Rock Climbing Gear

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Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is an activity in which participants climb up, down or across both natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport that requires technical knowledge of the gear and terrain, as well as proper climbing technique.

Types of Rock Climbing

Climbing can be broken down into many different disciplines, but the most common are top roping, sport climbing, traditional climbing, and bouldering. Top roping is a fun and safe way to learn the basic techniques and become familiar with your climbing gear, and is perfect for beginners and veterans alike. Sport climbing differs from top roping in that the climber is leading. There are a number of bolts in the rock that follow the path of the pre-planned route and it is the responsibility of the climber to clip their rope through the climbing quickdraws as they climb. Similar to top roping the climber will need a partner for belaying, meaning feed the rope, catch falls, and lower the climber down. Traditional rock climbing is the next step up in difficulty as the climber is responsible for inserting protection into the rock in order to secure himself to the wall. Traditional climbing requires planning and extra equipment. Bouldering is a ropeless climbing discipline where the routes are generally no more than 15 feet high, making it relatively safe and less expensive as you do not need a lot of equipment. Bouldering is a great way to practice climbing techniques and work on your skills in a safe environment.

Who's doing it?

Rock climbing has become increasingly popular in the last few years due to an increase in indoor climbing gyms. This sport can be enjoyed by everyone, from die hard climbers who solo climb without any safety gear to families who just want to enjoy a fun activity together.

Whether indoors or out, rock climbing is the perfect way to hone your physical and mental fitness while enjoying the company of a great community.

Essential pieces of rock climbing gear

Each climbing discipline requires unique gear, but we have some great suggestions on essential items to get you started.

Cams – If traditional rock climbing, there is no substitution for Black Diamond Camalots for protection. These are an absolute staple.

Climbing Harness - Whether top roping, sport climbing, or trad climbing, a harness is an essential safety tool that every climber will need.

Climbing Rope – This is an essential piece of gear for everything except bouldering. Make sure to get the appropriate size and length of rock climbing rope for your discipline.

Belay Device - Whether top roping, sport climbing, or trad climbing, you will need a belay device.

Climbing Helmet - Make sure to protect your head while on the wall whether from falling debris, the wall itself, or the ground.

Climbing Carabiners and Quickdraws – These are essential for linking your rope to whatever protection you are using on the rock.

Top Rock Climbing Gear Brands

There are a lot of brands out there that offer rock climbing gear, but we consider these brands to be the cream of the crop.

Black Diamond Climbing Gear

Petzl Climbing Gear

Mammut Climbing Gear

Metolius Climbing Gear

Sterling Climbing Ropes