Learning to climb

Learning to climb

Climbing is a humble lifelong learning process in terms of skills, experience and safety. There’s always something new to learn and something obsolete to be updated. Climbing is like driving. People can drive for years, thinking they are the best driver in the world, but realistically can still be a terribly, unsafe driver. Climbing fitness skills =/= safety skills e.g. a 5.12 climber doesn’t necessarily have better safety and skills experience than a 5.10 climber.

The following as a capture of the learning curve from day one onwards. *This is a friendly suggestion and NOT professional guiding instruction and is NO replacement for professional climbing training and years of climbing experience. If you have any input or feedback, please Contact Us : )

How to be safe?

1. Take an climbing intro/belay course (indoor or outdoor) 2hr-1day

Examples of Top-Rope Belay and Lead Belay.

Indoor climbing gyms/facilities in Greater Vancouver:

Mountain schools around Vancouver:

– Our VRCG in house ACMG guide Brent Nixon @ Vancouver Mountain Guides (members get 20% off all courses) (Vancouver, Squamish)
– Mountain Skills Academy (Squamish, Whistler)
– Canada West Mountain School (Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler)
– Squamish Rock Guide (Squamish)

2. Climb with established outdoor clubs and meet climbing partners.

3. Have and use a reference person.

For example, you find a climbing partner through an online forum, ask some experienced climbers/friends (who use the site a lot and know a lot of climbers) for reference such as “Have you climbed with this person before? Is he/she safe? How’s his/her skills?” *Climbing fitness skills =/= safety skills e.g. a 5.12 climber doesn’t necessarily have better safety and skills experience than a 5.10 climber.

 

4. Always perform basic safety checks.

1. Check harness double-backed and fit above the hip bone. Don’t climb with people who wear their harness like a low-cut Levis. It’s natural selection.
2. Check knots, tie-in through both loops, carabiners locked, etc.
3. Buy the best helmet you can find. Wear it as soon as you are at the wall. Things fall.
4. Everytime before you climb, clarify and confirm all communications and do a rundown of what you guys will do. You’ll be surprised by how many different ways and accents there can be. Clarification and asking questions are real politeness.
5. Never assume your climbing partner’s ability and style of doing things if you haven’t climbed with him/her before.
6. Don’t belay directly below any climbers. Things fall.
7. If you hear “Rock”, look down and run away from the shadow.
8. If you feel uncomfortable, say NO.

9. Leave a climbing plan with a family/friend.

 

5. Read up and practice skills and stay current with climbing news, updates and recalls.

Book/Video/Article suggestions *Liability statement: NOT intended to be instructional, just some opinions. Please see an ACMG guide for professional training:

Accident Reports:

Climbing Equipment:
Climbing Physics:
Climbing Gear Recall Search Engine: Here
Climbing Technical Skills:

Climbing Movement Skills:

Finger Training

Climbing News and Updates:

Climbing Routes: