• Rap Ring Strength

    I have seen many rap rings while climbing and doubted their strength and safety. The SMC rings have no mark with an EU number, strength or anything. They may not even be SMC, who knows? … Continue reading "Rap Ring Strength"
  • Why Do People Use Oval Biners?

    Why do people leave oval carabiners at rappel stations? Are they super bomber for that use?  —Cracklord via rockandice.com    Oval biners are the dumpy weaklings in the herd, left behind to die because no … Continue reading "Why Do People Use Oval Biners?"
  • Why Is a Rack Called a Rack?

      Why is a rack called a rack?  ——Robert Patterson, Kingston, Ontario   The word “rack” has about two dozen definitions, from destruction, to a scud of clouds, to a cut of juicy ribs, to … Continue reading "Why Is a Rack Called a Rack?"
  • The Theory of Slings

      My buddy followed me up a pitch and said he couldn’t believe that I’d clipped old tat on a fixed piece of pro. Can a bundle of tat collectively be strong enough to hold … Continue reading "The Theory of Slings"
  • Optimal Temperature for Sticky Rubber?

      A friend warms his climbing shoes in his armpits. I said that sticky rubber works best at low temps and that he shouldn’t heat up the soles. We agreed to settle the argument by … Continue reading "Optimal Temperature for Sticky Rubber?"
  • Are Sewn Slings Stronger Than Knotted Ones?

    Are sewn slings stronger than knotted ones? ——Lance Johnson, Milwaukee, WI     Ever notice that actors are always more handsome than the real people they represent? For instance, in the Bob Dylan movie the … Continue reading "Are Sewn Slings Stronger Than Knotted Ones?"
  • Should I Resole My Rock Shoes?

    I have two pairs of rock shoes that are getting very slick soles. I only occasionally climb, so they are still in great shape and I can’t justify buying a new pair. What can I … Continue reading "Should I Resole My Rock Shoes?"
  • Do Falls Weaken Bolts?

      Will falling on a bolt weaken it? —James Nixon, Portland, OR   If dripping water can over time reduce granite to sand, you can imagine that falling on a bolt weakens it. But, realistically, … Continue reading "Do Falls Weaken Bolts?"
  • Overcoming the Fear of Falling

      Is there a trick to getting over the fear of falling on lead?   T.S. Eliot wrote , “All our ignorance brings us closer to death.” In your case, your ignorance about fear could … Continue reading "Overcoming the Fear of Falling"
  • Static Noise

      I mostly toprope, either with my buddy belaying me or I toprope self-belay using a Micro Traxion. Would it be best for me to use a static or dynamic rope? —Ray Screaner   This … Continue reading "Static Noise"
  • Speak Up

      Today at the gym I overheard a woman tell her belayer that she wasn’t comfortable with his technique. He argued and said something about his figure-8 device. Of course, I peeked to see what … Continue reading "Speak Up"
  • Is a Flat Rope Safe?

    “My friend said he wouldn’t climb with me unless I cut the end off my rope. He said that that my rope looked “flat” when he pinched it in half. What is he talking about … Continue reading "Is a Flat Rope Safe?"