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Senior Exit Project

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S: A Manual of Strength and Talent

FC: A Manual of Strength and Talent A Guide to the Basics of Rock Climbing

2: A Manual of Strength and Talent Written by Jeffrey R. Gilley Special Regards to my mentor, Christopher Stemborowski Disclaimer: In no way is this book alone is a tool to help a beginner grasp the concepts of climbing and in no way should anyone solely use this book to teach themselves how to climb. There is a major difference between reading how to do it and being taught how to do it, it is strongly recommended that you also be with an experienced climber while climbing.

3: Contents Section Page 1 A Brief History........................................ 1 2 Gear Checklist........................................ 5 3 Essential Knots....................................... 12 4 Top-Rope Climbing................................... 16 5 Sport Climbing........................................ 20 6 Traditional Climbing................................. 24 7 Bouldering............................................. 27

4: A Brief History of Rock Climbing

5: Rock climbing has been around for as long as mankind has been; however, prior to significant changes in the safety aspect of climbing, it was seen more as a means to an end rather than a sport. The ancient civilizations used rock climbing to scale mountains and build their homes on or in cliffs and rock ledges as a form of protection. The techniques of rock climbing were also used by conquering armies to traverse terrain to invade a territory. Rock climbing has even found its place in the medieval times where it was used to scale the walls of castles and infiltrate fortifications. There have also been reports of people climbing on English cliffs during medieval times to gather sea bird eggs, mostly with out the use of the most basic of rock climbing aids, like rope. Rock climbing did not make the full transition as a means to a sport until the late 1880s. Before the 1880s, the sport of rock climbing was considered a component of mountaineering rather than its own stand-alone sport. The transition of the sport came with the transition of interests during the Victorian era, during which the focus and main interest of life was nature and the study and exploration of the natural world. In the year 1880, a climber by the name of Walter Parry Haskett Smith was the first solo 2

6: climber, meaning that he climbed without the use of rope or aids other then climbing shoes and chalk to first ascend Napes Needle. This climb is regarded as the birth of rock climbing as a sport. Once Smith made the first solo ascent of Napes Needle, the media exploded with the occurrence, causing rock climbing to gain major publicity. The peak, from that day on, had upwards of 60 climbers per day wanting to climb the now famous route. Emilio Comici is another historic climber, known to many as the father of modern day rock climbing. Comici was a climber during the 1930s and had a hand in inventing many of the climbing aids, including solid belays, hanging bivouacs, and the trail or tag line. He is also seen as the person credited as being the developer of big wall climbing and the techniques involved with big wall climbing. Rock climbing was still considered a component of Mountaineering by the general public, despite all of rock climbing’s new found publicity from famous climbers like Smith or Comici. The public’s eyes were not opened to the sport of rock climbing until the 1950s. As rock climbing progressed in popularity, grading systems developed to measure the difficulty of the climbs and the ability of a climber. Due to the lack of ability to travel or communicate over long 3

7: distances, different grading systems developed around the different regions and countries based on the climbing styles and the gear available to the regions. The most common grading scale that is in current use is the 5-point grading scale or Yosemite scale, which, based on difficulty, increases the decimal number after the five. The current pinnacle of rock climbing difficulty is a 5.15. 4

8: Rock Climbing Gear Checklist

9: The most essential tools of a climber is not what someone may think, they are not his or her hands nor feet, they are the pieces of gear that will keep the climber safe in the case of a fall. The gear of a climber is all based upon the type of climbing that the climber is participating in; for instance the gear of a climber that is bouldering will have a completely different set of gear compared to a climber that is sport or lead climbing and a person that is sport or lead climbing will have similar but also different pieces of gear. However this is not to 6

10: say that pieces of gear can not be used for different areas of climbing. It is actually quite the opposite and can save a person quite a bit of money when purchasing his or her first sets of climbing gear. The gear list will cover the four main types of climbing: Top-Rope Climbing, Sport Climbing, Traditional Climbing, and Bouldering. | 7

