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Subtopics in Climbing Skills:

    Rock Climbing Photo: Cleaning Sport Anchors
    How to Clean Sport Climbing Anchors
    One of the best parts about sport climbing is its utter simplicity: Clip some bolts as you climb, and - well, that’s pretty much it. The most complicated part is cleaning the anchors; in other words, threading your rope through the rings or chains at the top so you can l...
    Julie Ellison at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: How to haul a bag by Supercorn
    Haul Your Pack to Climb Faster and Harder
    Simple truth: Attempting to go "light and fast" often means heavy and lame. To avoid the stigma of hauling a bag, many climbers feel the need to have everything clipped right on their harnesses. Water bottles, approach shoes, bullet packs—you name it—jangling ...
    Jeff Achey at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: The cam is engaged and pinches the rope to keep it...
    Proper Techniques for Grigri Use
    The release of the Petzl Grigri in 1991 marked a major step in the evolution of belay devices: Here was a device that assisted significantly in catching a fall, and also allowed a belayer to hold and lower his partner with little effort. Belay slaves rejoiced, but incorre...
    Julie Ellison at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: by Jamie Givens
    How to Belay a Heavier Leader
    People whose partners outweigh them by 25 pounds or more routinely get yanked off the ground when catching sport-climbing leader falls. Although this phenomenon is disconcerting at first, it can be perfectly safe with a few simple precautions—and it provides a nice, soft...
    Dave Sheldon at Climbing Magazine
    Belaying While Mid-Pitch While Simu-climbing
    If you are simul-climbing part of a route because it is technically easy (e.g., 5.4 or 5.5), you still might come across an isolated crux section that is two or three body-lengths and more difficult (e.g., 5.8 or 5.9). That portion might warrant a belay for the leader and...
    Scott Bennett at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: How to Hip Belay by Supercorn
    How to Hip Belay
    Long before the invention of belay devices, the hip belay provided security for the second and saved time in the mountains. When used correctly, a bomber stance can replace a traditional anchor, or you can back up a marginal anchor with a solid stance. It’s best in lower...
    Christian Santelices at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: How to tie an alpine girth hitch
    How to Tie an Alpine Girth-Hitch
    The seldom-used alpine butterfly knot has long been considered the gold standard for climbers when tying into the middle of the rope. Prestigious guide services and hallowed tomes like Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills teach the butterfly for glacier travel and any oth...
    Blake Herrington at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: The munter hitch by Keith Svihovec
    How to Use a Munter Hitch
    In 2005, I was lucky enough to have Mr. Werner Munter, the father of the Avalanche Reduction Method, as my avalanche-course examiner in Switzerland. With his Lennon glasses and straight grey hair and beard, he’d impersonate an avalanche’s characteristic Whumph!by spread...
    Caroline George at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: Step 1
    The Butterfly Knot
    This is the preferred knot for tying into the middle of a rope, as you’d do on a three-person rope team. (Clip into the loop with a locking carabiner.) This knot is also great for rappelling when your ropes are too short. Step 1 ...
    Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: Tyrolean traverse by Supercorn
    How to Do the Tyrolean Traverse
    The Tyrol, short for Tyrolean traverse, involves using a fixed line to cross from one point to another, often over water. While wearing a harness, you clip onto the rope or cable to pull yourself across. Developed in the Dolomites of the former Tyrol region, this method w...
    Bruce Hildenbrand at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: Improvised Rappel Anchor by Chris Philpot
    Improvised Rappel Anchors
    Getting off a cliff with no fixed anchors or big trees is a skill that every climber should have in his bag of tricks. It’s especially useful to do it with minimal loss of expensive hardware. Here’s one method. Warning: Never compromise safety on rappel anchors. If you...
    Eli Helmuth at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: by Chris Philpot
    Safely Rappel with a Too-short Rope
    Do you always know the exact length of every rappel? At some point in your climbing career, you will probably encounter a rappel that is unknown but looks too long for your measly single line. Instead of tossing the rope, crossing your fingers, and getting to the ends of ...
    Jeff Ward at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: How to lower on multi-pitches by Chris Philpot
    Save Time and Avoid Stuck Ropes on Descent
    Outside of single-pitch sport climbing, lowering isn’t a common practice, and most climbers will choose to rappel anything longer than one pitch. However, descending at maximum efficiency on long routes should include lowering techniques as well as rappelling. Lowering t...
