The Essential Climbing Safety Tips List

Climbing Safety Tips

Do you often feel the urge to embark on an adventure? Perhaps climbing is what will stir the adrenaline that has been hibernating in your veins?

Rock climbing can be an unforgettable experience. Along with the thrills of climbing itself, the outdoors offers a relief from the stresses of daily life.

But climbing is not all roses and sunshine.

There are many physical and health-related challenges to contend with. However, with the right information and careful attention to safety, climbing should be fun and risk-free.

 

Here are the 6 essential climbing safety tips that all climbers should observe:

 

1. Get Fit

The first thing you need to prepare before climbing is not the climbing gear–it’s your body.

Climbing is a vigorous activity that requires a lot of physical and mental effort. As such, you need to be physically fit and mentally agile to pull it off without the risk of injuries.

If you’ve not been physically fit lately, you might want to start an exercise program that will prepare your muscles for strenuous activities. You’d be surprised at how simple activities such as running and jogging can help to strengthen your muscles.

Think of exercises that can strengthen your leg muscles.

Also, engage in exercises that can strengthen your arm muscles, such as push-ups. You’ll need a lot of upper body strength to make tight grips on rocks and to hang long enough in ropes.

When you get a little more advanced, you can move on to the climbing training section of your gym where you’ll find hangboards, campus boards, and other challenging equipment that will help you to train the climbing-specific parts of your body that other exercises may miss.

 

2. Be Prepared for the Weather

Always make a habit of checking the weather the night before and in the morning before climbing. You can also check the weather forecasts to determine whether it will be safe to go on with your plans.

Extreme weather conditions during climbing could be life-threatening. For safety purposes, dress according to the weather report.

Sun protection is also essential for your health and comfort when climbing outdoors. Sunburn is also not good for climbers. Not only can it slow you down but also cause itching, nausea, and headaches.

Keep in mind that slippery rock is not the only concern. In some climbing areas such as Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas, the sandstone can actually break if it is not completely dry after a rainstorm. This not only presents an obviously dangerous situation but can also ruin routes and problems for other climbers. A 5.10 can go to 5.13 pretty quickly when key holds disappear.

3. Eat a Good Breakfast

Experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

As such, if you have a long day ahead of you, especially one that involves climbing a rock, you’ll need a good breakfast to power your climb.

The right breakfast should not only give you energy but also be light to ease digestion.

Before gearing up, eat a 400-calorie breakfast, perhaps some carbs that are easy to digest. It’s recommended to work with carbs only since protein, fat, and fiber have lengthy absorption processes.

The goal here is to put your brain and muscles in top performance, which might not happen if you jam your digestive track with all sorts of food. The last thing you want is a substantial meal that will make your stomach rumble as you climb or make you wish you were near a toilet.

Also, carry plenty of water to keep you hydrated.

 

4. Bring the Right Gear

Your climbing safety to a large extent depends on the nature of the climbing gear you bring along.

First of all, you need good climbing shoes. Choose perfect fitting shoes that will provide stability, grip, and support. Your choice of shoes should also depend on the nature of the terrain.

As for the clothes, they need to be comfy and flexible enough to allow you to maneuver comfortably and stretch all parts of your body.

Don’t forget to pack all your extra gear, crash pad, food, and enough water.

 

5. Carry First Aid Supplies

If you’re out on a climbing adventure, there is always the possibility of injury to either yourself or your climbing partners.

You can get hit by a rock and sustain a head injury. Or take a ground fall and sprain your ankle. Such a mishap can give you a miserable climbing experience.

However, if you bring along a first aid kit and know how to use the items in your bag, you can make a massive difference to the outcome. A basic first aid kit should be enough to treat most of the injuries.

A climbing first aid kit should include but not be limited to the following supplies:

  • Duct tape
  • Sterile Dressings
  • Small scissors, tweezers, and safety pins
  • Butterfly bandages/adhesive bandages
  • Moleskin
  • Painkillers

 

Wrapping Up on Climbing Safety Tips

With proper preparation and careful attention to safety, the whole experience can be an enjoyable and memorable experience.