11: Top-Rope Climbing: If one is top-rope climbing outside, they will need the ability to make their own anchor, requiring more gear than if they are climbing in a gym. The following two lists are for there gear needed in the gym top-rope climbing and outdoor top-rope climbing: Gym: In a gym setting the anchors and ropes are already set up and , therefore only the very basics are need, which are as follows: Climbing Harness Climbing Shoes Chalk and Chalk Bag Carabiner and Belay Device (Depending on the gym, there may be rentals available) Outdoors: In an outdoor setting the climber will need to set up an anchor and back-up system on a pre-set set of bolts or by using pieces of protection placed in the rock. The gear that is necessary for this type of climbing is much more extensive then gym climbing and is as follows: Climbing Harness Climbing Shoes Climbing Helmet Chalk and Chalk Bag Dynamic Climbing Rope Chord or Webbing Locking Carabiner x7 (Minimum) Special equipment needed when placing pieces of protection instead of using pre-set bolts: Cams, Tri-Cams, or Nuts 8

12: Sport Climbing: Sport climbing gear is all based on maintaining the climber’s safety while pushing the limits of his or her own ability. The big difference in gear from top-rope climbing and sport climbing is the introduction to the quickdraws. Quickdraws are two carabiners that are attached via a piece of webbing. While climbing a sufficient number of quickdraws should be used so that there are extras left after completing a route. This type of climbing can also be done in either a gym or outdoors and has small changes in gear between indoor and outdoor climbing. Gym: Like top-rope climbing, sport climbing in gyms allow for the gym to supply the ropes and anchor already set. The following is the gear need for sport climbing in a gym: Climbing Harness Climbing Shoes Chalk and Chalk Bag Carabiner and Belay Device Quickdraws (Depending on the gym, there may be rentals available) Outdoors: Also like top-rope climbing, sport climbing gear for outdoor climbing is similar to sport climbing in the gym, however it requires specific gear to set an anchors and a back-up system. The gear needed for outdoor sport climbing is as follows: Climbing Harness Climbing Helmet Climbing Shoes Chalk and Chalk Bag Carabiner and Belay Device Quickdraws Dynamic Climbing Rope Chord or Webbing Locking Carabiner x1 (Minimum) Special equipment needed when placing pieces of protection instead of using pre-set bolts: Cams, Tri-Cams, or Nuts | 9

13: Traditional Climbing: Traditional climbing is a form of climbing that is strictly an outdoor climbing style. It requires the climber to place forms of protection in the rock, making this type of climbing much more dangerous and difficult. Once the protection is placed a quickdraw is then attached to that protection and then the rope (a more exact and detailed process can be seen in Section 5: Traditional Climbing). The gear for traditional climbing is also much more extensive then the top-rope or sport climbing gear because of the need to place protection. The following is gear needed for traditional climbing: Climbing Harness Climbing Helmet Climbing Shoes Chalk and Chalk Bag Carabiner and Belay Device Quickdraws x10 - 15 Dynamic Climbing Rope Chord or Webbing Screwgate Carabiners x3 Snap Gate Carabiners x25 -30 Slings x2 4ft Circumference x1 8ft Circumference Set of Nuts on Wire x1 – 2 Pieces of Larger Protection x3 - 6 (Hexes or Camming Devices) Nut Tool 10

14: Bouldering: Bouldering is a totally different style of climbing, compared to the other types of climbing. The gear also reflects its uniqueness. For this type of climbing, a rope is not necessary, instead a crash pad and low heights are used. This type of climbing can be done both indoors and outdoors. The following are the pieces of gear that are used in Bouldering: Climbing Shoes Chalk and Chalk Bag Climbing Helmet Crash Pad (Depending on the gym, there may be rentals available and a crash pad might be available for use) | 11 | The different pieces of gear that were described in their respective sections will be further elaborated on in their use and other information later on in the manual. Their will correspond with their sections.

15: Essential Climbing Knots

16: One of the most essential parts to keeping any climber safe while he or she is climbing is his or her knowledge of useful knots. Knots have an almost unlimited number of uses and can range from a major part of safety to preventing a minor inconvenience. Figure Eight Follow-Through This is a knot that is absolutely essential to climbing. The figure eight knot as it is commonly referred to, is a very popular knot in it's use as a "tie in" for attaching the climbing rope to the climbers harness. The following steps is the process to "tie in" with the figure eight knot: | Step 1: Form a single figure eight in the end of the rope and feed it through the harness, consult your harness manual for tips on where to correctly feed the rope through. Step 2: Re-thread the figure eight, following th same path as the first and pull tight. Step 3: (Optional) Once tied, there might be too long of a tail, this can be corrected with a stopper knot, using that tail. | 13

