Rock climbing is a popular sport that has many people enthralled. It is a sport where safety is extremely important and always comes first. Innovations in rock climbing equipment have made rock climbing safer for the climbing enthusiast. The sport tests a person’s physical and mental abilities and brings a tremendous sense of accomplishment upon finishing a climb. If this is a sport that sounds appealing, then learning about climbing equipment is necessary.
Climbing ropes are made of long fibers that are twisted together to form a core that are inside a woven sheath of fibers. The strength of the rope is mainly in the core and the outer layer of fibers protects the core.
Ropes are divided into two classes which are known as dynamic and low elongation. Dynamic ropes absorb the energy of a climber that is falling and are used with a belaying device. These ropes stretch and reduce the force on the climber and their equipment. Low elongation ropes stretch a lot less and are commonly used as anchoring ropes.
Webbing is made from a material called Dyneema which is stronger and lighter than nylon. Webbing has a tubular shape and climbing rope can be placed inside it to protect the rope from sharp rock. The ends of webbing can be sewn together to form a sling to be used with another piece of equipment known as a carabiner to form a quick draw.
Carabiners are made from an aluminum alloy that is light weight and are used as connectors. They have loops and spring-loaded openings that can be locking or non-locking. There are different kinds of locking carabiners and they have different openings for specific uses.
Quickdraws are a pair of non-locking carabiners held together by a short piece of webbing that has the ends sewn together. They are used to attach ropes to traditional protection and bolt anchors.
A climber wears a pre-made harness around the pelvic and hip area of the body. It is used to connect the ropes to the climber. There are different types of harnesses and each is used for a different rock climbing technique.
A belay is a braking device that uses mechanical friction. They are used to lock off the rope with little effort. There are two kinds of belay devices. A passive one that uses a brake hand and a carabiner, or an active one that has a built-in locking mechanism.
These devices are used for decent from the rock wall. The figure eight allows a fast, controlled decent. The rescue eight is a figure eight with wings the does not allow the rope to lock up. A rappel rack is a frame that is shaped like a U and attaches to a rappel harness.
Slings are made from webbing that has it’s end sewn together. They are used to wrap around rocks or as extensions for an anchor.
There are other pieces of equipment that you need to take a look at if you intend to rock climb. They include nuts, hexes, ascenders, camming devices, tricams, and training equipment. A helmet, good climbing shoes, and belay gloves are also necessary for rock climbing.