Safety in climbing
Rock climbing is an extreme sport that can cause many different and serious injuries. Because of this there are many different precautions and training done before a climber takes the big step. There is also a ton of equipment designed with only safety in mind. They include:
- Special Climbing Shoes
- Belay Gloves
- Haul Bag
The helmet is the piece of safety equipment that everyone knows well. A helmet is used for many sports including climbing, football, baseball, race car driving and hockey. This piece although primarily for falls is also used in climbing to help protect the skull and head from debris that can fall when climbing. This can be rocks or other equipment from a climber above you or more.
Special Climbing Shoes
A climbing shoe used in rock climbing is designed especially for this purpose. It is covered in a layer of vulcanized rubber to help the climbers with grip and friction when climbing. They are normally thicker that a normal shoes and very snug to the foot. Some may even have padding made of foam to be more comfortable.
Belay gloves are an option that some climbers may pass on. Many climbers say that when using belay gloves they don't have enough friction and the gloves make them lose grip. Other climber though state that the belay gloves help tremendously with the possibility of rope burn during a climb. These special gloves are normally made from leather or an equal substitute material. Typically they come with the palm and fingers of the glove having padding that is heat resistant.
Tape, primarily medical tape is used a lot when climbing. It is used both as a prevention and repair to minor injuries. Fixing flappers is a big use as well as binding the wrists or fingers. Binding can help to prevent tendon problems from arising over and over.
This is an over large bag containing equipment for climbing that is thick and un-yielding and are sometime referred to as pigs.
Tips for Climbing
There are many different tips that are given for safe climbing. Here are the top ten found:
- Checking the harness. Always double check the climber and belayer harness buckles. Make sure they are doubled back. Do this after prepared and in the harness before attempting to do anything else.
- Check the knots on all equipment being used for the climb. This includes the tie-in knot of the lead climber and make sure it has a back up knot as well. Check the rope in the leg loops and waist loop in the harness as well.
- HELMET. Always be prepared and wear a helmet that is suitable for the climb. This could save a life. This is included for the climber as well as the belayer.
- Check the belay device has a properly threaded rope. Make sure the carabiner used at the belay device is a locking one.
- Use a long rope. The rope is wanted to be a long enough length to reach the anchor and a belay ledge.
- Be alert. Always pay attention to what is going on around you as well as the climbers and belays. Always be alert and pay attention to the lead climber. It is never wise to consult yourself with other things including people or doing anything but focusing.
- Have enough gear and everything you may need for a safe and successful climb. The saying is it is better to have too much then not enough. Plan it on paper and visually. Although another climber, guide or guide book may tell you never put your safety in someone else's hands. Do the math on your own.
- Put the rope over your leg during the climb. This is something that needs to be done all the time.
- Always clip the rop in a safe standard. Do not back clip ever. Clip the rope through the carabiners. This is a must. Make sure to use locking carabiners where required as well.
- Use safe anchors where required. Use two anchors at the top of the route or pitch always. More can be used but there should be a minimum of at least two. Use locking carabiners when lowering below the top rope off the anchors.