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Rock Climbing & Rappelling Tips & Equipment
Like any sport, rock climbing has a large assortment of gear you can buy. So what exactly do you need to begin rock climbing? Listed below is the fundamental gear that is required for top rope climbing.
Climbing Ropes have a kernmantle construction. The multi-stranded, inner core or the kern is the main load bearing element of the rope. The mantle is a sheath of tightly woven material that protects the core from abrasion. The two main types of climbing ropes are static and dynamic. Dynamic rope has stretch, so when a climber falls there will not be a harsh jerk. Static rope does not have any stretch and is used for tying anchors or hauling gear. Because climbing ropes vary, climbers must determine what type of rope will best suit their needs.
Webbing is basically flat rope that doesn't have a core. It is extremely strong and has many uses. Webbing is often sewn together into a loop to form slings or runners. Slings and runners can be used for extending and equalizing anchors, carrying equipment, and tying off to a tree.
Carabiners, or biners, are metal loops with a spring-loaded opening. Carabiners are used to connect gear or to create anchors. Carabiners come in many shapes and sizes. Like most other climbing gear the type of carabiner you choose depends on how you will use it.
Harnesses are used to attach the rope to a climber or belayer. They are worn around the waist and have leg holes.
Chalk and Chalk Bag
Chalk is used by climbers to dry their hands and increase their grip on the rock. Chalk is stored in chalk bags which attach to the harness so they can be used throughout a climb.
Belay devices are mechical devices that allow the rope to be controlled while climbing. Its main function is to lock off the rope with ease. This allows belayers to stop climbers from falling or to lower climbers slowly.
Climbing shoes are designed to maximize the friction between the climber's feet and the rock. They fit very snugly and the soles are coated with rubber. Climbing shoes come in many styles and brands.