Hello All Hope all are well during these crazy times!
So getting into climbing at 36
Funny how things can make you realise you want to take up certain hobbies! My next door neighbour doesn't bother looking after his house or garden which contains multiple 30 - 35ft trees < During high winds one of the smaller trees toppled and smashed the fence so I asked if he was OK with having the trees taken down - Me being someone who tries to everything themselves decided to say I will take them down no problem <<< Oh what fun this has been! My experience is climbing was that of knowing how to tie an overhand knot and that was it! So yes no clue! < So don't shout at me for the next bit :D :D
Soo off I plod to B&Q and grab a 15m 12mm Nylon Braided Rope - Jump on YT to figure a few knots out and made a Swiss seat - Threw my rope over a low branch and hitched my tail off my seat to the other line with a Blake's Hitch - made myself a foot loop with another blake under my first and lifted myself up a few feet - Hitches held and i was quickly having fun swinging around like a big kid! Off I went higher and higher until I got a little more comfortable and took up with the chainsaw and now no trees left! My urge to climb started!!!
Yes I know now about ropes and hitches etc and know that using that rope in the first place and using the 12mm rope for my hitch wasn't the best idea! But hey I'm alive and kicking and all went well. I soon figured that the swiss seat is not very comfortable too!
So I now own a BD Momentum harness as my first ever buy for kit and will soon be buying ropes/biners/cords/belay/slings etc etc etc < I think I know what to get :D
Once life starts going back to normal I will be attending local climb centres and learning properly (though struggling to find a climb buddy atm as most around me are scared of heights or think I am plain mad! LOL)
So what would you guys say is the absolute minimum kit you need for say abseiling down small things safely? Talking tree anchors for local outdoor practice.
Absolute minimum: a rope but best get a 60m “single” climbing rope.
Better: add, a harness, a screwgate karabiner & belay device.
Better still: add, a 240cm sling and another screwgate.
Better again: add, another 240cm sling, three more screwgates and 15m of semi-static rope.
Even better: add, a set (1-10) nuts, a nut key and rope protector.
Now you’ve got all that, you might as well get some cams (3off), hexcentric (4off), quickdraws (10 off) and perhaps 5x 60cm slings.
I already own a Harness
In my basket I have :
Mammut 9.8mm 70m single rope
Black Diamond ATC XP belay device
2 x Anti cross load screw biners
4 x screw biners
5m of 6mm acc cord
2 x 240cm slings
I will get nuts etc later on when i move onto actual rock walls etc
Hoping that will do me as a starter set?
Any changes or suggestions welcome
I know things can go wrong but I am a pretty thorough and intelligent guy so not gonna be silly - Most certainly going to go learn and practice a bit at climb centres
Just want some gear to go practice the not so dangerous stuff (IE steepish hills etc that don't really pose much danger but are made way easier with equipment so can get used to setting up faster.
I have learnt most knots and hitches already as well as looked and understood about equalising, effects of knots on rope etc
Just getting experienced views mainly atm and in time make some friends
Anti cross load screw biners... you only need one of those for your belay device.
I‘d say on balance 70m rope is over the top and you would very rarely be limited by 60m.
Ropes are quite heavy to cart about so saving the extra 10m is noticeable, especially if you get a bit of semi static rope to rig abseils and top ropes and have to carry that too.
If money is no barrier then you should consider a petzl shunt. These are great for “backing up” abseils, much more confidence inspiring than the Prusik cord you’ll have seen on videos.
I’d mentioned Semi static rope and a rope protector as it would be easy to damage your nice new climbing rope by abbing over the edge of crags from anchors too far back. You really want to look after your rope with great care. Store it safety, learn about household chemicals that can damage nylon.
Dare I suggest that before buying *checks notes* an entire trad rack, it would be better for the OP to join a club/go on a course and see if they actually enjoy climbing as much as they think they will?
You say you want to practice on "the not so dangerous stuff (IE steepish hills etc that don't really pose much danger but are made way easier with equipment"
I'm not sure where you have in mind for this. To do easy scrambles with ropes and gear will require a partner, which you say you don't have. Abseiling is potentially one of the more dangerous climbing activities, and one of the most unforgiving if things go wrong, especially if you will be doing this without a partner.
Climbing has a proud history of people who went out with their mother's washing line and taught themselves to climb. Some even lived to tell the tale. But that was before there were climbing walls and climbing instructors everywhere. It's one thing studying how to do something from a book or video in the comfort of your home, quite another when you are on vertical ground facing a fall if you don't get it right.
