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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rock Climbing Holds and Techniques


There are many rock climbing holds out there so you must be careful not to get yourself overwhelmed when you are at the beginning stages of rock-climbing. Here we will give you the most basic rock-climbing holds to get you off to a safe start.

Remember rock climbing is a dangerous sport and should be taken very seriously. You must ensure you have all of the necessary gear to embark on this journey. By ensuring that you are practicing safe holds, you will decrease the amount of risk involved in climbing.

The most basic place to start is with foot and handhold techniques so this article will discuss the most popular of these techniques. The most basic method is edging, where you need to use your feet to stand securely on a hold. The second method is back stepping, where you use edging on a hold that is behind you, while keeping your body’s side against the wall. Smearing is also a basic technique where you do not use a hold, but rather your foot is directly on the rock or wall. Climbers can use a heel lock to keep their bodies up and balanced. This is similar to a toe hook where your toe is hooked directly to the rock or wall. When a climber crosses one foot behind the other this is referred to as flagging. The most common hand technique is the crimp, where the first joint in the hand is extended and the second joint is fully contracted. This method can be painful on the hands, so if you are looking for an easier handhold then use the open handgrip. This is where you keep your hand open while using your first joint to hold the rock.

When you are holding a rock form the side you are using a technique called a gaston. Another rock climbing holds technique commonly used is a pinch, and you can probably guess what it is from the name. Finally, the last hold technique we will describe is slopping, where there is little reinforcement for the climber and you are using pull to hold onto the rock.

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