Tips to Rock Climbing Safety

unduhan-2Rock climbing is not child’s play. One has to be very cautious when indulging in this activity. Even a slight mistake can cause serious injury, which may prove to be fatal. Several enthusiastic individuals have taken up this sport as it is highly challenging and allows a person to test his own limits. However, its increasing popularity has resulted in higher incidences of injuries pertaining to this sport. It is, therefore, imperative that one follows preset safety measures to ensure safe climbing.

Rock climbing can be performed either indoors or outdoors. Outdoor climbing is far more dangerous than indoor climbing because of the lack of additional protection for the climber. If you are interested in this adventurous activity, you can ensure protection by following the measures given below. For better understanding, we have segregated them as general and specific safety tips. General tips must be followed by indoor as well as outdoor climbers, whereas specific tips must be followed depending on whether the activity is performed on a rock wall or in a simulated climbing gym.
Rock Climbing: Play by the Rules

☞ Before the Activity

The first requirement for safe climbing is that you have to be mentally prepared and physically fit before beginning this exhaustive task. With a sound mind and body, it will be easier for you to handle difficult situations, thereby aiding you in escaping mishaps.

Purchase new equipment on your own and do not borrow it from others. Make sure you have purchased good quality equipment and backup materials to ensure protection. Cheap and low quality equipment can land you in trouble.

Select your climbing shoes with utmost care because uncomfortable shoes make climbing difficult. Look for shoes that provide proper grip when going up on a rock wall. It is wise to keep an extra pair of shoes so that you can change into them if the shoes you have put on gradually wear out.

List all the necessary items you will require during the climbing session, and pack them appropriately so that you do not miss out anything. Even the smallest missed equipment can put your life in danger.

Ensure that you have all the required knowledge about the climbing equipment. Having good equipment will not serve any purpose if you do not know how to use them at the right time.

It is important to acquire the necessary skills and learn different climbing techniques to prepare yourself for handling difficult and dangerous situations. Learning the skills from a professional is something you must definitely do prior to taking up this activity. You can also practice climbing on different rock surfaces to sharpen your skills.

Choose a climbing partner with similar experience. Someone who can lend a helping hand in tough situations and not be a burden due to lack of experience.

Maintaining balance is extremely essential during climbing. Practice exercises like the one-legged stand to improve your balance. Perform stretching exercises so as to prepare your body for the exhaustive task before you begin. This way you will condition the body and prevent the occurrence of sprains.

☞ During the Activity

Wear a helmet to protect yourself from loose rocks that may fall off and hit your head causing injury.

Plan each move before making it on the rock wall. Having a clear picture in mind will land you at the right place safely.

Check the harness, rope, belay device, knots, and other equipment before climbing and also intermittently en route. Replace equipment whenever you feel they are not working properly or are worn out.

Be careful when climbing or belaying. Be responsible enough to be attentive, specially when belaying because of the risk involved. Any carelessness on your part may result in disastrous consequences.

Maintain the position of the rope over your leg. Having it behind or on the sides can flip the climber upside down, causing serious head injury.

Always use two or three anchors to keep you safe and alive. Remember, to sail through such an activity safely, it is better to have multiples of everything, starting right from anchors to knots in the rope.

Ascertain the appropriateness of each hand and foothold before moving forward because loose rocks may make you fall.

Water is essential to keep you hydrated. So, do not neglect to drink water before and while performing this activity. Carry a bottle of water to prevent problems like blurry vision, dizziness, instability, etc. Facing any of these in the middle of nowhere is definitely not good.
Make it a habit to use complete and appropriate verbal commands like ‘off-belay’ and ‘climbing’ to maintain uniformity for easy understanding. Random commands can most likely land you in trouble due to misunderstanding between you and your partner.

Be aware of your comfort level and limits. If, at any point, you feel that it is not possible to climb further, take a break and relax.
Pointers for Climbers

☞ Outdoor Rock Climbing

Do not forget to inquire about the weather of the location where you have decided to go rock climbing.

