Once you have the basic indoor kit sorted out, it's fairly easy and cheap to go climbing on the real rocks. You only need to add a few extra pieces of gear to be able to climb in a safe manner and have fun on the mountain faces. Below is an overview of the gear needed. The gear needed is an addition to what you already have from climbing indoors. To see the basic indoor gear please refer to: 5 simple pieces of climbing gear to get you started

 

1. Rope

Beginner climbers may be shocked by the number of different kinds of ropes out there. To simplify things, we will narrow them down to two types: static and dynamic rope.

Dynamic rope is the usual type used in rock climbing. Why? Because this type of rope is designed to elongate when a certain amount of power is exercised on it. It is best to use since it is made to stretch in order to absorb the impact of a falling climber or equipment. On the other hand, static rope offers little or no stretch so that falls with this rope can cause serious harm to both people and gear. Its rigidness, however, is great for rappelling and hauling loads. For rope climbing, alsways use only dynamic ropes, even though they are more expensive, never try to use static ones, as they are mostly used for rope access.

Single rope (it has n.1 in a circle as a sign) is a rope that can be used as the only rope necessary for climbing. This kind of ropes is used as the main common type.
Double rope (it has 1/2 in a circele as a sign) is a rope that can only be used in a combination with an other rope. It as also called a twin rope. This is mostly used for multipitch and alpine style of climbing as there is a higher risk of cutting the rope during a rock fall. Two ropes provide the comfort that if one is cut by a falling rock, you still have the other one to save you. Never use double rope as the ony rope, alsways combine two double ropes together.

 

2. Quickdraws

Quickdraws are composed from two carabinners connected with a textile dyneema (dynamic) sling. Its main purpose is to connect the means of protection: the bolt with the rope. Whole climbing, you clip the quikdraw into the bolt and rope into the other carabiner. The distance between the rock and the rope is thus increased and therefore rope-drag and rope-wear is decreased. There are varied types of quickdraws based on the shape of carabiner gates: straight, bent, or wire gates. Usually, the carabiner used for the rope is somewhat different from the one used for the bolt. It can be difference in color or shape of the gate so that we can easily say which one is which. The reason is that the bolt makes micro-scratches into the metal in the carabiner, thus using the same carabiner for the rope is not a good idea. Rope could be easily damaged while doing so. Proper maintenance and inspection before every climbing trip is recomended.

 

3. Helmet

While climbing outdoors, a helmet is usually a necessity. This is true for trad, multipitch, mountain climbing or for newly bolted routes and recently discovered crags. It is important to have head protection because loose rock and dropped equipment are uncontrollable dangers. Many people wear helmets for all outdoor climbing trip including sport climbing. Opt to buy a helmet that is comfortable and light-weight enough to wear at extended periods of time. Protection our precious brains is a very good investment to do.

 

 

4. Cowtail

When finishing a climbing route, one needs to be able to clean the route. Cleaning a route means to remove all the gear placed while climbing up. Quickdraws / slings need to be taken down. Depending on the anchor/lower off set-up, you need to rapell down from the anchor. If double carabiners are in place you can rbe lowered down immidiately but if only a steel ring is in place, you will need to untie yourself from the rope before rapelling!

For this, you will need a cowtail consisting of an open/closed sling with a locking carabiner at one end and with the sling being tied into your harness safety loo at the other end.

 

These are only the few pieces of gear that are essential for any outdoor sport climbing trip. There is much more that is needed for other adventures such as trad or mountans. No amount of gear will protect you from every danger, so follow rule n.1 Always be careful.