    Steve Banks at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: Pre-rigged rappel setup by Chris Philpot
    A Safer Way to Set Up Rappels: Pre-rigging
    Are you a climber who thinks double-checking your partner’s harness and knot is a good idea prior to launching up a route? Me too. That’s why I’m always mystified to see so many climbers ignoring such safety checks when coming back down. Imagine you’re at the top of ...
    Dale Remsberg at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: Preferred rapelling knots by Chris Philpot
    Preferred Knots for Rappelling
    As a mountain guide, two questions I’m often asked are: 1) What knot do you use to join two ropes for rappels? and 2) Which knot do you use to tie the end of the ropes for a backup? Preferred rapelling knots by Chris Philpot 1. Joi...
    Rob Hess at Climbing Magazine
    How to Simul-Rappel
    As Ed Viesturs famously said, “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” And sometimes getting down safely means doing it quickly. Simultaneously rappelling, or simul-rapping, is an advanced skill where two climbers descend one rope at the same time (o...
    Liz Drummond at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: Rappel without a belay device by John McMullen
    Rappel Without a Belay Device
    You’re lying if you say you’ve never dropped your belay device and watched it go “tink, tink, tink” all the way down to the base of a route. That’s where you want to get, and you just let go of the one piece of gear that will get you there most conveniently. It can h...
    Ian Nicholson at Climbing Magazine
    Use a Friction-Hitch When Rappelling
    A friction-hitch is popular among climbers who desire maximum control and safety while rappelling. The most common back-up is to link a harness leg loop to the rope with a prusik hitch. Your brake hand holds the friction hitch to keep it from locking while you rap, but i...
    Eli Helmuth at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: Fig 1. Friction hitch by Chris Philpot
    Ascend a Rope With an Auto-blocking Device
    The shadows are growing long across the desert as you rappel off the neo-classic Birdland (5.7+) in Red Rock, Nevada, after a successful ascent. In your haste to beat darkness (and avoid the resulting expensive ticket at the park gate), you forgot to grab the rack off the...
    Kurt Hicks at Climbing Magazine
    Rope Commands for Multi-pitch Climbing
    Whaaaat?!” is the word most commonly spoken on multi-pitch climbs, where river noise, wind, acoustics, and helmets and stocking caps make it difficult, if not impossible, to use traditional verbal belay signals. If I had $100 for every time I’ve watched a team wasting t...
    Topher Donahue at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: Ground Runner Belay
    Keep Your Partner From Hitting the Ground
    Experts only: Your buddy has toproped his gnarly new headpoint 317 times—blindfolded, barefoot, and singing the national anthem. Despite all the rehearsals, now and then his foot still pops on that desperate last move. But the season is winding down, and the air is crisp...
    Adam Scheer at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: Short fixing by Mike Clelland
    Short-fixing is an experts-only technique that essentially separates a climbing team into two roped soloists via a knot at an anchor, allowing the climbers to move simultaneously. It’s most commonly used on one-day ascents of big walls, or to speed up the process during ...
    Russ Facente at Climbing Magazine
    Short-hauling Your Climbing Partner
    It's been a long day on the rock. If your partner can just finish this pitch quickly, you can be down on the trail before dark. But he’s exhausted, and a crux overhang has stopped him. “Take!” he yells. You give him tension, with your belay device rigged in guide mode ...
    Mark Nelson at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: Protect your follower
    Protect Your Follower on Traverses
    Pitches that traverse sideways can be as dangerous for the follower as for the leader, exposing both climbers to the risk of long, swinging falls. When leading, a climber naturally seeks pro before the crux; after the difficulties, however, he may cruise across easier ter...
    Adam Scheer at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: Walking the rope by Chris Philpot
    Get Back on an Overhanging Route After Falling
    Walking the rope by Chris Philpot When working his route Le Rêve (5.14d/5.15a) in Arrow Canyon, Nevada, Jonathan Siegrist was forced to skip a clip in the middle of the extremely overhanging crux section, where he fell dozens of tim...
    Alex BIale and Jonathan Siegrist at Climbing Magazine
    Rock Climbing Photo: Figure 3  by Ben Fullerton
    Single-Hitch Belay Escape
    Keeping it straightforward is a good credo for rescue and almost anything climbing-related, and this particular skill is a good example of how to streamline the act of escaping a belay. It uses minimal steps, equipment, and hitches or knots, especially when compared to mo...
    Eli Helmuth at Climbing Magazine

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