Imagine the view from atop Mt. Everest. You can see the many snow-capped, rugged mountain peaks, and nothing but a clear blue sky. You can see for miles all around you. What an extraordinary experience! You might ask yourself, how did I get all the way up here? The answer: rock climbing. Rock climbing is a strenuous physical activity that can enhance your feeling of accomplishment. It has many health benefits, and also an exciting adventuresome sport that once you are introduced to it, you’re hooked. One of the first requirements is to first understand the concept of rock climbing and having adequate and proper equipment. Second, adequate training is a must. Once the concepts are ...view middle of the document...
The next most useful piece of equipment is your helmet. Helmets protect your head against hard falls and falling rock. A rock falling on your head can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries, therefore it vitally important to always wear your helmet. An approved helmet should fit on your head with the front of it seated on the eyebrows. A good helmet should be snug, but comfortable. “It is important not to wear a helmet pushed back on the head. Helmets worn on the back of the head are a safety risk because they are more likely to pop off and do not protect the forehead.”
The importance of choosing the correct harness will depend on the type of climber, and what features are important to the climber. Initially, a climber must first understand the parts of a harness. A harness contains a waist belt, buckles, leg loops, gear loops, a haul loop, a belay loop, tie-in points, and rise/elastic straps. See appendix A for diagram. The waist belt has a buckle on it to tighten it around your hips. The leg loops are used to carry most of the load along with the waist belt. Gear loops are used for exactly what their name says to haul gear such as extra carabineers, cams, water bottle, and chalk. The haul loop is located on the back of the harness and is intended to hook another line to it, however this is not a weight-bearing loop and is not intended to be used to belay another person or heavy objects. The belay loop is the most important as it holds the weight-bearing load. The tie-in loops connect the leg loops to the harness in the front and can also be used for weight bearing loads. The rise and elastic straps are located in the back and keep the leg loops from falling down. “Harnesses are designed for specific climbing styles, including:
Sport or gym harnesses: Stripped down for fast, ultra light travel, whether indoor in the gym or on outdoor sport routes. Typical features:
• Single automatic or double–back waist belt buckle: Quick and easy to get on and off.
• 2 gear loops: Only 2 since minimal gear is needed.
• Thin belay loop: Saves on weight.
• Minimal leg adjustability: Many have no adjustment buckles on the leg loops to shave weight and create a sleek look; instead, they use material that will stretch and give. Rarely is layering of clothing require in these activities, so it is alright for the leg loops to have minimal adjustability.
Traditional (trad) harnesses: Trad climbing usually requires much more gear than sport climbing, so a trad harness maximizes space while being relatively light and comfortable. Typical features:
• Adjustable leg loops with buckles: Either auto or manual double–back.
• 4 or more gear loops: Designed to hold lots of gear.
• Thick and durable padding: Increases comfort when spending a long time in the harness (introduction of hanging belays and multipitch climbing require thicker padding).
• Extra lumbar padding: Helps to stabilize the lower back and waist.
• Haul loop: For carrying up a second...