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Sport Climbing Essentials


Original Post
David Peede · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 0

I want to get into sport climbing and I’d like to know what kind of gear I would need.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

You should climb with someone experienced or take a class, where you will learn what you need. 

Tyler N · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 155

In addition to Frank's excellent advice, a cursory google search will answer your gear question.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

15 quick draws (I like the Petzl Spirits)
6 slings of 60 cm length (24 inches)
a dozen or so free biners (wire gates work well)
A couple of locking carabiners (don't need the big HMS style ones)
Harness + belay device + pear/HMS style locking biner
Rope (60-80 meter)
rope tarp (optional but recommended)
chalk bag + chalk (optional)

when you get to the anchors, use a couple of slings to make yourself safe, untie and rethread the anchor and lower or rap. This is covered ad nauseum in another thread.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535
Buck Rio wrote: 15 quick draws (I like the Petzl Spirits)
6 slings of 60 cm length (24 inches)
a dozen or so free biners (wire gates work well)
A couple of locking carabiners (don't need the big HMS style ones)
Harness + belay device + pear/HMS style locking biner
Rope (60-80 meter)
rope tarp (optional but recommended)
chalk bag + chalk (optional)

when you get to the anchors, use a couple of slings to make yourself safe, untie and rethread the anchor and lower or rap. This is covered ad nauseum in another thread.

You don't need the 6 slings or spare carabiners (either locking or non-locking). You can put lockers on a couple draws if that makes you feel better for anchors.

You can pick up a PAS style tether for securing yourself to anchors.

You only need a pear style carabiner for tube devices- if you pick up a grigri2 or similar device, a small d locker will do fine.
bruno-cx · · my sprinter · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 5

In addition to the above:
1. GriGri
2. Stick Clip
3. Camp Chair
4. Blu Tooth Speaker
5. Crag Dog
6. Toyota Tacoma, Subaru (Any Make), or a Sprinter.  Bonus points if the aftermarket accessories are worth more than the vehicle.

JohnnyG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 10
Tyler Needham wrote: In addition to Frank's excellent advice, a cursory google search will answer your gear question.

yeah- but the problem is that it's hard for novices to discriminate between the crappy BS posts like these

https://www.theadventurejunkies.com/sport-climbing-gear-list/
https://www.climbing.com/skills/10-essentials-of-sport-climbing/

and ok info like this
https://frictionlabs.com/blog/a-beginners-guide-to-sport-climbing

and the overblown list like this
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/sport-climbing-checklist.html

Plus the lists put up here by Buck, John and Bruno are way better than any of the ones I linked.
Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 135

Two last things, get a brain bucket and a partner.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
John Wilder wrote:

You don't need the 6 slings or spare carabiners (either locking or non-locking). You can put lockers on a couple draws if that makes you feel better for anchors.

You can pick up a PAS style tether for securing yourself to anchors.

You only need a pear style carabiner for tube devices- if you pick up a grigri2 or similar device, a small d locker will do fine.

I disagree on the slings and spare biners...do you need them? No, but they can really cut down on rope drag. Maybe six is over kill (I am more of a traddie these days) but 2-3 would be nice to have, plus you can always do the alpine draw and keep them short. Spare biners are nice to bail on for the inevitable rain storm or hard route you can't finish. 

The spare locker I find useful to use when you have the odd badly placed bolt that levers the gate open on your draw.  These tend to be right before the crux I find.
F loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 356

Need is subjective. Shoes, helmet, rope, belay device with biner, quickdraws and partners are the only thing you need to get started.
Needing extra biners, gloves, cordelette, rappel backup, chalk, slings, and other stuff is entirely dependent on the climber and their route.
If you are asking about climbing plastic covered walls in a dusty hovel full of beanie wearing bearded men and women, whatever they require I guess.

Mike Slavens · · Houston, TX · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 35
Buck Rio wrote: 15 quick draws (I like the Petzl Spirits)
6 slings of 60 cm length (24 inches)
a dozen or so free biners (wire gates work well)
A couple of locking carabiners (don't need the big HMS style ones)
Harness + belay device + pear/HMS style locking biner
Rope (60-80 meter)
rope tarp (optional but recommended)
chalk bag + chalk (optional)

when you get to the anchors, use a couple of slings to make yourself safe, untie and rethread the anchor and lower or rap. This is covered ad nauseum in another thread.

IMO:

  • 12 draws (2x 6-packs)  [Only a few places do you need more than 12 draws, save the money till later.  Also, don't spend a ton on draws, Petzl has some of the most expensive on the market.  All draws last about the same and the slight weight savings is no where near worth double the cost. The few times I need more than 12 draws I supplement with alpine draws from my trad rack so that is also an option.]

