What Is The Essential Beginners Rock Climbing Gear?

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showlett

 
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What Is The Essential Beginners Rock Climbing Gear?

by showlett » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:46 am

I am a beginning rock climber who has taken one weekend class but have no gear of my own except a harness and a helmet.

What is the basic essential gear I would need for top roping?

For lead climbing?

How many different types of protection should I start with?

I see a lot of gear on EBay but have no idea about its value. What can I expect to pay for some of this stuff new or used?

I have "Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills" but it doesn't answer all my questions.

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The Chief

 
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by The Chief » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:27 pm

Essential Gear for any Beginner....

Get hooked up with someone that knows what, how and has tons of time out on REAL rock/ice/snow. Then spend an entire season with them learning all the basics that need to be learned to play this game safely.

Edit: Additions
Last edited by The Chief on Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Autoxfil

 
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by Autoxfil » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:29 pm

When you know how to use it, you'll know what you need. I could provide general recommendations, but each climbing situation is different, and judgement is far more important than the gear.

Start with John Long's excellent series of books. Search Amazon for his name and start with the ones that say "beginner".

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The Chief

 
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by The Chief » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:31 pm

Reading books is fine to get acquainted with concepts. But ya can't take them books out to the real world of climbing.

Experience learned from a Master or two is the best piece of gear that you/anyone can acquire and then take with them for the rest of their days playing this game.

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CClaude

 
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by CClaude » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:58 pm

I agree with the Chief and Autoxfil. If you have a harness and helmet and find someone who is experienced and is willing to work with you, by the time that you are ready to get stuff, you will know what you need, and the exact items that you want.

You don't have to wait to find someone to hookup with though for toproping. What you exactly need will be dependent on where you are going. Some just require webbing, a few biners and a rope, along with what you have, and some will require gear. Until you are comfortable with gear, try to stay away from those situations with gear only.

For leading many (if not most) people on this site probably taught themselves, but most are amazed they lived through that learning curve. Finding a master will improve your odds at survival, accelerate your learning. As an added bonus, the more of a Master (using Chiefs words) who mentors you, the less mental barriers you'll deal with later.

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SKI

 
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by SKI » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:12 pm

Reading books is fine to get acquainted with concepts. But ya can't take them books out to the real world of climbing.


+10

I know several people who can recite book quotes word for word but when it comes time to manage a rope, build an anchor or execute a crux move where one actually needs to think, flail time and time again.

You learn much faster and become a more competent leader when you learn from someone who's been playing the game for a while. You need to learn every aspect of protecting both you and your partner during a climb, no matter how remote, no matter how difficult. Once you get the "big picture" of climbing safely, you can move faster with a greater ease of mind.

If you plan on doing this sort of thing for a while, you need to do everything in your power to reduce your ever-increasing chances of becoming part of an accident. Once you can put it all together, climbing may become the most rewarding hobby you've ever taken up.

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WML

 
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by WML » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:50 pm

Who needs expensive cams and other shiny metal things when you can have.....

Image

KNOTS!


At least that's what they do in the Czech Republic.

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outofstep80

 
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by outofstep80 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:18 pm

:shock: I'll stick with my shiny stuff. That does look pretty solid though.

edit: How the hell do you get that out after you fall on it, assuming it doesn't fall out when you fall on it??? I bet ropes get short there in a hurry.

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brenta

 
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by brenta » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:06 pm

outofstep80 wrote:I bet ropes get short there in a hurry.

One doesn't tie knots in the climbing rope. Accessory cord is used instead. Of course, some of it is as thick as the climbing rope.

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zoran

 
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Re: What Is The Essential Beginners Rock Climbing Gear?

by zoran » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:10 pm

Before you spend a lot of money and end up selling stuff at e-bay/craigslist hook up with the climbers in your area.
Buy good harness, belay device, helmet, locking biner and rock climbing shoes first. Sign for some top roping school at LA (maybe sierra club?) Then when you meet people start building your climbing rack for things you love to do. Alpine, Top roping, lead climbing, ice climbing etc. It's a long process but at the end you will be very skilled and have a lot of fun. Beware! You will get addicted and your life will change forever. People will thing you wasting your time but you will be very happy doing that.
Go for it!


showlett wrote:I am a beginning rock climber who has taken one weekend class but have no gear of my own except a harness and a helmet.

What is the basic essential gear I would need for top roping?

For lead climbing?

How many different types of protection should I start with?

I see a lot of gear on EBay but have no idea about its value. What can I expect to pay for some of this stuff new or used?

I have "Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills" but it doesn't answer all my questions.

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outofstep80

 
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by outofstep80 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:10 pm

brenta wrote:
outofstep80 wrote:I bet ropes get short there in a hurry.

One doesn't tie knots in the climbing rope. Accessory cord is used instead. Of course, some of it is as thick as the climbing rope.


Yeah I guess that makes a lot more sense. :oops: Probably why I've never used that style of anchor ay.

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Hyadventure

 
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by Hyadventure » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:27 pm

Resist the temptation to buy gear for a while. The longer you wait the better choices you’ll make.

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showlett

 
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by showlett » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:52 pm

Thanks for all the solid advice! We're trying to get out this weekend, Saturday or Monday somewhere in So Cal...anyone want to join us and help the cause?

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ShortTimer

 
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by ShortTimer » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:58 pm

Essentials to learn to climb: Shoes, chalk bag, harness, belay device and locking biner, 2 runners with lockers on them to clip in with.

Everything else should come from your experienced partner. Like Rick said, learn how to use it and then you will understand what you need to buy.

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granjero

 
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by granjero » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:23 pm

Yup, finding a mentor will hands down be the best investment in your climbing career. That, and learning to utilize the best piece of equipment you already have, your brain. "Climbing is a mental game" (WHOOPS, looks like I quoted a book Jah forbid!). Keep a beginner's mind and a sponge-like attitude towards everything. Constantly evaluate every situation to maximize learning...Why did that work? Why did that fail?
Visualize. Emulate. The best mentors will facilitate this by generating the safest possible environment to allow you to extend your mental, physical, and technical skills out of the comfort zone and into the realm where learning can take place.

Hear and Forget
See and Remember
Do and Understand

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