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Climbing Handbook: The Complete Guide to Safe and Exciting Rock Climbing


More than 300,000 North Americans call themselves rock climbers.

The thrilling pastime of rock climbing includes a number of variations such as free climbing, roped climbing, adventure climbing, and bouldering. The Climbing Handbook covers them all in an exceptionally comprehensive guide designed for climbers of any level of experience.

From the basics for beginners to techniques and tactics for more advanced climbers, this book provides the ...

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More than 300,000 North Americans call themselves rock climbers.

The thrilling pastime of rock climbing includes a number of variations such as free climbing, roped climbing, adventure climbing, and bouldering. The Climbing Handbook covers them all in an exceptionally comprehensive guide designed for climbers of any level of experience.

From the basics for beginners to techniques and tactics for more advanced climbers, this book provides the tools to maximize the climber's experience. With more than 350 color photographs and easy-to-understand diagrams, this essential guide combines step-by-step exercises with practice programs that will allow climbers to safely explore all aspects of the sport.

Topics include:

  • Choosing the right equipment
  • Key grips and techniques
  • Essential safety skills
  • Ascending and descending
  • Strategies for difficult climbs
  • Avoiding problems
  • Rescues and safety procedures
  • Building strength and skills
  • Competition and specialized climbing
  • Where to climb around the world.

With comprehensive information, insider tips from the world's climbing experts, and a user-friendly format, The Climbing Handbook is an essential guide for all rock climbers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554072781
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/17/2007
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 386,809
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Long is a professional climbing instructor and qualified International Mountain Guide. He writes articles on climbing for magazines such as Mountain, On the Edge, Climber, Summit and Going Places.

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Table of Contents

History of Climbing
Climbing Greats
Access and Conservation

Getting Started

  • Styles of Climbing
  • Instructions and Organizations
  • Games Climbers Play
  • Grades and Guidebooks
  • Rock Types
Types of Climbing
  • Climbing Gyms
  • Sport Climbing
  • Bouldering
  • Adventure Climbing
  • What to Wear
  • Footwear
  • Harnesses
  • Climbing Ropes
  • Protection Equipment
  • Belaying and Rappelling Devices
  • Fixed Equipment
  • Advanced and Specialized Equipment
Essential Safety Skills
  • Knots, Bends and Hitches
  • Tying In
  • Types of Anchors
  • Constructing Safe Belays
  • Belay Methods
  • Top-roping Safely
  • Belaying Procedures for Lead Climbing Outdoors
  • Learning to Lead
  • Using Fixed Protection and Quickdraws
  • Sport Climbing Safely
  • Place and Removing Protection
  • Advanced Protection Techniques
  • Rope Handling and Rope Systems
  • Protecting the Second Climber
Key Techniques
  • Body Position and Balance
  • Using the Feet Effectively
  • Handholds
  • Laybacking and Stemming
  • Finger and Hand Crack Climbing
  • Chimneys and Off-width
  • Overhangs and Steep Walls
  • Climbing Slabs
  • Dynamic Moves, Rock-ons and Manteling
  • Lock-offs, Flagging and Egyptian Moves
  • Resting and Conserving Energy
Improve Your Strength and Skill
  • Aerobic Fitness and Endurance
  • Strength and Power
  • Flexibility
  • Training Schedules and Nutrition
  • Psychological Preparation
  • Developing Style with John Dunne
  • 128 Learn from Experience with Jim Donini
  • Climbing Trips with Jeremy
    Colenso and Rachel Kelsey
Descending and Ascending
  • Rigging a Rappel
  • Descending the Rope
  • Safety Procedures for Rappelling
  • Ascending a Rope
Emergency Procedures
  • Avoiding Problems
  • Falling
  • Locking Off a Belay Device and Escaping the System
  • Retrievable Rappels and Rescue Descents
  • Lowering and Hoisting
  • Five Common Problems and How to Solve Them
  • First Aid
Specialized Climbing
  • Competition Climbing
  • Artificial Climbing
  • Big-wall Climbing
  • Beyond Rock
Where to
  • Boulder, Colorado, U.S.
  • Red Rocks, Nevada, U.S.
  • Yosemite, U.S.
  • Squamish, Canada
  • The Alps, Europe
  • Verdon Gorge, France
  • Costa Blanca, Spain
  • Sardinia Italy
  • North Wales, U.K.
  • Arapiles, Australia
  • Climbing Development
  • Glossary
  • Index
  • Acknowledgments

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Climbing is truly a "sport for life." Exciting days spent hanging above breathtakingly beautiful vistas, vacations in tropical paradises, mountain adventures, the social camaraderie of a team solving a difficult sequence of moves up a time-sculpted boulder, or scaling an urban artificial wall; all guarantee days to savor, no matter what your age or ability.

Climbing can be enjoyed as an occasional diversion, or as a commitment to athletic endeavors, demanding regular training and practice; it can be a hobby or a way of life. Some climbers succeed in building a successful career from their passion; others earn just enough to fund the latest adventure. Like all adventure sports, climbing can be addictive.

Gravity is an ever-present companion for climbers and at times it can be an enemy. Any introduction to this sport must carry a caveat: climbing is a hazardous activity with attendant risks of falling or impact from falling rocks. Part of the attraction comes from learning how to manage these risks and feeling in control perched above an intimidating void, but even the most experienced climber can suffer an accident or make a careless mistake. Never take your safety for granted, and always accept well-meant advice with good grace — it could save your life one day.

Despite — or maybe because of-the obvious dangers, climbers are neither foolhardy nor reckless, however much the popular press would have us believe. Rock climbing is certainly much less hazardous than driving a car and the rewards are far greater.

Using this book

This book is designed to help both novices and experienced climbers gain the skills and knowledge required to participate safely in some or all of the thrilling activities known collectively as rock climbing.

Most sections are laid out in self-contained double-page spreads that can be read in sequence or as the mood strikes you.

The opening sections describe the main variations of the sport, and the equipment, safety and movement skills required to enjoy them. After a thorough grounding we take a look at basic and advanced training methods, with tips from some top coaches and performers.

The second half of the book opens with practical tips on avoiding problems and a basic set of skills for dealing with difficult situations or injuries. After an introduction to advanced and more committing forms of climbing we take a lightning tour around the world's best climbing destinations and conclude with some advice for anybody hoping to embark on a career in this fulfilling sport.

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