17: Figure Eight on A Bight The figure eight, being such an important knot, can also be made on a bight in the rope. A bight in the rope occurs when the rope is bent together so a loop is created. This knot is particularly useful when sport climbing, and is considered a knot that a climber needs to know. The following are steps to create a figure eight on a bight: Step 1: Form a bight in the rope and make a loop with the bight. Step 2: Create a second loop around the "back," relevant to the way the rope or bight is being held, of the rope, and pull it through the first loop made in step one. Step 3: Pull tight and attach a carabiner to the end created by the knot. From here the carabiner can be attached to a harness or anything that the climber needs. Step 4: (Optional;) After creating the knot, there may be a lot of left over slack in the tail which can be tied off like with the figure eight follow-through knot. | 14

18: Double Fisherman's The double fisherman's knot is a knot used to join two ropes. The knot is actually two stopper knot that pull against each other. The double fisherman's knot has many practical uses, in fact it is used widely to create a hoop of rope for making anchors. The following are the steps to create the knot: Step 1: Put a stopper knot in the end of one rope, but do not pull it tight; a stopper knot is two loops that rape around down the rope with the tail then going through the two loops. Step 2: Now that you have an a stopper knot that has not been pulled tight, slip a second rope or other end of the rope through the two loops created by the first stopper knot. Step 3: Then form another stopper know, however as you tie the knot make sure the rope of the first stopper knot is wrapped in the knot, just like when we put the second rope or second end of the rope through the first knot. Girth Hitch The girth hitch is an extremely useful knot for tying a slings to harnesses. It is probably the most simple and basic of all the knots that can be formed with a sling. It is so popular because it has the potential to be used in many different applications, including extending runners or joining two slings.The girth hitch is done in two simple steps: Step 1: Feed one end of a sling through a carabiner, or belay loop, depending on its application. Step 2: Pull one end of the sling through the hoop created by the sling and pull tight. 15

19: Top-Rope Climbing

20: Tope-Rope Overview Top-Rope climbing is the most simple of the three types of climbing because the anchor that you are climbing on is set at the top of the climb. To Top-Rope climb, there must be at least two people, a climber and a belayer. The climber, in this type of climbing, has the obvious job of making it to the top of the route. The climber also has the easiest job in the type of climbing, unlike the belayer, who has a more complicated and attention oriented role. The belayer has a much more difficult task, he or she has the responsibility to pull the slack rope out of the system, which is either a traditional, non-locking belay device or an Auto-Locking Belay Device as shown in the gear checklist, and 'catching' the climber in case of a fall. Tying In When a climber is tying in it means that he or she is attaching him or herself to the rope by using the Figure Eight Follow-Through Knot, or any other note that he or she chooses. Once the climber has tied in there is nothing more that the climber needs to do before climbing. Top-Rope Belay System Of the three different types of climbing, Top-Rope climbing requires the least of the belayers attention, not to say that it does not require any attention, however there are very little things that need to be watched carefully. While belaying, the belayer is to watch the climber and advise him or her if he or she needs help doing a specific portion of the route, sometime having an eye on the ground can offer a different view that the climber needs. Another thing that the belayer needs to pay attention to is the climber's current situation, if the climber is about to fall then the belayer needs to be ready so catch the climber. | 17

21: Before the climber begins there is a formal 'climbing contract' that is suggested and it is: Climber: "On Belay?" Belayer: "Belay On." Climber: "Climbing?" Belayer: "Climb On." By using this contract, both the climber and belayer will be aware that the climber is about to start his or her climb. This is used to maintain the safety of both the climber and the belayer. Once the climber has started the climb there are a few different ways that the belayer can belay, and veries from place to place. The one that will be gone over in this manual will start by having one hand on the tail of the rope, or the piece of the rope that goes from the bely device to the ground, near the belay device and the other hand will be on the rope that goes from the climber to the anchor to the belayer, about three quarters an arms length up the rope. The rope is held with the palms facing the belayer. Either hand can be placed on either rope, depending on which hand the belayer feels most comfortable with. Then as the climber climbs up the wall, the belayer will pull down with the hand that is on the rope attached to the climber and up on the tail end of the rope. After this the climbers hands should be opposite the 'starting' position. The belayer then wants to slide the hand that is on the climber's side rope up to the hand that is holding the tail and grab both the climber side rope and the tail rope simultaniously. The hand holding the tail only is to then slide down to the belay device quickly because this is the point in which a fall would be hardest to stop. Once the hand holding only the tail end of the rope, the hand holding both can drop the tail end of the rope. The belayer's hands should be back at the 'starting' position. 18

