Stay Safe Climbing
5 Ways to Die Climbing
Climbing is a dangerous activity. The good news, however, is that most climbing accidents and deaths are preventable since they are caused by human errors. Learn about the 5 ways that most climbers die--lead climbing falls, loose rock and rockfall, solo climbing without a rope, rappelling, and in bad weather and lightning--and how to prevent becoming a climbing statistic by following basic safety tips and using good judgment.
Emergency Info Planner Card
Before you go climbing, fill out an Emergency Info Planner card and leave it with a family member or friend so that they know your climbing plans and when they should call search-and-rescue services if you're overdue home.
Communicate Before Lowering Off Sport Climbs
Lowering off a sport climb after successfully leading it is one of the most dangerous parts of rock climbing. Use the proper voice commands and clearly communicate your intentions to your belayer before lowering and you will avoid bad accidents when you're climbing. Learn here what you should do after leading a sport route.
Raptor and Wildlife Cliff Closures
Climbers, like birds of prey, like high places. Cliffs, crags, and mountains provide important wildlife habitat, so many climbing areas have seasonal closures to protect nesting birds and other animals. Find out more about wildlife closures at American climbing areas and where to find a list of closed areas.
How To Avoid Ticks
Ticks are pesky little arachnids that are often encountered when you're approaching cliffs or on cliff-tops after you've climbed. Learn all about ticks and seven tips on how to avoid ticks and keep from getting bitten by ticks when you're climbing.
Sport Climbing Safety Checklist
If you're sport climbing, follow this checklist of 6 safety tips before you start climbing and both you and your belayer will be safe and have more fun. Learn why you should check your harness, tie-in knot, verify the bolt count, check the length of the route and your rope, and how to safely bail off a hard route.
8 Tips for Safe Snow Travel
If you're hiking and climbing in the mountains during the winter, it's important to travel across snow slopes safely to avoid avalanches and other dangers. Learn eight safety tips to travel safely across snow in the winter.
Three Types of Hazardous Avalanche Terrain
Traveling across snowy landscapes in winter can be hazardous to climbers, hikers, skiers, and snowmobilers. Learn to recognize the three types of avalanche terrain and how to evaluate slopes to determine if you can safely cross them without causing an avalanche.
How to Toss Rappel Ropes
It is important to learn how to properly and safely toss your rappel ropes off from the top of a cliff. If you do it wrong you can end up with rope tangles, your rope snagged on flakes and in cracks, and a big mess. Learn how to properly coil and toss your rappel rope and be a happy climber.
Crampons are essential equipment for climbing snow and ice in the mountains but they are also dangerous. Think about it...you're walking around with 24 sharp metal points on the soles of your boots. Crampons can gash, jab, and trip you when you're climbing. Learn 5 tips to use crampons safely.
Use Climbing Hand Signals to Communicate
Voice or verbal climbing commands can be difficult in bad weather, wind, or above roaring rivers. Use line-of-sight to easily communicate with your climbing partner and use hand signals instead of words as climbing commands. Learn more here about climbing hand signals.
Is Bouldering a Sustainable Climbing Activity?
Bouldering, despite its simplicity, has a lot of environmental impacts like soil compaction, social trails, and damage to rare plants. Land managers are looking at what can be done to preserve fragile bouldering environments. Learn about some of the problems caused by bouldering at areas and what can be done to mitigate them so that bouldering...
Drink Liquids for Climbing Performance
It's important to stay properly hydrated when you're rock climbing, especially when it's hot outside. Learn how much you need to drink to stay hydrated and how to determine how much water to bring for a day of rock climbing.
Backpacker Books from FalconGuides
Review of a book series on outdoor skills for backpackers, hikers, and climbers, published by FalconGuides and Backpacker Magazine, that are great pocket-sized books full of useful, practical, and portable information about a wide variety of outdoor topics, including using GPS, travel in bear country, outdoor survival, outdoor hazards,...
8 Tips to Minimize Your Bouldering Impact
Climbers are responsible for lessening their impact at bouldering areas. Here are 8 tips to help minimize the impact of bouldering, including following trails, not compacting soils, not grooming staging areas, not removing vegetation and soil from boulders, minimizing chalk use, and taking all litter home with you. Follow these tips to create more sustainable bouldering areas.
Learn all about avalanche safety and precautions at the National Snow and Ice Data Center's website.