Nature is bloomed with rocks, big walls providing a wonderful opportunity for climbing. Being in nature, climbing under the blue sky, camping on the walls, natural climbing is a true adventure. As joyful it is, it is risky too. Let’s find out more about climbing in the outdoors.
What to carry?
Bouldering: Nothing much only climbing shoes, crash pads and a chalk bag is required. Carry enough crashpads, based on the height of the boulders try to lay crash pads below. Also, actively spot the climber.
Top rope/Lead climbing: For lead climbing the list is big,
- Quick Draw
- Chalk bag
The count varies based on the number of hangers and people climbing.
Lead climbing on natural rocks is also called Traditional Climbing. Read more about it...
What to take care of?
- Watch out for the loose rock. Before directly holding a crag and climbing ahead, try to grab it and apply pressure. See if it breaks or comes out. In case it is loose, remove the hand instantly and find another hold.
- Wear a helmet all the time: This is specifically for Lead/Top rope climbing. There are chances of rocks falling down, because of the climber above or anything else.
- Stay hydrated: This is again most important for Traditional lead climbing having multiple pitches. Do not just get engrossed in climbing. Drink enough water, take breaks!
- Use foot strength more: Try to stand on legs and use more foot techniques rather than pulling through arms. Try to smear and use friction. This will help you conserve more energy of arms and in case of faulty handhold, you may be safe.
- Double check hangers/bolts: If you are working on an old line bolted years ago, there might be a possibility of the bolts getting weak. Before you completely rely on such bolts re-check bolts.
- Do not catch trees/shrubs: It is a natural instinct to grab the growing plants on the route. Do not ever think of using them as an anchor. You never know when a tree may pop out!
- Do not use holes directly: There might be many holes on the route which might entice you as good pocket or finger holds. But, beware of reptiles. Such spots are houses of snakes, rats, birds. There have been cases of snake bites on big pitches. Therefore, clean the hold, make sure nothing is looking at you from inside, then move ahead.
- Do not lose any equipment: Well, this applies for any climb in general. But, losing a piece of equipment on natural traditional climb might cost your life. There might be a valley below or many pitches below. After losing anything it won’t be feasible to go down and grab it. However, critical your position might be, be active and secure your items.
- Stay covered: Try to wear full-sleeve t-shirts to avoid suntan. Wear a buff to cover your face. There have been incidents when a honeycomb nearby got disturbed and the angry bees targeted the climbers. Covering full body is better. Again this mostly applies to Traditional climbing.
- Be prepared for the worst: Before heading on that adventurous climb try to plan everything. Climb in your head, analyze what can go wrong. Study topography around, find out the nearest hospital, emergency exit point, water source, ATM, etc. In case of an accident, you must know everything to come out safe. For big climbs, try to have a backup team, that will come into action when there is a mishap. Try to stay connected with all the climbing members of your team. Nothing can be predicted for outdoor climbing, that is the fun of it. However, take calculated risks and BE SAFE!
- Be safe, not stupid: I hate to say this and I would like to repeat, take calculated risks and be safe. You might have heard news of people trying some stunts and falling to death. It is okay if you do not get that perfect Instagram picture. You can get that next time, just get down safe.
Climbing in outdoors is fulfilling in a way. It motivates you, makes you fear free and makes you stronger. Go out and climb into the wild. Let me know, how was your outdoor climbing!