• 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?"
  • Hot Versus Cold Forging

    Hot and cold forging are different means to a similar end, like starting a fire with whiskey versus gasoline. A manufacturer will choose one process over the other for economic reasons, or because one process … Continue reading "Hot Versus Cold Forging"
  • 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"
  • 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?"
  • Caution, Tight Shoes

    “My shoes are painfully tight. Is that good?”   Unless your shoes are brand new and you know they will stretch a half or full size, they shouldn’t be painful. However, there are nuances. The … Continue reading "Caution, Tight Shoes"
  • Can I MacGyver a Belay Loop Replacement?

      Although the chances are slim that a belay loop would wear out gradually with the rest of a harness, if it did could you use the first loop of a PAS-style tether or a … Continue reading "Can I MacGyver a Belay Loop Replacement?"
  • Bag That Rope

      Are rope bags really worth it?   Absolutely. A rope bag serves several functions. It minimizes kinks because you stack the rope in the bag instead of coiling it. A rope bag is essentially … Continue reading "Bag That Rope"
  • Thick or Thin Rope?

      “What’s the smallest diameter rope I can use for sport climbing?”   Most rope manufacturers offer a 9mm single rope and even a model that dips down to 8.9 or 8.7mm. These smaller ropes … Continue reading "Thick or Thin Rope?"
  • Problematic Harness

      “I am a dude and my harness sits low around my hips, especially when it is loaded with gear. My friend says this is unsafe, and that my harness doesn’t fit. Should the waist … Continue reading "Problematic Harness"