06 Climbing Gear
While mountaineering can invite substantial risks, climbing in general is a very safe activity, as long as the necessary knowhow and gear is used appropriately. Climbing gear has evolved as quickly as the sport itself, and today’s modern gear is highly sophisticated. The basic tools of the trade of course depend on the discipline and consist of a harness, ropes, chalkbag, and… climbing shoes. With the development of high friction rubber, climbing shoes enable the seemingly impossible: grip on smooth rock. The tiniest of textures and fissures are enough for stability, with top climbers using their feet almost as a second pair of hands
Also for the approach to the climbing crags, quality footwear is necessary. Steep forest ground, rocky scree or slippery rock ramps are common in terrain leading to approach climbing areas, so wearing an appropriate shoe that provides stability, but also traction and friction, is recommended. Slipping or falling during the approach can sometimes be quite dangerous, which is often forgotten.
In mountaineering, reaching the top is only half the goal, as returning home safely during the descent still poses considerable risks. In climbing this is not always the case, yet care should always be taken while descending! The usual way to reach the ground after a climb is to lower down, or rappel. If climbs consist of several rope lengths, several rappels are necessary, which in some cases can take hours. Rain and wind can make rappelling considerably difficult, so caution should be taken when a storm comes in or if night falls. Only after reaching the base safely, can the day be celebrated successfully.