Getting Started With Mountain Climbing

The sport of climbing – whether mountaineering, mountain climbing, rock climbing or free climbing – has always been among the more popular “extreme” sports, but its popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. Hundreds of thousands of people head out for high mountain treks and climbs every weekend in the U.S. – and there are hundreds of thousands more throughout the world who enjoy challenging the mountains. For them, the right mountain climbing equipment and techniques make the difference in whether or not they will quite literally stand at the top of the world. Mountain climbing equipment and techniques aren’t for showing off – unless you have the right mountain climbing equipment for your climb and understand how to use it, you may not survive your climb. In short, detailed knowledge of mountain climbing equipment and techniques for climbing different types of terrain are vital to keep you safe on the rocks and cliffs.

Getting Started with Mountain Climbing

Mountain climbing can seem intimidating, especially to beginners, but it’s surprisingly easy to get started. You don’t have to lay out a fortune for mountain climbing equipment, at least at first. There are dozens of climbing schools and clubs in nearly every area of the country that offer basic training in mountain climbing techniques. Many gyms – even your local YMCA – feature rock climbing walls and training boards where you can learn the basic techniques and how to use different types of mountain climbing equipment safely from experienced climbers.
Mountain Climbing Equipment

Mountain climbing equipment encompasses a huge range of items that are used for various purposes during a climb, but these are among the most important.

Ropes and Webbing

Climbing ropes, harnesses and webbing are fundamental equipment for rock and mountain climbing. There are two main types of rope used for climbing:

Dynamic Ropes have some elasticity and are used as belay ropes, holding climbers to each other and protecting from falls. They have a certain amount of elasticity which decreases the amount of force felt by the climber in a fall. Static Ropes are not elastic, and are used for carrying and attaching equipment. Webbing is a sort of flat rope that has no core. It’s generally made of strong material and is used to make loops for various reasons.


Harnesses attach ropes to climbers. It distributes the force of your weight across your legs and your waist, reducing the shock of a fall. Harnesses come in many different styles, each of them suitable for different kinds of climbing.


Carabiners are metal loops with a spring-loaded gate. They have various uses, including attaching ropes to belaying devices and securing the climber when he or she is top-roping. The exact style and material of the carabiner depends on its intended use.
Mountain Climbing Techniques

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The techniques used in mountain climbing vary depending on the type of climb the mountaineer is undertaking. There are specific techniques mountain climbers should know for free climbing on rock faces or climbing in snow, for example. Mountain climbing clubs and classes can be helpful in teaching techniques needed for different types of climbs.
The Buzz About Climbing Board Training

Training for a climb is easy if you live near a gym with rock-climbing walls or, lucky you, near actual rocks to climb. If you don’t live near to any climbing training facilities, though, there is a solution – a climbing board. Climbing boards are designed to give you an intense climbing training session in a very small space in your own home. There are dozens of styles and makes of climbing boards on the market. How
do you choose the right one for your needs?


Most climbing boards are made of either wood or resin. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Wood is generally smoother, but it may splinter over time, especially if it’s cheaply made. It is less likely to tear skin, and your climbing board is biodegradable eventually. Resin boards are made of the same material you’ll find on rock-climbing walls at the gym. The surface is coarsely textured, giving you a more ealistic experience and more friction when training. Resin boards tend to deliver the biggest variety of holds on a single board.