Climbing Tips – With the right techniques you can get to the top safely and efficiently
There are countless ways to climb a rock, and it is unlikely that two people will climb in exactly the same way, but there are some good, effective climbing techniques that will not only help you to climb safer, but also more efficiently, so that you can save energy and last longer. Your two main tools as climbers are your hands and feet, so we will go through some techniques to use each of these tools effectively.
A common climbing technique that uses your hands is called hand upsetting. This method is used when you use a crack as a grip. You insert your hand and then bend your hand to exert pressure on both sides of the crack. You can also use your fist to stow your hand. Insert your hand and then make a fist to exert pressure on both sides of the crack. The pressure should be exerted by the thumb and index finger side of the fist on one side of the crack and the fleshy part of the fist on the other side.
When climbing, it is a good idea to keep the arms as straight as possible. If your arms are flexed and kept close to your body for a long time, they can easily get tired. Tiredness is something you should definitely avoid, because if you get tired or convulsive during a tour, it can be very dangerous. It is also a good idea to use the legs as much as possible, as the legs are much stronger than the arms and are able to carry the weight for a longer period of time.
Since you will be using your legs more than your arms, footwork is very important. Most of the time you have most of your weight on your big toes and the ball of your feet. A technique called edging uses this part of the foot to keep your weight on a small edge or a small foot. If there isn’t much of an edge, you can use a technique called lubrication where you try to bring as much of the surface of your climbing shoe into contact with the rock as possible. This way you can get a grip on a relatively flat spot that has no edge.
Another technique that is more strenuous and should only be used sparingly is the so-called heel hook. If there are no good footprints under the waist, you have to put your foot up and hook your heel to an edge that is slightly higher. You would use your foot almost like a third hand to put yourself in a better position.
There are innumerable climbing techniques and a beginner should get a briefing before heading into the mountains. You can read books, watch videos and even climb in a climbing hall to practice something, talk to experienced climbers and improve your skills.