  • 2 slings, 1x w/ lockers, 1x w/ non-lockers [These will be for the odd time you need an extended draw and if you want to put a locker on the anchor.  One locker-draw on the anchor is more than plenty as most people don't use lockers, just regular draws, on the anchor.]

  • Personal Gear (shoes, harness, chalk bag, belay device)
  • Rope (60m or 70m) [80 meter ropes are hard to find and expensive.  The only place I've ever been to where an 80m might be worth it is Indian Creek which isn't sport climbing.  All other places it ends up be extra weight and extra hassle with no benefit.  More and more places a 70m is nice to have but if you are pinched on funds a 60m will serve you well.  I like dry coatings even for sport climbing as I think it keeps the rope cleaner and cuts down on wear giving you longer life but they are slick the first few trips out.]
  • Rope Tarp/Rope Bag [Totally agree with optional but highly recommended.  Get a real one, not just a tarp from the hardware store.  Cuts down on hassle moving your rope around and don't need to constantly be coiling it.  Also, it keeps your rope out of the dirt extending the life of it.]
  • PAS or Additional Sling w/ locker [This is what you use to clip into the anchor to clean it and/or setup to rappel.  I personally like the PAS for its extra features over just a sling.]
All those extra biners and slings are a waste in my opinion when first getting into sport climbing.  You would eventually put them to use in trad climbing but you certainly don't need to purchase them now.  The rack above would cover you 95% of time.  Also, as others have stated make you sure have a mentor, guide, or someone experienced to show you how to safely use it all.  Gym classes and YouTube videos are great but don't do it justice.
Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 275

A beanie is a good place to start.  Make sure you are part of a large Meet Up Group.  A 6 pack of Kombucha? is that how you spell it?  If not a 6er of Yerba Mate will do, make sure it's cans and not glass.  As mentioned above a bluetooth speaker and dog off the leash are a must.  It's preferable if the dog is wearing the bluetooth speaker so you can track it down after it runs away.  Don't shower for at least 4 days before you go, you really wanna work up that send scent.   Don't forget to have fun.

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75
Kevin Mokracek wrote: A beanie is a good place to start.  Make sure you are part of a large Meet Up Group.  A 6 pack of Kombucha? is that how you spell it?  If not a 6er of Yerba Mate will do, make sure it's cans and not glass.  As mentioned above a bluetooth speaker and dog off the leash are a must.  It's preferable if the dog is wearing the bluetooth speaker so you can track it down after it runs away.  Don't shower for at least 4 days before you go, you really wanna work up that send scent.   Don't forget to have fun.

I thought he was asking about sport climbing not bouldering?

F loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 356

If I may give actual good advice for once: Get some of your gear used or all of it on sale! 

curt86iroc · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 53
Floyd Eggers wrote: If I may give actual good advice for once: Get some of your gear used or all of it on sale! 

On sale? Sure! 

Used? No!

As a new climber with no experience, DO NOT buy used gear.  You don't yet have the knowledge to evaluate its condition for safe use.

Ryan U. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 45

12 draws
ATC/biner
60m rope
Harness

Is all you need to get started if you already have shoes, chalk bag ect.   

F loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 356

A used ATC is unsafe? A used set of quickdraws unsafe? A few used rated biners (don't even utter micro-fractures) unsafe? How about shoes, chalk bag, helmet? Honestly, if you didn't start with used gear I would say you were pretty lucky.
But, yes... Shop smart! Shop S Mart. 

Jason Halladay · · Los Alamos, NM · Joined Oct 2005 · Points: 12,203
bruno-cx wrote: In addition to the above:
1. GriGri
2. Stick Clip
3. Camp Chair
4. Blu Tooth Speaker
5. Crag Dog
6. Toyota Tacoma, Subaru (Any Make), or a Sprinter.  Bonus points if the aftermarket accessories are worth more than the vehicle.

7. Hammock 

John Clark · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 407

Shoes, Chalkbag, and a copy of Bachar: Man, Myth, Legend

Larry S · · Easton, PA · Joined May 2010 · Points: 840

Maybe a good reference book, such as https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Climbing-Mastering-Mountaineers-Outdoor/dp/1594858624

Also, a helmet is a good idea, for both you and your partner.

Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 65

Beanie, stretchy jeans.

No shirt required.

Extra credit for man bun.

Check in with Aleks about your sends and see if he will loan them back.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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