You can prepare yourself for climbing by backpacking, which is a precursor to climbing mountains. Backpacking, hiking, and camping are suitable activities to begin with when you are planning to try mountain climbing.
Camping in the winter is the next thing to try since not all climbs would be sunny and hot. However, some climbs can be attempted while it’s snowing. Once you’re accustomed to the cold, you can climb in all sorts of weather.
It would be best if you also learned the basics of climbing, such as studying necessary gear, how to use a harness, creating knots, and belaying. You can start learning at your local climbing gym, where instructors can assist you and teach you basic processes.
Scrambling is also recommended, as it exposes you to terrains that expose your body to the elements, which will teach you how to weather different kinds of climbs.
It would help if you also tried backpacking to other countries that offer great mountain trails. For example, countries such as Bhutan, Nepal, and Peru have trails that aren’t comparable to those in the USA.
However, taking a mountain climbing class or hiring a guide is also a good idea, especially if they have more experience in mountain climbing.
Lastly, you must be able to get all the right gear and equipment. You might not need all of them at the same time, but it pays to have the right gear with you on a climb.
What Is Simul-Climbing?
Simul climbing is a sport that requires agility, strength, and coordination. To simul-climb, several climbers are tied with one rope, and they climb simultaneously.
The first climber provides protection, while the last climber removes it when all climbers are safely accounted for. This type of climb is best for speed climbing.
It requires little equipment, but safety is always a priority since simul-climbing is more dangerous than belayed climbing.
Primary equipment involves traditional rock climbing gear, but helmets, special shoes, and harnesses are always a constant. This equipment preserves the safety of the climbers until it is finished.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Simul-Climbing
1. Simul climbing is a much faster method since each climber goes up simultaneously, coordinating rope tugs and attaching and removing the belay.
2. Professional climbers conquer more challenging routes with simul-climbing since climbing with one or more people offers more protection.
3. The rope used in simul-climbing helps climbers be more confident compared to ropeless climbs.
1. If the last climber falls, they will pull the rest of the climbers above them since they are connected with only one rope.
2. Terrains with loose rocks present a significant danger, especially for the climbers following the leader. The rope might cause rockfall, which can be potentially dangerous to the second climber and the ones after them.
Tiny particles getting into a person’s eye would be more dangerous since they would have to use their hands to clear their vision, adding more weight to the rope and potentially pulling everyone else down.
3. Simul climbing is for professionals and advanced climbers only.
The Process of Simul-Climbing
Step 1: The leader climbs first, placing the gear while being belayed with a GriGri, a belay braking device that secures a climb. In case you are not familiar with all the climbing terms, learn what is lead climbing first.
Step 2: The next climber, or the belayer, begins the ascent while leaving their GriGri hooked to the belay loop. Again, keep in mind that the leader must have climbed the length of the rope before the belayer climbs.
Step 3: When both climbers have ascended a certain length, they continue to move up, maintaining the same speed and keeping a specific amount of rope between them with protection intact.
Step 4: When the leader chooses a safe place for an anchor, they must stop climbing and assist the next climber by belaying them.
Things to Remember While Doing a Simul-Climb
Keep in mind that heavier climbers will put slack on the rope and could pull the other climbers down if weight is not distributed correctly.
Communication is key
All climbers must constantly be communicating with each other. Awareness of where each person is is essential since it could make or break the climb.
Keeping the same pace as the other climbers
Too much slack in the rope will cause a long fall for the first climber, and too much pressure will be applied to the progress capture device.
Having a proper running belay will allow the leader to climb faster and assist the climbers below him.
The number of climbers determines rope length. Too short a rope and too many climbers might cause the rope to snap since the weight is more than its capacity.
On the other hand, too long a rope and the climb will take much longer since the leader will have to reel in a long-distance before allowing the next climber to ascend.
Final Thoughts on Simul-Climbing
Simul climbing presents more dangers than traditional climbing. Learning how to simul-climb is a process that takes many years, if not courage since you must consider being one with the other climbers when doing an ascent.
Without proper training, leaders and followers on a simul-climb would most likely pull each other, making falling more dangerous. It is more dangerous when the last climber falls since they will pull the leader along, which might cause injury to the lower part of the leader’s body, such as the hip and the crotch.
Before attempting a simul-climb, an individual must be of sound mind and body, having understood the dangers of this particular climbing method. The good thing about simul-climbing is that your group can revert to traditional climbing techniques by utilizing the belaying device, depending on the terrain.
Avoiding dangerous falls can also be done on a climb if all climbers have the presence of mind and can communicate with each other effectively.
All climbers must be aware of their role in the group to ensure a successful climb. Since simul-climbing is dangerous, we don’t recommend trying this climbing approach.