30 March 2011

Starting & Progressing With Rock Climbing

I'm often asked 'How Do I Get Involved In Rock Climbing In Ireland?' or 'What Climbing Gear Really Is Essential?' It can be hard sometimes to become competent, confident and skilled in this exciting sport, especially at the beginning, when faced with an array of climbing courses, different disciplines and a vast selection of expensive climbing equipment!

Over the years of both climbing for fun and teaching rock climbing here's the logical process I find to work, along with the basic essentials of equipment which you need to invest in.

1. Do A Two-Day Learn To Rock Climb Course

2. Practice Your New Climbing Techniques On A Wall/Boulder

3. Buy A Harness, Helmet, Crab & Belay:
(Discount @ Kerry Outdoor Sports)
Harness - Lightweight, Padded, Plenty Of Gear Loops
Helmet - Lightweight, Plenty Adjustable, Head Torch Clips
Crab - HMS Crab With Screw Gate
Belay - ATC/Air Traffic Controller (Nothing Fancy)

4. Get On An Indoor Climbing Wall:
(Play At Height In Kerry)
Above Climbing Gear Will Cover You For Climbing Wall
Climbing Wall Is Also A Chance To Meet Other Climbers

5. Do A Two-Day Improve Your Climbing Course:
This Course Covers Climb Set-Ups Which Are Vital

6. Buy The Following Equipment For Top-Rope Climbing:
50 Metre Climbing Rope x 1
Medium Slings x 6
Long Slings x 2
HMS Crabs x 12
ATC Belays x 2
Nuts x 6 (Medium Size)
Nut Key x 1

7. Practice Rope Flaking/Coiling In Your Garden

8. Practice Top-Rope Set-Ups On Your Kitchen Table Legs

9. Use Your Climbing Gear & Skills To Top-Rope Climb Outdoors:
In Kerry/Gap of Dunloe - Use Brennan's Leap
In Dublin - Use Dalkey Quarry

10. Use Our Facebook Group To Ask Any Questions That Arise

Lead Climbing Is A Further Progression From This, However An Apprenticeship Must Be Built Up At Top-Roping Before Moving Onto Lead Climbing.


  1. Where's a good place to buy climbing rope in Dublin? Any particular brands offer good quality or value? Oddly enough, the wall at UCD will rent you everything bar rope, which is probably the thing a new climber is least likely to have.

  2. Yeah - places are pretty careful with their ropes as it's hard to see what wear and tear is going on inside them...

    In Dublin I'd recommend Great Outdoors (www.greatoutdoors.ie) or in Kerry I'd recommend Kerry Outdoor Sports (www.kerryoutdoorsports.com) to buy a rope.

    Starting out, to be honest any brand will do; once it's designed for proper lead rock climbing, 50m length and is a standard thickness. You should ask for a hard wearing 'adventure centre spec' rope that will take a bit of a battering. Don't worry about going for a super-duper, lightweight, very expensive rope - no need.

  3. Interesting posts, I also like rock climbing, but they are all indoors.