So if you want to satiate your hunger for adventure and want something that will keep your adrenaline kicking, climbing is your best bet.

Check out our blog for more tips on how to improve your climbing and discover the best climbing gear to keep you safe on your adventure.

Crack Climbing Tips for Beginners

Crack Climbing tips

The cracks and crevices slicing through a cliff face can present a challenge even for experienced climbers. You’ll need to learn how to jam your hands and feet into the cracks to get a secure hold.

Learning how to crack climb is a fantastic idea. Jamming can be difficult, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a ton of fun.

Are you ready to become a crack rock climber? Then you need to read these climbing tips.

 

Get Ready to Crack Climb

There are a few necessary steps you need to take before you can start scrambling up the mountain.

Protect Your Skin

Jamming your hands into a rock crevice is tough on your skin. You can protect yourself by wrapping your hands in tape gloves. It’s a fantastic way to avoid becoming scraped up by the rock.

Don’t wait for your hands to tear, tape them up before your climb.

Buy the Right Climbing Shoes

You can’t master a climb if you’re not wearing the right shoes. Serious outdoor climbers need their climbing shoes. Trust us; your projects will be a lot more comfortable if you have the proper gear.

You’re going to be on your feet so make sure you choose shoes that you wouldn’t mind wearing all day. Look for a slim pair that allows your toes to lay flat. You’ll need to jam your feet into thin cracks during your climb.

Try out multiple styles if you can.

Start Climbing

Crack climbing is a thrill. Climbers experience jolts of adrenaline when they journey to dizzying heights. Follow these climbing tips:

1. Learn the tricks

Sometimes you’ll need to thrust your entire arm into a wide crack, and sometimes you’ll make use of a crevice so slender that you’ll barely be able to slide your fingers inside.

There are tons of different jams to master. Finger jams, fist jams, foot jams. Should you keep your thumb up or down?

So, learn everything.

Crack climbing is hugely diverse. Every crack that you encounter will need to be approached in its own way. The more knowledge you can throw at the situation, the easier it’ll be to manage.

2. Don’t be discouraged

If you know the right jamming techniques, you can make any crack work for you. It’ll become easier to understand what you do as become more experienced. Practice is critical if you want to become an expert crack climber.

You might feel a bit awkward at first. That’s okay! Feeling comfortable with cracks takes time.

3. Practice your footwork

A lot of new climbers forget about their feet. One if the best climbing tips for beginners to focus on is to remember to use their whole body.

Foot jams are frequent when you’re climbing a crack. If they’re not done correctly, it can be immensely painful as well as dangerous. The more aware you are of your feet’s placement, the easier your route will be.

4. Be creative

Everyone’s body is different. The difficulty ratings attributed to crack routes are just guidelines. Crack climbing is exceptionally variable; your style will depend on your limbs and appendages.

You and your climbing partners will approach cracks differently. You might be able to hand jam up your way up the crag while your partner’s hands might be too big or small to fit correctly.

5. Expect some discomfort

You won’t become a crack master on your first route. There’s no substitute for experience; you won’t know how to handle certain fissures until you encounter them.

This means that there will be a trial and error period. You might experience some pain during this process. Jamming your body into cracks in a mountain face isn’t something that comes naturally to most people.

As you learn more about your body and become more comfortable with the cracks, the pain will diminish, and your climb will become a lot easier.

6. Understand your limits

A correctly performed jam doesn’t require a lot of strength.

Crack climbing can be strenuous exercise. However, a lot of routes will take hours to complete. You’ll need to take breaks.

Don’t push yourself too hard or you could get hurt.

A correct jam is an ideal chance to rest your body. Find a position that doesn’t depend on your muscles, like knee jam or knee bar.

7. Take your time

Slow down!

The wonderful feeling of completing your first few jams can lead to excitement. New climbers can quickly get caught in the moment and start racing up a route without planning their strategy.

The safest, most effective route up the mountain is the rarely the fastest. There’s no timeclock keeping track of your movements. You don’t have to beat anyone.

Planning your route and considering each step could be the difference between falling and triumphantly reaching the end.

8. Take a lesson

The climbing community is incredibly welcoming. If you search online meetup groups, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find an expert in your area willing to share his best climbing tips.

