Rock Climbing Gear

Traditional rock climbing is the toughest of the bunch. Although harder more expensive than sport climbing it reaps its own rewards; having the climber place their own protection allows for flexibility and innovation on routes as well as allowing climbers to chart new never before climbed territory. WARNING: traditional climbing can be DANGEROUS if your protection is not placed correctly, be sure you and your partner are thoroughly trained on correct use and placement of all protection devices before venturing out.

Traditional Rock Climbing Gear

You will need your basic rock climbing equipment such as shoes, harness, helmet and a belay device. As well as a rope, quick draws, carabiners and nylon slings. For your protection devices, beginners will need...

Camming devices: Protection piece wedged in a crack or pocket by rotating. May or may not be spring loaded. A few different sizes should suffice. They ares usually cheaper to buy in a set.

Hexes: A hexagonal (six sided) protection piece placed in a crack. Only one set of varying sizes should be needed.

Wedges: A tapered protection piece placed in a small crack. Again one or two sets of varying sizes should be sufficient.

Runners: Used to attach the rope to your protection or make anchors. Anywhere between 4 to 8 will cover a typical route.

Cordelette: A long (usually 16ft) section of cord tied into an anchor sling. Useful for making 3 point anchors.

Nut tool: A tiny hooked pick used to remove protection when following up a climb.

Additional Carabiners: About 10 D-shaped 7 oval and four locking.

That's pretty much it for a basic traditional climbing rack. As you advance in grades you may need to invest in more cams, runners and quickdraws. It can be expensive to buy all your rock climbing equipment at once. Just the protection gear, not even including the basics can run around 500 dollars. Most climbers build their racks overtime as they gain experience, so don't get overwhelmed by all the climbing equipment listed above. Just take your time, make your purchases carefully, and before you know it you'll have more gear than you know what to do with.


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