Are you considering taking up the sport of climbing? If so then you are probably aware that it is definitely one of the most fun
and exhilarating outdoor activities you can do but it is not something easy to learn and
climbing, obviously, comes with some serious risks. Thats why taking a class from a knowledgeable
instructor with a lot of climbing experience is a must.
You’ll be instructed on a wide range on topics and taught essential skills
for safe climbing. The class will be a combination of class room study and
actual hands on training.
One of the most important parts of the class (and most basic parts of
climbing) will be knot tying. If you’ve never been in boy scouts or the Navy,
you’d be surprised at how many different types of knots there are. You’ll learn
various tying methods including the Italian Hitch, the Bowline, a Double
Overhand and the Tape Knot.
You’ll be instructed on how to tie the harness onto the ropes using the
biners. It’s very important to strap on a harness accurately and to test the
loops and ties since your connection to the rope is critical to your safe ascent
and descent from the mountain. You’ll also be shown the proper use of
karabiners; these are the metal rings with spring clasps.
Belaying is a term used in climbing which means to attach yourself to the end
of a rope or attaching a rope to a stable object. Belaying correctly is one of
the most important lessons of mountain climbing. There are several different
belaying techniques, all of which you will learn in class.
The top rope belaying technique is practiced using a long rope which is
anchored to the top of an outcropping. The rope is threaded through the
karabiners and the anchor is connected to webbing. The karabiners attach the
anchor to the rope. The climber (below) climbs as the belayer pulls up the
rope’s slack. Similarly on the descent the climber is lowered by slack provided
by the belayer.
You will be taught proper climbing and lowering techniques and then you’ll be
taught how to be the belay. You’ll be partnered up with someone else (which is
always required) and be given the role of lead climber or second climber. The
lead climber places protection (“pros”) and attaches the ropes to them using
These are just a few things you’ll learn in a climbing class. There are many
other techniques that are essential to this activity. Again, due to the nature
of mountain climbing you should check the climbing instructors credentials and inquire
about experience. Don’t penny pinch when it comes to a climbing class since you
usually get what you pay for.