Climbing [how not to] Crash Course

It seems everywhere I look I find out that Boulder, Colorado is the mecca of something or the best of something else.  Recently we’ve been thrust (willingly) into the massive climbing scene that is Boulder. While our friends have been nothing but helpful and totally willing to share their immense knowledge base, we knew we had to increase our climbing IQ and quick!  So in typical Jess and my fashion, it was time for a (how not to) crash course in climbing.  Like everything else we get into, it always starts with some background research.

Step 1.  Learn the basics of Anchor systems and the foundation of climbing outside starting with Toproping

Toproping by Peter Lewis is a great intro to toproping and climbing outside with a nice layout and emphasis on safety.  After reading this one it became obvious that knowledge of setting anchors is vital, so we picked up Rock Climbing Anchors: A Comprehensive Guide by Craig Luebben to get a good comprehensive look at that aspect.  While some of it is a little advanced for our current needs, it is definitely a great book that we can grow into once we start leading 5.12 trad routes 😉Finally, we had to get an idea of where to go practice these skills so we came across the Front Range Topropes book by Fred Knapp.  Great resource for toproping hot spots in Boulder and the rest of the Front Range.  I really like how it describes the type of anchors and what kind of gear is required to set them up.

Now, based on these books we’ve got a gear list we need for toproping and skills we need to practice while sitting in front of the TV at night.

  • Rope, Carabiners, Slings, Webbing, Cordalettes…
  • Pre-equalized 2 and 3 point anchors
  • Self-equalizing 2 and 3 point anchors
  • Self-equalizing 2-3 point anchors with limiting knots

Now back to the books… we’ve still got to learn uphaul systems and mechanical advantage problems for this weeks RMRG meeting/practice.

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