Rock Climbing School
Learn about rock climbing safety and more
Rock climbing is an adventure sport that can be undertaken outdoors using natural, vertically oriented rock formations, or indoors in controlled environments. Regardless of whether you're interested in the indoor or outdoor form of the activity, a rock climbing school can help you master the skills you'll need to become a strong climber.
Rock Climbing Basics
The first rock climbing terms you'll encounter cover the simplest foundational techniques used in the sport. These include the heel hook and toe hook, which are used to secure a climber's position at various points in a course. Jamming is also a fundamental skill, involving the use of a body part as a means of supporting or distributing your weight. Hand jams, foot jams, toe jams, chest jams, arm bars and elbow bars are all good examples. There are many more climbing techniques which you'll encounter as you gain experience, but these moves form the basis of many of the more advanced skills.
Belaying is another term you'll encounter very early on. It refers to the technique used to exert pressure on a harness rope, allowing you to descend safely. You'll spend a lot of your initial time in rock climbing school learning how to belay.
Some of the essential rock climbing equipment you'll need for both indoor and outdoor climbing include harnesses and descenders, ropes, webbing and, of course, helmets. If you're going to be using rock climbing walls at an indoor gym, you should make sure you have crash pads or check to see that the gym provides them.
Rock Climbing Safety Tips
It is highly recommended that you master basic skills in the safety of an indoor climbing gym before attempting any outdoor climbing, even easy climbs. When you first venture into the outdoors, rock climbing guides will be a godsend. You will learn a lot from their experience, and they can bail you out if you get into a tricky spot.
If you're new to climbing, there are several basic safety rules you must know. They include:
- Gear up a safe distance from the climbing site. This eliminates any chance you'll be struck by falling equipment or debris before you've had a chance to put your helmet on.
- Always wear your safety harness over, and never under, your climbing clothing.
- Thread the harness rope through the waist clasp first. The waist clasp is the most important, and it's vital that it is securely fastened with rope.
- Fasten your belay clip around the back of your harness. This prevents any possibility of your belay clip slipping through a clasp loop and falling off.
- Have someone check your gear before you start climbing. This simple step is often overlooked, but it could well save your life.