You don’t need a lot of gear to become a crack climber. You do need a good strategy. An experienced mentor can help.

9. Find a partner

You don’t need to climb with anyone else. However, a lot of people find crack climbing with their friends to be more fun.

If you don’t know anyone who’s interested, start scouring online groups or try to talk to someone at your local climbing gym. If you find someone with more experience than you, it can be a perfect opportunity to learn more about the sport.

 

Want Some More Climbing Tips?

Rock climbing is an excellent, healthy activity that’s surging in popularity. New climbers are falling in love with the sport every day.

One of the best ways to become a skilled climber is to educate yourself. Regularly read new material and watch from videos experts. Our blog is an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn more about climbing.

 

Perfecting Your Balance to Improve Your Climbing

rock climbing balance

Have you seen some rock climbers try to balance on a slackline for exercise? The reason they do this is that your balance is critical to improving your climbing game.

Maintaining balance has to do with two things:

  • being in the optimal position with both upper and lower body
  • having enough core strength to line up the upper and lower body

If you watch some of the more seasoned climbers, they can bring their pelvis forward to line up under their arms and thereby shift their center of gravity in a more optimal position.

If you are hanging onto a hold with your arm and have a foot that’s not committed to a hold, it can be brought around to counterbalance the weight of the pelvis, called flagging. So if most of your weight shifts left and your foot flags right then you created balance, making it easier for you to hold on.

Balance also makes it easier to get the most out of your lower body. If you are standing on a foothold and are about to reach up, then it’s critical to be able to extend from your legs up through your core without falling to one side. That will make it much more likely that you can complete a move statically (expending less energy) as opposed to dynamically (needing much more power).

Balance stems from core strength which many assume means strong abs, but it’s much more than that. Your core involves the following:

  • abdominal muscles
  • lower back muscles
  • shoulder muscles
  • hip muscles

Most exercises we do in the gym work out the extremity muscles and not the core. Sports tend to engage more of our center. However, sports are usually played to exhaustion so the core will be worked out but also easily fatigued. Let’s talk about how to work out our core so that we can improve our balance.

For this you won’t even need weights, all you need is a solid ground beneath you. The point is to engage muscles and maintain their contraction for a few seconds to increase their strength.

Plank exercise is a great start. You are mostly holding a position and allow your back and abdominal muscles to flex isometrically. Try some variations of the plank to get a bit more of a workout.

One-legged squats is another excellent exercise. These are done slowly, controlled, and you certainly want to build up to this. Variations of this exercise are by standing on one leg facing a wall, throwing a ball against it and catching it while in a slightly squatted position – great for the core. That will involve shoulders, hips, abs, and back.

Suspension bands are another fun way to get your core involved. Knee tucks and side planks done using the suspension bands takes your core exercise to another level.

Avoid overdoing core exercises, 1-2x per week is more than sufficient. Especially if you are climbing a lot, you don’t want to exhaust these muscles because then you are more likely to put stress on your fingers and knees during climbing, increasing your risk of injury.

Try this routine next time you are in your climbing gym: get on the mat and start some planks, finish up with some suspension exercises. Then attempt a few lower level bouldering climbs where you hold each position for a few seconds longer and then finish up with some top-roping.

10 Basic Bouldering Tips for Beginners

Bouldering tips

So you’ve caught the bouldering bug. We can’t blame you – it’s too much fun to miss. But it helps to have a few bouldering tips under your belt before you set off to conquer a rock.

Lucky for you, bouldering has gotten popular in the last several years, so there’s a lot more availability of information, routes, and equipment.

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Improve Your Climbing Footwork with These Tips and Techniques

Climbing Footwork

Are you an avid climber?

It’s no surprise since climbing has become more and more popular in the recreational sports field. Studies from 2016 show that of the 27 new climbing gyms in the US, 56% were opened by first-time climbing gym operators.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Climbing for Couples

climbing couples, dating a climber

Dating a climber can be super awesome, especially if they’re your climbing partner. You can plan ad hoc climbing trips and vacations together. You can have ugly feet together without anyone minding. Being outside together will rejuvenate your bodies, minds, and relationship.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably all too aware that there are downsides also. This article is here to help you get over those downsides by giving our list of the dos and don’ts of climbing for couples a read.