I understand your impatience, but I think you are approaching this from the wrong end. The most important piece of kit is knowledge. Find a climbing wall or instructor and learn the basics. Join a club and climb with, and learn from, more experienced people. Then you will know what kit to buy, and more importantly how to use it.
> Dare I suggest that before buying *checks notes* an entire trad rack, it would be better for the OP to join a club/go on a course and see if they actually enjoy climbing as much as they think they will?
The most sensible reply so far. Also. Having loads of kit, I'm assuming for Trad from the OP's posts, requires knowledge of how to use it. I've seen too many 'learn on the hoof' close calls over the years. A course or joining a club makes good sense.
Welcome OP to climbing and have fun.
I am already climbing :D Well was until I cut all the trees down LOL
I am ex Army - Spent my entire childhood on fields climbing anything I could - I'm an adrenaline junkie too
I just know
There are a lot of hill by me that are scalable just on foot and grabbing tree roots - Much easier with a rope though - Not really any danger but somewhere for me to just practice knots and setting up basically
I'm not going to be doing anything out of my comfort zone (my comfort zone is my limits) so I will be fine. I am an excellent learner by any means (literature, Verbal, Visual and Practical) and have learnt many many trades etc by myself with no help from others < Though climbing obviously poses a risk to life so I won't be doing anything properly until climb centres are open as I WILL be attending as soon as they are
Saying that I have just been scaling and cutting down 35ft trees with nothing but a rope - but seriously I will be learning properly first
Looking forward to starting my climbing journey
Thanks for that input
Will get a 60m to start with and look at getting protesters etc
Just gotta find myself a buddy once lockdown is all over (whenever that may be)
> I am already climbing :D Well was until I cut all the trees down LOL
> I am ex Army - Spent my entire childhood on fields climbing anything I could - I'm an adrenaline junkie too
> I just know
Fair enough, up to you of course. I’d just be a little reticent to spend a few hundred pounds on something I’ve not really tried much of. Trees and rocks are not the same! Hence why I suggested going on a course or joining a club, both of which will help develop your skills and help you find people to climb with as well as giving you a bit more of a taster. Hope it does stick though; enjoy.
I'd always find use anyway but i have done plenty free climbing to near inaccessible places in my time - One not too long back to an out of reach cave Was great fun! Always loved climbing stuff :D
Used my harness for the first time this morning to finish off one of the trees (This time using a 7mm acc cord as my backup hitch ;) )- Enjoyed it so much more without ropes cutting into my waist with the Swiss Seat!
Seriously looking forward to a future of climbing
Shoes are a good idea
Was advised to try some on at a climbing centre first to figure fit - Do you agree with this?
>> Yes I know now about ropes and hitches etc and know that using that rope in the first place and using the 12mm rope for my hitch wasn't the best idea! But hey I'm alive and kicking and all went well. I soon figured that the swiss seat is not very comfortable too!
> So I now own a BD Momentum harness as my first ever buy for kit and will soon be buying ropes/biners/cords/belay/slings etc etc etc < I think I know what to get :D
I'd suggest that a look on U Tube, doesn't mean you now know about ropes and hitches - otherwise you wouldn't have used the rope & knots for tree climbing you did. There's a few qualified & experienced tree surgeons on here who would be absolutely horrified by your tree climbing activities, especially with a chainsaw. There have been many fatal and horrific accidents caused by chainsaws used up trees.
Re climbing. You've received plenty of excellent advice on climbing rock here, please take it and learn how to climb and what knots to use and where before you go off and buy kit - which you may well end up regretting you bought later on with more experience.
> Just gotta find myself a buddy once lockdown is all over (whenever that may be)
Google the BMC who have a list of clubs and lots of useful information. Where to climb, courses etc.
Most climbing shops will spend quite a lot of time to make sure you get a good fit. You can hire them indoors but I have a feeling we won't be climbing indoors for a while. Get comfortable shoes!
When we're allowed, find a buddy or two who knows the ropes and has a rack. Learn to belay, have your own helmet, shoes and harness. Borrow everything else for a while. Do some seconding then, once you are confident, do some easy leads. Learn how to place gear from your climbing partner.
You can buy your own rack, but you won't get much use out of it at first. Most people like to climb with their own kit and, if your are seconding, then you'll be removing their gear.
Have fun! I came to climbing later in life. Had a bit of a hiatus over the last few years for personal reasons, but it's a wonderful sport.
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