Study the rock wall so that you know how it is, and decide the route you are going to take. A steep wall calls for a climbing technique that is quite different from what you would use with a dirt-filled rock wall. So, figure the technique you are going to use beforehand.
Always give the details of your trip to family and friends so that they are aware of where you are headed to, and are able to look for you if circumstances go wrong.
When climbing outdoors, you are likely to reach far heights on the rock wall. Avoid looking at the base because you may feel dizzy, and your balance might go for a toss.

Look for creatures like snakes, lizards, insects, etc., that usually reside in rock crevices. If you encounter any of these, stay calm and alert, and do not provoke them to harm you.

Call for help from your companions if you face any problem when climbing.

Guide to Survive in the Mountains When You are Alone

Mountain climbing is a courageous game, and one that must be practiced with most extreme alert. Discover how you can get by in the mountains, particularly on the off chance that you are separated from everyone else.

If you are planning to spend a few days in the mountain with no company, it’s essential to know the basic survival tips. It’s not just the cold, harsh environment you have to deal with, but the fact that climate in the mountain can change rapidly, to being sunny one moment to foggy and then rainy the very next. Pack wisely, remembering to bring all the bare essentials in your survival kit you will need in the rough weather. All your mountaineering essentials should be durable, easily portable, and you should be able to easily and quickly attach them to your body. Watching TV programs that demonstrate survival tips and techniques and actually experiencing the situation firsthand are two vastly different things. Whether you are a professional mountaineer or a first-timer, follow the strategies below for surviving in the mountains when you are alone.

How to Survive Alone in the Mountains

Backpacking Essentials
The most important part of your backpack is probably the survival kit. Make sure to include the following items in it.

Compass and Map: Know how to read them.

Knife: Don’t just carry along a pocket knife. Bring along a knife that serves several purposes, from being used in chopping and cutting food to some heavy-duty stuff like trimming branches.

Medical Supplies: Carry pain relievers, antacids, antidiarrheal tablets, antiseptic and antibiotic lotions, bandages, gauze pads, sun screen lotions, scissors, ear and eye drops, hydrogen peroxide, needle and thread, etc.

ChapStick and Moisturizer: Weather conditions in higher altitudes can get dry, make sure you keep your skin hydrated.

Hand and Foot Warmers: Do not go to sleep with wet socks on. Get rid of them and put on foot warmers. Do not slide on the foot warmer on top of your wet socks.

Cords and Ropes: They are useful for a variety of purposes, from pitching tents, to harnessing, climbing, and rappelling.
Waterproof Canvas: It can be used to build a shelter.

Flashlight/Candles: These can be used at night, or in very dark conditions, like inside a tent or snow cave.

Fire Starting Equipment: Include matches and lighter.

The other important contents of the backpack include your clothes. Carry enough waterproof clothes for the rains, and warm clothing, including a hat, for the cold conditions. Carry a pair of sunglasses to shield your eyes from the glare of the sun. Carry a whistle for your safety, which can be used to signal in case you lose track. Keep a set of spare batteries.

How to Make Fire

This is something you should be skilled at when surviving alone on a mountain. Learn how to build a campfire. Not only does it protect you from the cold, but you also can use it for cooking, as well as warding off wild animals.

Water Storage and Purification

Carry iodine tablets which will aid you in the process of water purification. A stainless steel canteen is an excellent tool, and doubles up as a food and water storage container, cooking device, and can purify drinking water if used in conjunction with a water purification straw.

Rope Management

Learn the technique of tying various knots which will be useful to you while rappelling. Also learn how to rappel which will be useful in climbing down the mountain. Do not allow the ropes to get wet. Never splice ropes used in mountaineering.

Building a Shelter

Learn how to pitch a temporary tent quickly. For a quick shelter, practice building a lean-to using two adjacent trees, good, strong cord, stakes, and a tarp. Ensure that the lean-to does not face the wind. For added comfort, spread a layer of leaves over the ground inside the lean-to so you do not come in direct contact with the cold ground. If you know you will encounter snowy weather, learn how to build a snow cave. Always make a small hole in the cave before you sleep in it, to minimize the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Safety Precautions

Exercise caution when on the move. Check for the weather before you begin your climb. The higher you go, the more prone you are to solar radiation because of the thinning atmosphere. Be wary of sudden climate change, and do not hesitate to turn back and return for safety reasons. Closely monitor avalanche forecast and take appropriate precautions. Do not set up your camp around potential avalanche, crevasses, or rock slide areas. Maintain a good speed at all times. At night, be diligent when you travel. Bear in mind that rocks can be deceptively wet and slippery. Tread with caution.