22: Anchor System Then anchor system in a top-rope climbing set up is fairly simple and consists of six carabiners and two pieces of cord both with the length of about one are span (a specific length isn't necisary). When arriving at the top of the climb, there are usually two or three bolts that are drilled into the rock. If that is the case then follow these simple steps: Step 1: Using a girth hitch, a piece of cord (that has been made into a loop using a double fisherman's knot), and a carabiner, attach the cord to the belay loop on your harness with the girth hitch and then to a bolt with the carabiner. This allows someone to make the anchor on the edge of rock or mountain without having to worry about falling. Step 2: Attach two locking carabiners to the two closest bolts. Step 3: Use a second piece of cord (also with a double fisherman's knot in it, to make in a loop), make a small overhand knot off a bight and attach it to one of the carabiners. Then take the cord and make a second overhand knot, with enough cord to attach it to the other carabiner that is on the bolt. Step 4: Make a larger overhand knot on a bight, the biggest thing to remember to do when making this knot is to direct it towards where you will be climbing up. Attach two more carabiners to the loops made by the larger overhand knot (it is not necisary to make these counter opposing, however it is more redundent and therfore safer in an emegency). Step 5: Attach the rope (at the half way mark in the rope) to carabiner. Before throwing the rope, be sure to yell the word "rope" and wait at least five seconds for a response, if no response then throw all of the rope over. This is to let other climbers know that you are throwing a rope over the edge and to move out of the way of the rope. 19

23: Sport Climbing

24: Sport Climbing Overview Sport climbing, in terms of difficulty, is probably the middle of the road for most people. The major difference in sport climbing from top-rope climbing is that there is no preset anchor at the top of the route. Instead you bring up the extra pieces of gear called quickdraws. Quickdraws are two carabiners with a piece of webbing or a sling attached between the two. These quickdraws will be attached to bolts that have been placed along the route all the way to the top, which will have a set of rings also drilled into the rock, the use of these rings will be explained in the "descending" portion of this section, and then lowered. In this type of climbing a new fear factor is added and that is if you are to fall you will always fall twice the distance of you to your last placed quickdraw. Tying-In When tying in to begin a sport climbing route the climber attaches the rope to the harness the same exact way as done in the top-rope climbing section. The only difference is that the rope will be just connected to him and the belayer, with no anchor system in-between yet. Another thing that the climber wants to do at this point is to make sure that he has a piece of cord girth hitched to the belay loop of the harness and attached to a gear loop with two carabiners (at least one needs to be a locking carabiner), and enough quickdraws on the gear loops to make it to the top (it is recommended to carry extra in case one side is inaccessible while climbing). Sport Climbing Belay System Sport climbing belaying is almost identical to the top-rope belaying; however there are a few things that are notably different. The main difference is when the climber first starts off the climb he will not be attached to an anchor system therefore the belayer will serve as a spotter. This means that the belayer will stand below the climber at the ready to make sure that if the climber were to fall he would fall on his feet or away from the possible hazards on the ground. 21

25: The other difference between the two different styles of belaying is that the sport climbing belay system requires the blayer to watch the climber more carefully. The reason that the belayer needs to watch the climber are the potential dangers that exist while climbing, this include back-stepping, when the climber steps his or her foot around the rope so that his or her foot is wrapped in the rope, back-clipping, or attaching the rope to the quickdraw on the wall so that the rope does not run from the wall to the carabiner to the climber, z-clipping, which is using a piece of the rope below the last carabiner to clip into a new carabiner that was just set, and run-outs, or creating a long distance between clips that could cause decking (decking is the act of hitting the ground after a fall in climbing). Sport Climbing In sport climbing the major difference is that the climber has to use a combination of quickdraws and preset bolts as an achor instead of a preset anchor as before in top-rope climbing. This makes the climb much more challenging for the climber because of a few extra factors that need to be taken into account. The first additional factors of sport climbing are the introduction of hazards like back-stepping, back-clipping, z-clipping, an run-outs, as described in the Sport Climbing Belay System section. The second factor is attaching quickdraws to bolts on the wall, when doing this it requires the climber to hold a position, with one hand usually, to attach a quickdraw to a metal bolt on the wall. Once that the climber has attached the quickdraw to the bolt, the climber will then need to grab a piece of the rope and pull it up to the quickdraw, making sure not to back-clip or z-clip. Once the climber has clipped in he or she can move onto the next bolt higher up the wall. Descending Once the climber has reached the summit of the climber, he or she will clip on last time using a quickdraw. The climber will then call take, meaning that he or she wants all the slack from the rope to be taken out of the belay system. The climber will then attach the piece of cord that has been girth hitched to his or her harness to the rings 18

