Recently, rock climbing has been getting more and more famous in the entire society. It’s one of the adrenaline-inducing sports that has become more addictive than ever before.
Nowadays, anyone, female or male, can visit a local rock climbing gym, purchase the right gear, and go bouldering.
Seldomly, multi-pitch climbing is also seen in gyms. However, the tricks and tactics of the trade are better learned outdoors on those huge walls.
For most climbers, multi-pitch sport climbing is a rewarding and thrilling sport out there. When compared to other routes, it calls for extensive communication, advanced skills, and trust.
Understandably, you might still have pressing questions in regards to this sport. Namely, what you might require for the activity, and how to get started?
Here, we will cover all that and more to help you be better prepared when the time arrives. Let’s dive in.
What Is Multi-Pitch Climbing?
Unlike lead climbing that involves one climber going up via one route, multi-pitch climbing will follow a similar concept of the single pitch.
Still, instead, it will lower the ground after completion. It involves more than one climber who transverse several routes on their way to the top or destination.
The top climber then fixes a belay station and belay the other climbers from the ground to ascend, and they all meet at the top of their pitch.
In climbing jargon, every person’s route is known as a “pitch.” So, multi-pitch climbing is the numerous route that climbers ascend to finish the climb.
For one to achieve the multi-pitch activity, there has to be a leader and a follower. The leader is the first person to ascend the pitch, and the follower will belay the leader below. After getting to the top, the belay station, the second person will ascend the route.
Note that the second ascension is the one that makes the climbing sport special. The follower will make it to the top safely only when the lead person belays from above.
As the second climber makes the ascension, carrying all the required gear from the ground is necessary; it’s an activity that needs advanced skills and should not be tried by inexperienced climbers.
After both climbers are at their belay station, they now move to the next pitch. Though teams tend to change leaders at every belay station, others feel comfortable maintaining their roles while climbing.
Ultimately, the teams can decide what to do, and it’s better if both parties perform the role they are comfortable with.
What You Need for Multi-Pitch Climbing
When going on multi-pitches, it’s only wise to carry this equipment as an addition to the normal items you pack for a single pitch.
Generally, you should pack a more durable and long climbing rope for this activity. A rope with a length of 70mm and 9.5-9.8 as the thickness is ideal for the task.
A sturdier rope is better suited for longer distances since they tend to be more resistant to wear and tear. It’s also recommended to carry an extra rope if the route you are using has an abseil descent.
There are more anchors than half the rope’s length apart. It will also be necessary in case you are climbing as a team of three.
It’s critically vital to bring the right harness for the task; with the built foam designed for comfortability, it will not be a bother while you climb the rock or wall.
2) PETZL SITTA Climbing Harness for Professionals
Lightweight Climbing Harness
This stylish harness is an excellent option for people who will be getting a lot of use out of their equipment. It is both comfortable and durable and can outlive most other harnesses on the market. It is made of WIREFRAME technology to ensure even and ideal distribution of weight.
Another device that you should never forget is the belay device. You can never complete multi-pitch climbing without it.
There are belaying devices that have an automated braking system and are now famous for multi-pitches. Note that bringing a backup is not a luxury when you are high up.
It would be best if you considered packing a few pieces of carabiners in your backpack.
They are useful for various purposes, from your anchors to the belaying device. Therefore, you shouldn’t be worried about bringing in too many.
Once in a multi-pitch, you tend to forget some details on the fifth pitch, especially when two routes are branching off the same anchor. Though carrying the complete guide will be excessive, you should consider a top or route description.
You neatly fold it and put it in the pocket to use when you need any guidance. Unless you can keep the routes in the head, a guidebook is necessary to avoid any confusion. It keeps both the leader and follower on track and safe as you change pitches.
At times you will get stuck in the dark while trying to finish a multi-pitch climbing. And getting through rock to the end when it’s dark could be incredibly dangerous and difficult.
Therefore, bringing a headlamp is critically essential to finish the climb. It’s not advisable to be stuck in the middle of the wall at night; both the leader and follower should have a headlamp to use when it’s difficult to see.