sport climbers will not recommend absolute beginners to try sport climbing, there are some tips that can be given for safer practice.
For instance, experts would always place their gear in a certain order. This order varies from company to company, but this one does. This order is called the static setup. After placing your gear in this order, you would then dyno off out of the hole!
Another tip is to use crampons and ski shoes for training.
A carabiner is a small, metal clip that can be hooked into a larger piece of gear such as a backpack or the climber’s helmet. Carabiners are also called c-clips, which is an abbreviation for clip, encoder, and ring.
Most rock climbing pitons have a c-clip on the end, making it easy to attach it to a partner’s harness or your own single rope. This c-clip is also useful on its own to attach boots to a shoe rack or bedpost for resting purposes.
In addition to their usefulness on their own, carabiners can be connected together in teams which allows one person to hang up additional gear. This team concept is called an aid and is crucial to being able to climb with at least one person being able to hang extra gear up.
A climbing rope is an essential part of sport climbing. While a standard crusing rope will do the trick, a climbing rope that is longer or longer will offer added protection.
Standard crusing ropes can be difficult to maneuver with your finger tips. This is due to the fact that they are much thinner than the standard crusing ropes. It can be tricky to know when you have enough protection on your climb!
Standard-length crusing ropes are also less versatile than longer ones. They can not be used as a backup or escape route, for example. Lastly, short-cruding ropes can make it hard to safely place and remove anchors on a cliff.
Bolts for anchors
When it comes to sport climbing, you will want to use bolts or other strong anchors. Many climbers use glue-on anchors, but these are not the best due to sliding and breaking of the bolt.
Glue-on anchors do not work if the climber pulls them off due to strength in the anchor. Also, if the climber loses his or her footing and falls, then this person is potentially vulnerable to a jump or ledge present during a fall.
Bolts are ideal for sport climbing as they are hard and reliable. It is very important that ones bolts are square and true when placing them on the rock. If one has some good glue-ons, those can be used!
It is important that one uses proper bolt placement when scaling roofs or large overhangs. It is also good to use some kind of safety backup if one goes down on an easy section of rock but wants to go up on an easier section of rock.
While sport climbing does not require a guidebook, it is a good idea to have one if you will be doing more than just looking at placements and funs. In fact, some sport climbers use the same placements and funs as intermediate climbers.
This is due to the increased difficulty in finding anchors in more difficult terrain. As a beginner, you may only learn how to read placements and pockets on your own, so having a guidebook can help you fall into place.
Some popular guidebooks include The American Alpine Guide, The British Alpine Guide, the European Alpine Guide, and the Canadian Alpine Guide. Each of these has its own set of tips and tricks for being a good enough guide for your climber.
Safety gear (shoe pads, helmet, etc.)
Sport climbing is a type of climbing that combines the elements of rock, free climbing, and physical exertion. While most people start sport climbing by getting into the trees, the same safety gear can be used on all types of rock!
Trees can be dangerous places, especially when you are not accustomed to them. If you get excited when you see a tree, or hear a tree-like sound while climbing, this is a sign that you have been certified as a sport climber!
Many certified sport climbers go exploring and climb outside their specialty. This is fine, provided there are no big threats to safety. Most places have safety guidelines for going beyond your mark!
Paracord lanyards are ideal for sport climbers because they do not pull through on the climb, making it less likely that they will fall off or be run over by another person.
Roping up your friends
Even if you never planned to rope your friends up, you’ll need some kind of tackle for mountaintop or slalom climbing. For easier routes, try a carabiner or leaver; for precision, use a nut or bolt; and for added security, use a ring or plaited line.
On more challenging routes, where the difficulty is in flux, bring several kinds of line to swap out. A heavy ring line will prevent the lines from sliding apart, a light yet strong webbing belt will not be snagged as easily, and a heavy duty nut will not be broken when one is belaying another.
While all of these pieces are great for sport climbing, only the carabiners and nuts are specific to climbs.
Knowledge of route history (comments, damage, recently cleaned?)
Route history is important for two reasons. First, it lets you know what other people have cleaned and how much damage they’ve taken when climbing. Second, it gives you information about how safe a route is, including comments from other climbers about cleanliness and damage.
Second-assist climbs are usually less rack-friendly than first ascents, so they can be a nice little breakfast or lunch treat. For example, you can mount the 5.10a limestone route that was first climbed in 1992 and climb it as a leisurely 10–12 minutes of solid climbing on your weekend trip.
On the other hand, if someone were to climb this route in style, then maybe they have lots of gear on it! Maybe it’s too hard for them, so they decide to replace some gear with second assists.
Either way, this type of climb is still a good workout and one you don’t want to miss out on due to lack of tools.
Check conditions daily (weather, humidity,)
It is best to know what conditions your sport climbing site or roofvironments are in every day, especially if you are off-roading or working with a partner.
If it rains on Sunday, check it out the next day! If there is heavy humidity, make sure to check that also. It can be difficult to tell when the conditions are poor and you do not need extra gear, but you will thank yourself later.
When searching for gear, look for good quality materials and prices that fit your budget. If you have hard feelings about some brand or other things about them being good quality, save yourself time and money by not buying new gear until you feel comfortable with it.
Keep in mind your personal preferences and what kind of climbing you do when looking for gear.