26: taken out of the belay system. The climber will then attach the piece of cord that has been girth hitched to his or her harness to the rings that are set next to the final bolt on the route, this will both allow for the climber and belayer to rest, but also allow the next process to take place. Once the climber is attached to the rings, he or she is to call for extra slack, the extra slack will allow the climber to form a bight in the rope and push it through the rings. At this time the climber will tie a figure-eight on a bight and attach it to the belay loop on his or her harness using a locking carabiner. The climber should now have two figure-eight knots and a piece of cord that is attached to the rings attached two the harness; he or she is now to untie the figure-eight knot that was tied at the beginning of the climb and allow the belayer to pull the extra slack out of the system. Once this has happened the climber is to unclip the carabiner that is attached to the rings and allow the belayer to lower him or her. If you are the only or last one climbing the route, then while being lowered the climber is to take the quickdraws out of the bolts on the way down. 23

27: Traditional Climbing

28: Traditional Climbing Overview Traditional climbing is by far the most difficult type of climbing. The reason that it is so difficult is because the type of climbing requires the climber to climb up certain distance, set his or her own piece of protection in the rock, and then attach a quickdraw and the rope before continuing on. Traditional climbing also has the climber placing their trust in their own ability to place protection and in the gear that is being placed, creating a fear factor that sometimes even the most seasoned climbers can not escape. Tying-In Tying-in remains the same as sport climbing, using the figure-eight knot and checking the gear that will be taken up. The difference is the gear being checked; the gear that is checked is composed of quickdraws and protection, including cams, tri-cams, and nuts. The amount of gear that the climber takes up is based on the length of the climb, however the rule of thumb is enough pieces of protection to set one piece per five feet. Protection The pices of protection are very simple with only a small range of types as general classification is concerned. The three types are cams, tri-cams, and nuts. Cams are spring-loaded camming devices that can be placed similar as nuts or by pulling down on a small handle, where it can be inserted into a crack, the device then attempts to open as it is weighted therefore it is often a stable, solid piece of protection. Tri-cams are blocks of metal, shaped with one rounded edge and a point opposite the rounded edge with a piece of webbing attached to it. The piece can be placed with the pointed edge against a piece of rock, pushing the rounded edge up against another piece of rock making it optimal for holes in the rock. Nuts are small blocks of metal attached to a loop of cord or wire, They are used by simply wedging them into narrowing cracks in the rock and weighting them to make sure they will hold (weighting means to up an amount of weight on the piece of protection to test its effectiveness). 25

29: Traditional Climbing Belay System The traditional climbing belay system is exactly the same as the sport climbing belay system, requiring the belayer to watch the climber for back-clipping, back-stepping, z-clipping, and run-outs. The belayer is also encouraged to advise the climber on when to set a new piece of protection and where to possibly set another piece of protection. Traditional Climbing Traditional climbing is very similar to sport climbing, but also very different. In the climbing portion, they both require the climber to clip a quickdraw into a piece of protection, however with traditional climbing, the climber is the one who is setting the protection. The climber, while climbing the wall, is advised to set a piece of protection roughly every five feet. Once the protection is placed in the rock, in way described in the "protection" section, the climber will then attach a quickdraw and the rope, allowing the climber to progress to his finish. 26

30: Bouldering

31: Bouldering Overview Bouldering, unlike top-rope, sport, or traditional climbing, is done without a rope and therefore it is done at very small heights. This also means that the type of gear that is used is completely different. The use of harnesses, ropes, quickdraws, and protection are all scraped for the introduction of a new piece of gear, the crash pad. The crash pad is two pieces of foam covered in fabric, and come with two shoulder straps for maneuverability; it is used as a cushion in case of a fall to prevent injury. Spotting Spotting takes the place of a belayer, and preforms the same overall task, to help prevent the climber from getting injured. The spotters job is to stand slightly behind, underneath the climber so that in case of a fall the spotter can make sure that the climber lands on his or her feet. 28

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  • Title: Senior Exit Project
  • Rock Climbing Manual
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