All posts by 3cohosting

Rope

Modern climbing ropes are made of an inner core consisting of many strands of rope and a protective outer core. Climbing ropes come in a variety of different lengths and diameters, the most common of which are 50m and 60m in length. There are two main types of rope, either dynamic (stretchy) or static (not stretchy). Dynamic ropes are used for rock climbing as the stretchiness of the rope takes some of the strain in the event of a fall. Static ropes are generally used when abseiling, where the climber does not require the rope to stretch.

There are 3 main types of dynamic rope on the market. These are:

Single Ropes.
These are most commonly found indoors on climbing walls, on sport climbs or used on simple outdoor climbs where the protection is in a relatively straight line.

Double Ropes
Using a double rope requires the climber to lead on two ropes and clip them into separate runners (if possible alternately). The double rope technique tends to be used mainly when trad climbing.

Twin Ropes
Twin ropes usually consist of two ropes which have been tested as safe, only when both ropes are clipped into the same protection.

Ropes are available with special coatings and treatments that prevent the rope from absorbing dirt and moisture or to help them slide over rough surfaces with less abrasion. Each rope comes with a fall rating. This is the manufacturers guide to how many “factor 2” falls you can take on a rope before it requires replacing. The fall factor is worked out using the distance fallen, divided by the amount of rope available to absorb the fall. A factor 2 fall is actually quite a large fall and most climbers would think about retiring a rope after having such a large fall. The rope fall rating is more an indication of the ropes strength, rather than it being an actual guide for use.

Before purchasing a rope it is worth considering what type of climbing you are going to use it for, the height of the climbs you wish to try and the conditions that you will climb in. As with all the expensive equipment listed on this site, we recommend you have a chat with your local climbing shop or preffered online retailer to discuss your requirements, before spending your money.

Rack

A rack is a collection of climbing gear that a climber requires.  There are many different climbing racks, for example a sport rack will include a large amount of quick draws and a limited amount of climbing protection, where as a traditional rack will focus more heavily on climbing protection.  Initially it can be expensive to purchase a rack outright, therefore most climbers build up their racks as they improve, concentrating on the climbing gear that they require for their most common climbs.  Each climbers ideal rack will be different, depending on the type of climbing they do and the locations they wish to climb.  As a general guide though a basic climbing rack usually comprises of the following items:

  • 1 x Belay Device
  • 4 x Screwgate Karabiners
  • 10 x Wire Snapgate Karabiners.
  • 1 x Set of Rocks (Sizes 1 to10).
  • 3 x Hexes (Sizes 5, 7 and 9).
  • 2 x Cams (Sizes 1 and 2).
  • 3 x 120cm Slings.
  • A Helmet

Obviously it’s worth seeing what your friends initially have before purchasing your own rack and we would definitely advise that you talk to your local climbing shop to discuss your requirements before spending your hard earned cash.

Quickdraw

A Quickdraw comprises of two clip or wire type karabiners connected together with a length of dynema sling.  Quickdraws are used to connect the rope to either the placed protection in trad climbing or a fixed bolt in sports climbing.

Read more about quickdraws

Quickdraw

A Quickdraw comprises of two clip or wire type karabiners connected together with a length of dynema sling.  Quickdraws are used to connect the rope to either the placed protection in trad climbing or a fixed bolt in sports climbing.

A Black Diamond Quickdraw.
A Black Diamond Quickdraw.

Quickdraw’s are sold in different lengths (the length of dynema between the two karabiners) and come in different weights.  Multipacks of Quickdraws are available if you wish to purchase these.  Bulk buying often works out cheaper than buying them individually, but we would recommend you talk with your local climbing store or online retailer to discuss the type of climbing you intend to do before making a purchase.

On-Sight

To climb something “On-sight”, means that the climber manages to complete a route in their first attempt without any beta or inspection of the rock.  There is a lot of emphasis put on the fact that a climber only has one attempt to climb a route on-sight.  This can add extra pressure and increase nerves, none of which are good when trying to climb a route for the first time.

Multi-Pitch

Multi-pitch climbing is used where the height of the rock is greater than the length of the rope.  This involves both the climber and belayer ascending and belaying each other, with the belayer, belaying from the rock side, usually from a convenient ledge.


Flagging

Flagging is a climbing technique used to prevent “barn dooring”.  When you feel yourself begin to swing, you can cross a leg behing the other in the opposite direction.  The leg is used to increase balance rather than to support the climbers weight.

Gri Gri

A Gri Gri is a belay device which automatically locks in the event of a fall. Because of this it can be slightly harder to pay out the rope, however many climbers are happy to overlook this as the Gri-Gri is a very good belay device. Many indoor climbing walls use Gri-Gri’s when teaching young climbers to climb because of the auto locking feature. A new version of the Gri-Gri (known as the Gri-Gri 2) is soon to be released. According to the official website, the device will be able to take a thinner rope size, be 25% smaller and lighter and feature a more progressive descent control system.

A Petzl Gri-Gri.

 

Crash Pad

A bouldering mat, or crash pad as they’re often known, is a padded mat that is placed below a climber bouldering or over a particularly nasty landing area. It’s role is to protect a boulderer, should a fall occur. Bouldering mats usually consist of two layers of foam (a thin firm layer and a thicker soft layer) inside a thick zippable cover. The mats come in a range of sizes, and usually fold in half, held tight by buckles. On one side of the mat is either a single strap or a couple of rucksack type straps, which allow the boulderer to carry the mat easily. Rock shoes, chalk, guidebooks and other items can be carried in the middle of the mat and some designs have a small flap which help to prevent anything from falling out of the bottom.

A Moon Warrior bouldering mat opened.

There are many mats available in the market today and size will probably be your first consideration, especially if you plan to travel via public transport with your mat or if you have a small car boot. On the flip side, a large mat means a large surface area to fall onto, therefore look at your requirements and choose wisely.


The Moon Warrior bouldering mat in a closed position.