On the Rocks – Literally!

Rock Climbing

You will probably be able to balance yourself and walk on a narrow rail track for quite a long distance easily. Now just place that track two feet above the ground and it will be a bit more difficult to balance on it. Now place1 it 10 to 15 feet higher and you may feel daunted to even step on it. This is the factor called ‘exposure’, where just the ‘fear’ of falling from height reduces your ability to do things naturally and spontaneously. Rock-climbing is an art and technique of climbing, vertical rocks faces calculatedly, concertedly and confidently. Although the apparent goal of this sport is to ascend to the top with skill and finesse against the gravitational pull, the activity demands a humble approach in acknowledging the limitations of one’s strength, skill, reach and grasp in the course of taking on a grappling stance with Nature. The force of gravity, the intricate texture of the rock, the deceptive holds in the rock-face, the disillusioning angles of the earth, the shifty center-point of Viagra Online at good prices body balance, the hopeful reliance on equipment and a total trust in the team are the challenging facets of this sport. All these complex mix of inputs chisel a good climber in time.

One may be able to do a climb on a particular route up a face on a certain day but perhaps may not be able to do the very same route on the next attempt. Just a mood swing can also impair climbing. Rock climbing demands a high level of self- disciplining as even a slightest moment of rash decision can exact an expensive toll. Height climbing is essentially teamwork as it ensures that the safety system of climbing is constantly secured in place at every step. A team of climbers consist of the lead-man, the middle-men and the end-man. The lead-man (you even have ‘lead-women’, today!) is the climber who leads the climb with the leading end of the safety rope attached to his waist. In the course of ascending, he fixes pitons at reasonable distances in the rock face, clips a carbine into the eye of the pitons and passes the rope freely through the carbine for securing himself in the event of an inadvertent fall. While he is climbing, the middle-man who is positioned below in a stance of total alertness and with the lower length of the rope moving around his waist, gives him belay. Belay is a safety method of controlling the possible fall of a climber through release or tightening of the slack (the part of the rope between 2 climbers) in co-ordination with the movement of the climber positioned above or below. In the event of slipping off or loosing hold, the climber’s fall will at most be arrested at the point of the piton fixed nearest to his position. On regaining his stance, the climber can then resume climbing. Soon after clearing a certain pitch (distance between each resting laps) and on finding or creating a stable anchor base, the lead man anchors himself and gives top belay for securing the safety of the climber following him. This process of interdependent climbing ensures safety, success and forging of a bond of total trust and confidence in oneself and the team.

The climbing rope is used only as a safety measure in the course of climbing. It is never used for pulling a climber up. The climber does not use the rope as a means to hold on to or for lifting himself up. Rock climbing is done only with the use of one’s extremities (hands and feet). At any point of time any 3 points of the body’s extremities need to be in contact with the rock face for ensuring balance. The fourth extremity (either of the free hand or foot) is used to probe for the next hold. The safety gear for climbing consists of equipment such as the climbing rope, pitons, , piton-hammer, carbines, jumars, seat harness and rubber shoes, A rock-climber also needs to be deft at http://www.techwildcatters.com/online/ knots which are useful in the art of climbing. Some of these knots are the thumb knot, reef knot, sheet bend, figure-of-8, fisherman’s knot, bowline-on-the bight, middleman knot, clove hitch and timber hitch.

Rock climbing started off as a working class sport in Britain where it soon caught the imagination of the outdoor enthusiasts. Many good climbs were made http://dfwhindutemple.org/antibiotics-for-sale/ with the help of just a twisted hemp rope and a few slings (short pieces of rope). The sport has evolved with the times to incorporate technology and new ideas, which have pushed up the standards and performance levels into the realm of more vertical, demanding and higher grade climbs. Climbers now don on sticky rubber shoes, wear highly innovative harnesses and use light nylon braided or Kern-mantle ropes that have elasticity to absorb the shock of a fall. The sport has come a long way to be highly competitive, structured and exacting. Artificial wall crawling is now emerging as one of the urban sports, which is a highly individualistic and competitive form of climbing.

Given that all the safety gadgets are in place Rock Climbing is a safer sport compared to what it was a few decades ago. The nature of more serious ‘rock-grappling’ today is such that without consistent and regular training it is almost impossible to perform safe and neat climbs. Certified rock-climbing training courses, over two or three consecutive weekends, are conducted by some of the organization devoted to promoting adventure sports. The experience of rising and falling and rising again above the virtual rocks with persistence and trust braces a climber to confront the challenges in every other areas of his life with poise and grace.

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