Regardless of whether you are just getting started as a rock climber, or if you have been doing it for years, you will want to keep yourself safe. There are few things as crucial as keeping yourself from getting injured during a climb, though that can sometimes be overlooked.
Over the course of our article today, we are going to be looking at some of the potential dangers you may come across while you are rock climbing. Aside from going over the risks themselves, we are also going to discuss how you can get yourself out of a sticky situation, should the need arise.
Rock climbing safety is a serious matter, but there are some issues in the climbing community when it comes to safe practices. The adrenaline-fueled nature of rock climbing leads many climbers to take risks that they may end up regretting, and some that they will never get the chance to.
We hope that reading over these dangers can help you prevent a situation where someone gets injured during your climb. Having an idea of what can go wrong is much better than blindly charging into a situation that can result in severe injury or even death, so keep reading to learn more.
How Dangerous Is Rock Climbing?
Just how dangerous is our beloved sport? Well, we won't lie to you. Rock climbing is a dangerous activity. Anything you do in which you are suspended high above the ground can result in potentially fatal situations, so it is no surprise that the same can occur while you are climbing.
This doesn’t mean that rock climbing has to be inherently dangerous, of course. You will find that this activity can be done quite safely if all of the precautions are followed. The vast majority of rock climbing accidents occur due to human error and not equipment failure, as some may expect.
Provided you have quality equipment, and you follow every piece of advice when it comes to staying safe, then you should have few issues while you are climbing. While some daredevils may scoff at safe climbing, it is better than ending up severely injured or even dead.
This is one of the rarest ways for people to get injured while rock climbing due to the redundancies that are built into modern climbing gear. Even if one part of your equipment fails, there is usually a backup somewhere that will prevent you from being injured or otherwise put at risk by the failure.
If you are going climbing, you should trust your gear to a certain extent. Don't expect your gear to make up for your mistakes, and you can still get yourself hurt if you are too neglectful. Putting too much trust in your bolts may result in a tumble down a rock face if they are not adequately secured.
There are a few ways that you can avoid equipment failure, however. First off, you will want to ensure that every piece of gear that you get features high build quality. If you opt for cheap gear that isn’t worth the material that it is made out of, then you can’t hope to rely on it.
Make sure that all of your climbing equipment is certified by the necessary agencies. Some climbing venues won’t even allow you to participate with equipment that could potentially put your life at risk. Saving a few dollars on your rock climbing gear isn’t worth risking your life.
When you go climbing, you will always want to pay close attention to the rocks that you will be scaling. Even if you climb that particular course every time you go out, you shouldn't expect conditions to remain the same. Remember that erosion is always occurring and that rocks can sometimes get dislodged.
Check to make sure that every rock is firm while you are climbing, as rock falls can result in lost grip, potential injuries, and even falls. A loose rock may not necessarily end up causing you harm immediately. If you anchor to a loose point in the wall, for instance, it may fail when you need it most.
Most organized courses are free of loose rocks, but this doesn’t mean that you should let your guard down. The moment that you grow complacent is the minute that you start putting yourself in danger, and there is no room for that in an activity that can be as hazardous as outdoor rock climbing.
Something that many climbers fail to account for is the weather when they are going out for a climb. If you don’t pay close attention to the forecast, you may end up with an unpleasant surprise part-way through your climb. Sudden rain can be quite hazardous when you are climbing.
In addition to making it harder to get a grip on the wall that you are climbing, rain can also bring thunder and lightning with it, which can zap you off of the face of a cliff. Lightning is no joke when rock climbing, and the instant you hear even a hint of thunder, it is time to pack things up.
Rain in colder weather can also lead to hypothermia, so you should always pack warm enough clothes while climbing in colder temperatures. At the very least, you should be wearing athletic climbing clothing with quick-dry capabilities.
Keep in mind that rain is not the only condition that you may have to deal with. Ice climbing is a whole other discipline of climbing, and that has its own set of risks. Suffice to say; you will not want to attempt ice climbing unless you are an extremely proficient rock climber.
Rock climbing accidents can easily be avoided by ensuring that you are adequately prepared for the hazards involved in climbs. Feel free to let us know what you think down in the comments section below.