  • Do be mindful of your partner’s abilities and mental limits. All too often, when we’re in a couple, we project our desires and insecurities on our partner. Being part of a climbing couple can heighten that tendency because of the intensity of the sport and because everyone’s watching. Maybe we want our partner to try harder because we know they can do it, so we’ll pressure them to stay up on the wall until they pull through. Or maybe we want our better halves to be just as strong as we are, so we’ll set a grueling training schedule. No matter what the intentions, be mindful that “no means no.” Respect that and stop nagging them to try harder.
  • Don’t ever say, “just make X move, already!” or some iteration thereof. Our bodies are all different, especially between a couple that’s a girl and a guy. Flexibility, the center of gravity, skill level, and the reach of arms and legs will differ. Because beta depends on body type, someone that’s not your body type getting exasperated that you’re not trying out their beta can get super frustrating. It’s even more frustrating when that someone is your intimate partner. Either way, don’t take it personally if your partner doesn’t want to do your beta. Keep your cool and just be proud of your partner for trying to climb hard.

climbing couples, dating a climber

  • Do spend quality time away from the crag. We get it. You want to climb hard, and you’ve both got projects. But overtraining is counterproductive. The physical and mental fatigue can lead you to hit a plateau, or even worse, cause injury. Professional sports coaches and doctors recommend taking off a good two to three months per year to prevent injury or burnout. If you can’t bear the thought of taking time off, take off one week per month at the very least. Maybe just climbing one day that week. During that break, you’ll have plenty of time to explore other things with your partner like finding a new swimming hole in the woods, socializing with non-climbers, or just getting to know each other more.
  • Don’t be the jealous couple at the crag. Climbers have great physiques that can do amazing things. There’s nothing wrong with admiring someone else’s skills. On that same token, don’t be jealous of your significant other’s skills either. So what if you’re a guy and your girlfriend can climb better than you? No one cares about anything other than you having fun.
  • Do be respectful by not sleeping around, especially with other climbers. Maybe this is just common sense. But climbing circles are tiny, and it really, especially sucks when you’ve been cheated on by someone and with someone you’ll have to see at the gym and crag all the time.
  • Don’t be that couple that drags everyone else down with your issues. Climbing should be fun for everyone involved, including the friends stuck in the backseat of the car on the drive and hike to the crag. You’re outside, and the weather’s nice. Just enjoy it and leave that bickering for later.

climbing couples, dating a climber

  • Do share funny stories about each other to your friends on the drive or hike to the crag. Some deep bonding can happen on climbing trips. What better way to bond than to share (and vent) about the less-serious details of your relationship?
  • Don’t be that couple that exclusively climbs with each other. In addition to burning out on each other, you’d close yourselves off to learning techniques and having fun with other climbers.

We, at Butora, are always looking to better the sport, whether that be to give climbers silly (but helpful) tips like these, or providing climbers with great gear and safety advice.

Dating A Climber: 10 Things You Need to Know

If you’re looking for a big spender, you might want to reconsider starting a serious relationship with a climber. Oh, he’ll spend big, alright—on climbing gear—leaving little to spend on anything else if he’s as genuinely passionate as most serious climbers are! If you’re into a well-groomed guy, you should probably pass on a climber. Dirty hair, crumpled shirt, and that musky smell of sweat after a climb are pretty standard. That won’t change.

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Gym to Crag: Ten Things We Wished We Knew Before Transitioning to Outdoor Climbing

Bouldering, outdoor climbing

A lot of rock climbers got their start on the plastic mountain in an indoor climbing gym. This is an excellent way to condition yourself to climb outside. Indoor climbing can happen year-round, and gyms are also conducive to focused and intense training with hang boards, campus boards, and weights.

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Hangboard Training Will Make You a Better Climber

Hangboard Training

You rely on your upper body strength, power, and endurance to complete ascents. This is true whether you have just started climbing in a gym or you have led routes up sheer granite walls. It is the same no matter the skill level.

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