By Dan Wells
How to Solo Climb Safely
Solo climbing can be exhilarating, but added safety precautions must be taken to ensure things go smoothly. Adequate training and preparation will help make a solo climbing trip a safe one.
By Dan Wells
OverviewSolo climbing is a sport for the adventurous, but it’s highly risky if you’re not physically trained and safety conscious. Unlike other forms of rock climbing, solo climbing is not for beginners because you’ll be climbing without supports or company. It takes good judgment, mastery of your gear, and comfort while on the rope.Step 1Plan ahead by training with qualified climbing instructors and consulting climbing experts. Hone and improve all your strengths and skills.Step 2Conduct an advance survey of the area and evaluate all possible hazards. Learn about the mountain’s wildlife and sources of water, food and shelter. Check the weather, temperature conditions, and other advisories at your intended site.Step 3Inform family and friends of your whereabouts and the time-frame for your adventure in case of emergency or rescue.Step 4Bring all the gear you need and be sure you know how to use every item. Wear appropriate rock-climbing shoes, a helmet, a safety harness and insulated clothing. Carry an extra climbing rope, rappel anchors, bolts, and all other climbing equipment, including a map, matches, flashlights and spare batteries.Step 5Check the links that hold the buckle of your harness. Check if established anchors are still strong and stable before you use them while climbing. Always test a bolt by examining its surrounding rock and hanger.Step 6Always clip onto the next anchor or belay point before you unclip the previous one.Step 7Be conscious of friction on ropes from jagged rocks and cracks. Double your rope if needed. Watch out for falling rocks or rotten footholds.Step 8Choose an easy descent over a big, long drop. Retrace your steps when in doubt, and reverse the route you took in climbing in case of emergency.skill2ingredientRock climbing outfit/gear
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