Learning to climb a rope is a skill all climbers should learn, which like learning to change a tire, is a skill you might never have to use (but you need to know). Start at the climbing wall, climbing a rope on a top rope, so you don’t have to worry about transitioning from ascending to descending yet. Begin on a slab and go through the following learning stages:
1.Climb with a foot and waist Prusik. Go both up the rope and down the rope.
2.Do the same but replace the waist Prusik with a guide belay device below and extended foot Prusik.
3.Climb with a micro ascender (Tibloc 2 or Kong Duck), and foot Prusik.
4.Climb with with two micro ascenders (practice with a micro traxion if you have one).
5.Climb with a Grigri and Prusik foot loop.
6.Try a GriGri and handled ascender (sport ascending). 7.Now try two handled ascenders (Texas style), going up and then down the rope.
8.Finally, use a chest and handled ascender (Frog style). Now practice passing several knots, remembering you MUST NEVER be attached to less than two points at all time (so you will need to learn back up techniques). Lastly practice going from ascending to descending.
You can now move on to doing this on a free-hanging wall, and then an overhang. This should certify you as a level one rope climber.
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Andrew Kirkpatrick is a British mountaineer, author, motivational speaker and monologist. He is best known as a big wall climber, having scaled Yosemite's El Capitan 30+ times, including five solo ascents, and two one day ascents, as well as climbing in Patagonia, Africa, Alaska, Antarctica and the Alps.Follow @ Instagram