Halt when Exhausted

Know your physical limits, signs that your body is signaling you to stop. Recognize signs of exhaustion. Remember you are by yourself, with no one to turn to for help. Give your body enough rest. Be alert to the signs and symptoms of altitude sickness. Gather enough knowledge on conditions like hypothermia and frostbite, so if you fall prey to any one of them, you know how to deal with it. Do not climb past your designated time. Conserve energy, you will need enough of it to make your way back down as well.

Watch Out for Wild Animals

Be informed on how to deal with wild animals, namely coyotes, grizzlies, and mountain lions. Animals generally do not hunt humans, but they may stalk, so be vigilant. Leftover trash and food is the main reason animals approach humans. If you come across an animal in the wild, do not do anything to provoke it further. Leave a good space between the animal and you, keep your calm, till the animal wanders off. Keep a can of bear spray with you, to be on the safer side.

Stay Calm When You’re Lost

If you realize you are lost, do not panic. You may be in a situation where you have separated from your group, and now have to fend for yourself. In such a case, use your whistle. Whistle thrice; it is perceived as a distress call, and in certain conditions, can be heard 4-5 miles away. Do not whistle twice. That means everything is OK!

Be Prepared
Being mentally prepared is as important as being physically prepared when you opt for an adventure of this sort. Keeping your cool, being level-headed, and not rushing to decisions will keep you out of harm’s reach. Be aware of your own limitations and fears. In life-threatening situations, weigh the pros and cons and act accordingly. The knack of anticipating problems will help you in fighting obstacles. Practice all the skills that are vital to your survival, especially when there is no help and you are alone in adverse conditions. Most importantly, you must have the will to survive.
Whether you have ventured out alone, or in a group of friends and are lost, surviving alone in a mountain is certainly an uphill task! Keep your friends and family informed about your whereabouts as much as possible. If possible, try hiking and mountaineering and similar activities in a group. This ensures your safety, and your loved ones need not constantly worry about you.

Tips to Learn Rock Climbing

For most people, just being in the great outdoors is an uplifting experience. Not only does it present an opportunity to revel in the beauty of the natural world around, but also to challenge oneself in numerous ways. The best and most worthy kind of battles we can take on are against the elements. Rock climbing is often considered only for adrenaline junkies, but in reality, it is an adventure sport that most can enjoy. You don’t need to be young or extremely fit to pick up climbing, for there are many who learn rock climbing later on in life. If you are intrigued, know that the ideal way to start off is under the guidance from experienced climbers or in a climbing school. In addition, here are some instructions that will help you along the way.

Warmup and Stretch: One of the worst predicaments while rock climbing is to have calf or any other muscle cramp. To avoid this, and for other reasons, ensure you include a sufficient amount of stretching and warmup exercises before you get started. As stretching improves circulation and flexibility, before you start climbing, spend half an hour getting movement into your muscles and joints, and your heart rate slightly elevated.

Scan the Route: An important skill to develop is to carefully look at the rock patch you plan to scale, and try to visualize the route you will take while climbing it. Identifying hand and toe holds in advance can be a huge help while climbing. Take into consideration your personal strength, weight, balance, reach, and then plan each move through the route.

Grip: A good grip is a vital part of rock climbing. The key to a good grip is to not squeeze or hold tighter than you need to. If you over-grip, you will tire out your forearms fast. A surprising fact is that, often, the muscles you use to grip are the first ones to give in. In fact, squeezing will actually hamper the smoothness and fluidity in your climbing movement. An individual usually tightens his grip when he gets into a tough spot. For this reason, make it a habit to check your grip every time you are in a spot. Once you lose your grip, calm yourself, and then assess your situation to find a way out. In addition, forearm exercises are a good way in which you can develop a good grip.

