Climbing Gear: Here’s What You Need to Go Climbing
I love climbing outdoors. The sun on my back. The rock in my hands. And, last but not least, spending time in nature with like-minded people. At the same time, rock climbing can be dangrous if you don't have the gear and know how to use it. Here's my list of essential equipment for climbing outdoors.
As well as having all the gear, those new to climbing should definitely do a course to minimise the risk of accidents and injuries. The Austrian Alpine Association (ÖAV) offers a range of courses where you will learn how to use the equipment correctly and how to safely belay another person climbing. There are also some basic climbing rules that should be respected for a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
Essential climbing gear
What gear do I need for climbing? Here is a quick overview of all the main pieces of equipment you should have in your rucksack when you head into the mountains or down to the local climbing centre.
Climbing shoes = slicks
Yes, many sport climbers like to wear 'slippers', uncomfortably tight rock shoes that don’t really fit their feet, with their toes crammed in the toe box. However, we all should have learned from Cinderella that it’s not good to stuff our feet into too-small shoes. Remember the phrase? ‘Rook di goo, rook di goo. There’s blood in the shoe!’ More and more climbing brands are these days telling their customers to find a pair that’s comfortable and snugly fits their feet. After all, climbing shoes are an essential part of the climbing experience. There are lots of different shoes are out there, but if you’re just starting out then buy a good and grippy all-around shoe from a reputable outdoor shop. And make sure they are not too tight – after all, it is better to climb all day than to give up after just one route because your feet are in agony.
Only ever use a belay device you really know your way around. There are lots of different ones on the market. The Austrian Alpine Association has come up with a guide to the most common devices and how they work.
Make sure you go to a reputable outdoor shop to buy a climbing harness. The staff there will be able to help you find one that fits well and offers maximum safety.
What else do you need to go climbing?
- Quickdraws and carabiners: I recommend ten quickdraws to start off with. When it comes to carabiners, take at least a couple with a screwgate.
- Rope (and rope bag): Single ropes are used for both indoor and outdoor climbing. They range in thickness from 8.9 to 11 mm and in length from 50 to 70 m.
- Helmet: You don't need one when climbing indoors, but outdoors it is a must.
- Chalkbag: Chalk is used to keep your hands dry during climbing and is kept in a small chalkbag worn around the waist.
Once you've got all the gear ... where are the best climbing spots in Tirol?
The Climbers Paradise platform is a haven of information about climbing in Tirol. Maps showing the different routes in detail, a description of how to get to each area (climbing and bouldering) as well as tips on the best indoor climbing centres and via ferrata climbing routes in Tirol make it a must for climbers in the region.
Where are the best places to climb in Tirol?
- Rock climbing for families
- Rock climbing for expert climbers
- Rock climbing routes with particularly spectacular views
Where do you like to go climbing in Tirol? Do you have some tips for those new to the sport?