/ Sport climbing kit
I've alrady got a harness, rope, shoes, ATC belay as I've been indoor climbing.
Hoping to start outdoor sport soon.
You'll need some quickdraws plus you'll probably find a short sling and a couple of screwgates useful. Depending where you're climbing a clip-stick can make the whole process a lot more relaxing.
To what you already have you will need:
Quickdraws (depending on length of routes, but 8 - 10 is usual)
A short sling (for attaching to lower off)
1 or 2 Screwgate karabiners.
Helmet (especially if you are heading for a chossy bolted quarry)
If you get seriously into Sport climbing then a Gri Gri is often preferred as a belay device (less work holding falls/rests)
A clipstick can also be useful for safety if the first bolt is high, or for working routes.
A ropebag is a good idea in chossy quarries too. I used an Ikea bag for two years before I got a real rope bag. Its a good cheap option but a backpack is a bit more convenient.
Maybe a bit of carpet for cleaning shoes at the start of the route.
>"What would you recommend for a 'beginner's kit'?"
Depends if funding is an issue.
1 good hard wearing 60m rope
1 rope bag
1 dozen good sport style (wide tape) quickdraws (Petzel, DMM, DB)
1 clip stick
3 screw gates (for threading, lowering and setting up top ropes)
1 120cm sling (for threading, lowering and setting up top ropes)
1 mallion of shame (for when the clip stick doesn't reach and you cant climb it)
If funding is an issue...
half a dozen cheap qdraws and cheap 50m rope
Its a personal decision but as I'm not confident of falling the right way up or leaders pulling holds off, I choose to wear a helmet most times.
Adding to what others have suggested, though keep in mind, you don't need to splash out on a GriGri. Lots of climbers continue to be very comfortable with their ATC.
Regarding the quickdraw, things to consider are the lengths and types. We have a selection of Dyneema long and short draws. This can prevent rope drag, especially on crags. You also need to decide if you want solid or wire gate. Wire gate are lighter and in my opinion better but its personal preference.
We were just given http://www.kong.it/pr_qklk.htm a Panic which is a stiff slinged quickdraw by Kong and works like a clipstick when your high up but can't quite reach that bolt ;)
2 7-8mm maillon rapide (PPE rated)...and not just any old maillon. Always fit them so they screw downwards.
Medium bristle toothbrush for cleaning your shoes.
Climbing partner who knows what they are doing :)
This could replace all gear needs for a beginner if you're lucky. Then when you want your own kit you'll already know exactly what you want.
Clip stick is good, but if you're only in need a basic one, it's easy enough to fashion out of a £10 extendable pole and bulldog clip rather than paying full whack.
Agree re: clip sticks, rather than paying £40 quid for the rare occasion that I use one, I instead just chuck my kitchen mop in the car and use some finger tape - voila, cheap clip stick.
Aswell as the obvious stuff above i'd second getting a decent rope bag, keeps your rope tidy and gives you something to stand on to change shoes without getting your rock boots dirty.
If you intend to do a lot of sport climbing i'd get a dedicated set of sport draws as well (fat tape, snap gate and a clean nose). I'd go for some cheap ones over fancy expensive ones as you'll just wreck them if you fall off or work routes a lot. Similarly, i'd only bother getting a GriGri over your ATC if you intend to do a lot of falling off or working routes (or you belay someone else who does).
Sling for lower off? Can't you attach for lowering off using a quickdraw or two?
Whats the mallion of shame? Is this for use when giving up on a route and lowering off from a bolt?
Chained quickdraws works just as well, but a larksfooted sling into your harness with a screwgate on the end is the safer option. This is when you're cleaning after climbing and you have to thread the anchor in order to be lowered off after both you and your partner have climbed. Obviously you want to take your gear with you so you have to untie your fig8 (which is why you need to tie in to the anchor at the top) and thread it and then retie it. Then you get lowered.
It's for bailing when you can't finish a climb and can't downclimb. Say you climb to bolt 4 of 6 but can't get higher. You clip the maillon to the 4th bolt, clip into it and screw it shut and then get lowered off it removing your draws as you go and leave the maillon there. I personally wouldn't do this, use a regular krab or screwgate instead. Maillons rust and get stuck and if the bolt head is small other climbers won't be able to clip the bolt.