Balance: Another very important skill for a rock climber is balance. While climbing a rock face, you will be in all kinds of awkward positions, often with your hands and legs spread far apart. Maintaining your balance in these circumstances is crucial. Try to be aware of your center of gravity when you make a climbing move, which will help prevent you from losing your balance. One way to improve your balance is to move over a 60-degree or greater slab and using only your feet. You may use your hands to steady yourself, but do not grip the wall.

Other important tips to keep in mind are to keep your body close to the wall, use your legs to carry your weight and arms for balance, and to take frequent short rests. Apart from these, there are many techniques that you will only learn through practice and from watching good climbers. If you find a rock face intimidating, you can first learn rock climbing a wall in the safety of your gym or similar facility.

Indoor Rock Climbing Tips

Have you joined shake climbing classes at an exercise center or games focus? At that point the tips given in this article will help you ace the action quicker.

If you are someone who is interested in adventure sports or extreme sports, especially something like rock climbing, but cannot take out time to go rock climbing outdoors or live in an area where there is no rock landscape that will allow you to indulge in such an activity, then indoor rock climbing is a very good option for you. There are many people who live in cities and towns, who are opting for indoor rock climbing as an alternative to the outdoor version of the same. While the difficulty level never matches up to the hurdles that you will face outdoors, the practice and the physical exertion are good pros that work in its favor. Using experts tips while pulling yourself up these artificial structures will ensure that you do not hurt yourself. Most of the structures that are used for indoor rock climbing are made to resemble the terrain of mountainous structures, They are generally high walls with holds, and pockets and knobs for footing. Wood is the material that is used mostly to make these structures, while the holds are generally made of plastic. This sport is perfect for beginners, as it allows them to practice the same in an environment that is controlled and under the supervision of trained instructors.

How to Improve Yourself

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that it is an extremely physically-exerting activity that needs you to be fit. Pay attention to the techniques that will make climbing up easier. Try and always climb the wall with a buddy or in the presence of a trainer or an instructor. When at a class do not get intimidated by the rock climbing lingo that everyone seems to use. Once you understand these different terms, you will be using them as well. There is some important gear that needs to a part of your kit, which include a harness that you can rent at the place where you are climbing, proper shoes, proper clothing that is not very tight, a chalk bag, water, etc.

  • It is extremely important that you perform stretching exercises and warm up before you start climbing an indoor wall. As with any other exercise, rock climbing when your muscles are tight affect your performance.
  • Before you start climbing a wall, it is important that you map out the route that you want to take. This will ensure that you make the right moves while climbing the wall.
  • Do not exert all your forearm strength when you grip to steady your balance, as your forearm is generally the first to tire. Save up on the strength that you put on your grip.
  • Work on improving your sense of balance and work on finding your center of gravity. This will help you balance your movements on the wall. If you keep your body close to the wall, then your center of balance will be more than your center of mass which will lessen the pressure on your grip
  • Use your legs as much as your arms, to ensure that the weight is balanced evenly.
  • Use your arms to balance and shift weight, but not to hold your weight. If you need to use the strength of your upper body, then try and finish that part of the route faster.
  • Work on those muscles that are used the most while rock climbing, as this will ensure that the climber can use his body weight more effectively. Do not try and climb the rock in one go. In fact, map the entire route with rests in between to ensure that you do not exert yourself completely.
  • If you get stuck while climbing the wall, keep encouraging yourself, so as to get over that block. Don’t stress out if you get stuck. You will manage to climb the wall eventually with perseverance.
  • It is important to have correct breathing technique. Breathe from your stomach and through diaphragm. This will relax your body effectively.

When climbing a wall indoor, try different structures every time, or at least different routes so as to not become complacent about your abilities. Push yourself to do it better and faster. If you fall, remember it will only drive you to do better. Learn from other climbers who work on the same structures, as they will be able to give you some good tips that are useful. Even just watching them will teach you more about the techniques that should be used. Rock climbing, whether indoor or outdoor, once learned with proper techniques, is a great sport that can help in building your endurance levels.