Rock Climbing Equipment - Just like any other sporting gear
Rock Climbing is quickly becoming one of the most popular sports in the world, and this is largely due to the advances in technology of rock climbing equipment. Over the last twenty years, further research in bolting technique and the creating of Cams has made climbing a largely accessible sport, taking you to places that you ordinarily wouldn't attempt to travel.
Rock Climbing Equipment can be divided into several different types. Based on what type of climbing you're doing, it will vary - whether you're going to stay in the gym, get outdoors and sports climb, or participate in trad climbing.
Rock Climbing Equipment that you'll need for each type of climbing is as follows:
- Indoor Top-Rope Climbing: Harness, Climbing Shoes, Chalk Bag (optional).
- Sports Climbing: Harness, Climbing Shoes, Chalk Bag, Dynamic Climbing Rope, Belay Device, Helmet, Sling with attached Carabiner (personal protection), Quickdraws, and 4 carabiners with long slings to set up a top-rope anchor.
- Trad Climbing: As per the Sport Climbing rack, although you will also need pieces of protection to set in the rock, which include Nuts (Wires), SLCDs (Spring-Loaded Camming Devices) a.k.a Cams, and Hexes, if you so wish.
I'll try to keep things as simple as I can and only give a brief summary about each component of rock climbing equipment.
- Harness: Comes in a variety of different forms but basically acts to hold your torso upright and provide an attachment point for the ropes.
- Rock Climbing Shoes: On any moderately difficult route you'll need climbing shoes in order to use the smaller foot-holds on the rock.
- Chalk Bag: To store chalk, which will keep your hands dry when you're climbing and stop you from slipping.
- Dynamic Climbing Rope: Obviously to provide some form of protection when you're climbing. The rope needs to be dynamic climbing rope in order to absorb the force from the fall.
- Belay Device: A device used to provide a large amount of friction to arrest a fall from the climber.
- Helmet: to protect your skull from loose rock or dropped gear!
- Slings: Either made of nylon or dyneema, these are very strong and are basically used in all parts of climbing, especially for setting protection. Note they are static and cannot absorb force, so you cannot climb with a static rope for protection.
- Quickdraws: Pre-rigged carabiners which allow you to clip rope as you climb
- Nuts/Hexes: Passive pieces of protection which you physically set into the rock
- SLCDs: Uses outward mechanical force to arrest falls.
This is not an exhaustive list of every single piece of equipment - there is plenty more that you can learn about climbing gear, which will also help you climb with more confidence. However, having rock climbing equipment is a wonderful part of the sport as it allows you to use fantastic technology to keep yourself safe.
Please note that rock climbing equipment can be dangerous if used incorrectly and you should only use it if you have been shown the proper method and application of the gear.