I'd also read up on attaching to and threading rope through the lower off point, there are a few different ways depending on what type of lower off it is. Practise them on the ground first.
That's what I'm doing right now (looking at BMC vids and this:
I note, using the BMC version, that you are never untied from the rope whereas the advice on the above link has you clipped to the anchor and then untying from the rope before passing it through the anchor.
Some anchors are too small to allow the doubled rope to pass through, so you have to untie. Both methods are good in the right place.
For the version where you pull a bight through the lower off and are always attached to the rope, it's worth bearing in mind that you usually end up attached to the rope via a screwgate (which has it's own disadvantages).
Personally I use the above method in case of the relative unlikely scenario that the lower off fails, however one of my mates uses the version in the link you posted. Although he ties the rope onto his harness loop rather than gear loop when untying the original figure of 8. This has the benefit of always being attached to the rope but also not having to rely on a screwgate when cleaning the quick draws below.
Assuming you already have a screwgate to use with your ATC, you only need one more screwgate to go with a sling for clipping directly into bolts/anchors. You can reuse your belay screwgate for either (if using the doubled-rope technique) clipping the Fig 8 to your belay loop or (if using the single-rope untying technique) clipping the rope to your belay loop so you don't drop it (I normally use a clove hitch but you can also use a Fig 8, it is just slower).
I just got a clipstick and it is awesome :P clipsticked my way to the top of a route that I couldn't do (taking the clipstick up with me and clipping directly into bolts) - are there are really any routes you couldn't do this for?
I also normally top-rope on opposing quickdraws, although using screwgates is safer (I have actually made up a pair of 'slowdraws' partly for this purpose).
A cheap screwgate if you can't finish a route. We were climbing outdoors for the first time this week and we were lucky to find a screwgate left by someone on 3rd or 4th bolt. We got stuck on 8th bolt out of 9 so I put a screwgate on 8th bolt. Hence, all quickdraws were collected!
My climbing partner wasn't keen to buy a screwgate with a sling to attach to the lower off point (well, a quickdraw works well too!). However, I purchased it anyway. We ended up using sling both as it's more convenient. You girth hitch the sling (60cm is okay, but I've got 120cm only, so had to double it up) to the belay loop and then clip the screwgate to your rear gear loop. Once you reach lower off point, unclip the screwgate and clip it directly to the lower off ring. Lock the screwgate and you are safe! With a quickdraw scenario, you would have to clip it into the lower off ring, then to yourself and then untie your rope. Hanging on two non-locking carabiners sounds a little bit scary!
Also, a mat for rope is highly recommended.
...and flipflops as well. It's so annoying to change your climbing shoes back to trainers and back. However, some would disagree as catching a fall with flipflops might be more dangerous.
Although there is a big difference between stripping a route for lowering off and setting up a top rope. If you are stripping the route, no matter how badly you screw up the top bit, or get unlucky and pull both bolts/unclip both quickdraws, you should still be caught by the your belayer on the top quickdraw below you (provided you haven't got masses of slack out unnecessarily or your slack is clipped to a gear loop which will rip off, or have untied completely or something similarly stupid). You only rely on the top once you start taking out the lower quickdraws...
Providing you haven't called out "Off belay"!
You have the point and you are absolutely right, but clipping with a sling just makes your first sport climb way less stressful. My flatmate had no climbing outdoors experience either, so I had to teach him how to do everything. I am glad I borrowed him the sling with screwgate so I didn't have to worry about something going terribly wrong.
Rather than doubling the sling over try tying 2 overhands in it at 40 and 80 cm along, that way, if the anchor is in an awkward position you should be able to find a comfortable distance from it while threading it.
I'd not recommend this advise, knots in slings reduces the strength of them. I use a 120cm sling. Thread it through top and bottom belay loops and clip the two ends with a screwgate. If at the top you find it too short simply unclip one end of sling and thread the screwgate through and pull the slack in. this now forms a larks foot at harness.
Slings are generally rated at around 22KN. Knotting one is said to reduce that by 50%, so you're still hanging off something rated at 11KN. Knotting slings in various ways is also commonly used in belay building to equalise things. All this is text book stuff, as is larksfooting in to your harness which also reduces the strength of the sling, and no problem as long as you're aware of what you're doing and why you're doing it. Moreover, if you follow the BMC advice on threading a lower-off, the sling is never your only attachment to the bolt system.
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