What is roof climbing and what are the basic equipment needed to start rock climbing safely?
Roof climbing is not the typical “roof climbing” that you imagine when people climb up their houses to fix a leaking roof or install an antenna.
Roof climbing is a type of rock climbing wherein the climber is parallel to the ground as they climb as opposed to the usual vertical climbing wherein the climber is horizontal to the ground as they ascend.
An overhang is a rock formation that slopes more than 90 degrees so that it’s almost horizontal or perpendicular to the ground. Overhangs that are nearly horizontal are called “roofs.”
Roof Climbing Gear For Safety
This list will teach you how to climb roofs safely using the proper equipment.
A good climbing shoe ideally has rubber on the sole. This allows the shoe to firmly lay against the surface so that you won’t slip during the climb. Shoes with excellent heel support for hooking is also great for roof climbers.
Another important thing is for you to have shoes that will snugly fit your feet and your toes. You won’t be able to perform your best with uncomfortable shoes. Wearing the right footwear will make a big difference in your climb.
An efficient climbing shoe should aim to minimize your fatigue while maximizing your potential to climb as much as you can.
Belaying is a fundamental skill that every rock climber should know. It refers to the technique of holding the rope for another climber to keep them safe in case they accidentally fall off while climbing.
A belayer who stands at the base of the climb uses a belay device to control the rope. One end of the climbing rope is looped and inserted into one of the holes of the belay device. It’s locked into place using a carabiner
Belay devices are attached to the harness for safety. They come in many different types and designs. Watch the video below to know which one is right for you.
Needless to say, it’s much safer to climb with a harness than without one. Harnesses that are specially designed for climbing should be lightweight but should be able to support your mass and offer security as well.
A typical climbing harness is designed as a waist belt with leg loops. Look for one that’s easily adjustable to ensure that it’s highly suitable for your body type. The buckles attached to the leg loops and the waistband should allow you to alter your harness according to your size. Comfort and safety are your priorities as always.
You should also check if the material of your harness is strong enough to resist wear and tear and handle high tension when in use.
Quickdraws and Carabiners
A carabiner is a unique D-shaped metal lock made with a spring-loaded gate. Two carabiners on opposite ends of a sling make up a quickdraw. These carabiners are used for attaching ropes to an anchor, joining two ropes together, or inserting other climbing equipment.
A nice quickdraw would have carabiners with good sizes and gates that open smoothly.
It’s critical to note how much weight your quickdraws and carabiners support. You’d be in great danger if you keep on using quickdraws that can’t your weight and the weight of your other climbing gear.
Expert climbers recommend using express quickdraws that are not less than ten and locking carabiners that are not less than two.
The climbing rope is your most fundamental roof climbing gear. Although pro climbers opt to climb without ropes, it’s still safer to climb with the aid of your basic rock climbing equipment. There are four main types of climbing ropes. These are single, half, twin, and static.
Single climbing ropes are suggested for beginners. These ropes are used for climbing walls and traditional routes. Single ropes are wide, heavy-duty, and easy to belay with.
Half climbing ropes or double ropes are used in pairs. These are popular in traditional climbs and alpine climbs. Half ropes are ideal for winding routes.
The twin ropes are climbing ropes that are fastened together into the same carabiners.
Static ropes are fixed ropes that function in the ascend and descend of the climber. They have the least stretch as compared to all the other ropes.
These climbing ropes vary in diameter and length. The average rope diameter ranges from about 9.8mm to 10.2mm and it can run as from long as 50m to 70m.
You’ll need a safety sports helmet particularly if you like rock climbing upside down.
A rock-climbing helmet gives your head protection from the falling debris or sharp objects that may hit and damage your head. It’s preferable to use a lightweight helmet with shock support.
Ensure that your helmet comes with sturdy and comfortable straps from either side so you can comfortably secure the helmet to your head.
Chalk Bag with chalk
Chalk bags are used for carrying chalk powder. The bag is attached to the climber’s belt or harness for easy access.
Climbers use chalk because it has the ability to absorb moisture from sweat. Chalk powder can help you avoid slipping off from the roof and ensures that you have the firmest grip possible during your climb.
Chalk bags come in different sizes and can carry different kinds of chalk powders. A great chalk bag has an opening that’s wide enough to accommodate the size of your hand but tight enough so the chalk powder won’t fall to the ground.
Now let’s have a little recap of what we’ve discussed here.
Climbing Gears are your heart and soul when climbing. Having these basic rock climbing gear is the best investment for all types of rock climbers:
Have any questions? We’d love to hear your concerns! Comment down below if you have any queries related to roof climbing and rock climbing.
Have a safe climb!