Climb Snowdon

This was quite extreme for me. In fact very extreme. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t do much exercise and I always intend to go to the next zumba class or catch up with my friends in aqua aerobics but I never seem to do it as the plans just don’t come into place. But after creating a five year plan when I turned 25 a few years ago, I thought this would be a brilliant one to do. My five year plan is huge! I love to add things to it from trying lobster for the first time to going to the Maldives. I’ve completed about half of my list in the last 2 years and I keep adding to it. My latest addition was a big one and pretty serious. It wasn’t to try sushi or a must see movie that I’ve never got round to watching, but a physical and mental challenge. To many people it might come across as not a big deal and many people have completed it for many reasons but for me, the girl who never exercises and enjoy eating out several times a week, its going to be hard work.

I’m planning on climbing Snowdon on Saturday 14th July with 6 family members. I am very excited and I believe when I’ve made it to the top and back I will be punching the air with a great achievement under my belt. I need to look into techniques to keep fit and not get light headed or cramp or moan all the way up that I’m tired to anybody who will listen to me! I certainly wont be taking the easy route by jumping on the tram which takes an hour to get up. Instead I’m doing the six mile route which will take a couple of hours and then the four mile route back down. Or I might just roll all the way down which will take less time and I can tuck into a well deserved feast and celebration drink much sooner then planned!

Whilst preparing my Snowdon hike I did some research on the mountain to know what I’m up against, some facts and figures you may not have known yourself

Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales at 3560ft (1085m)

All five countries of the British Isles (Wales, England, Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man) can be seen from the top when conditions permit.

Snowdon is quite near the sea at 10 miles, although the nearest 3000 footer to the sea is Foel Fras (3091ft) which stands just over 4 miles from the coast!

There are 1,497 miles of public footpaths in Snowdonia.

Snowdon attracts around 400,000 walkers a year not to mention around 100,000 visitors who reach the summit by train.

Wish me luck and I shall tell about about my experience.

Scottish Winter Climbing

The winter climbing in Scotland is absolutely unique. The nature of the mountains, weather systems and altitude mean that the conditions are like nowhere else in the world. When climbing in Scotland you will encounter one of three types of route. The route will either be mixed, where you will be climbing on iced up rock and some snow ice, a snow ice route, where the ice consists of refrozen snow, or the least common type, water ice.

There are specific locations where you are more or less likely to find routes in each category. Equally there are crags where you can find all three within a few metres of each other. This type of information is a lot to do with local knowledge and the knowledge you can take absorb from the climbing guidebooks on each of the areas.

As you would expect the equipment and techniques that you need for each of the different route types vary slightly. If you are climbing a water ice route then it is likely that you will be using primarily ice screws for protection. This may also include the belays so you must ensure that you have enough. Snow ice route, often enclosed within a gully will be a mixture of ice screws, in situ gear and traditional rock protection. On these types of routs you will need to be persistent and be able to spot a good gear placement from a bad one. These are the routes when you will be carrying the most gear. Mixed routes are different in that although they may contain a small amount of snow ice, the main form of protection will be from traditional rock protection like nuts and cams. This can mean that the protection is often very good once you have found it.

The most difficult thing about climbing in Scotland is predicting the weather and conditions. Knowing which conditions re best suited to which route is a skill which takes years to get to grips with. When the conditions are poor, climbing in Scotland is very demanding. However, when it is good it provides some of the best climbing in the world.

Types of Rock Climbing Shoes

Conventional rock climbing shoes are suitable for long climbs. They are lighter than the other types. They are also comfortable for using in long hours in this activity. Some of these foot wear are all-round wear with no specific feature while others are designed to be used specifically on certain locations.

The all-round are more comfortable as they can be used in a wide range of locations. They come with a stiff sole that makes them wade through cracks in the rock with much ease as compared to others. Some models in this category hooks or loop straps instead of the usual laces. One major advantage that these type of shoes carry with them is that they are long lasting since they are made of synthetic material and will normally remain intact even after long periods of use.

Another type is the traditional rock climbing shoes which is almost similar to the all-round wear. However, compared to the former, they have stiff and symmetrical soles. They are therefore made more comfortable by these features and as such can be worn all day long. When choosing a pair of foot wear, it is okay to choose from your gym collection as these too are suitable for the activity

Sport Climbing

The first is dynamic rope, it is a special type of rope that is set to be stretchable. This rope is far different from a static rope which has no give. The dynamic rope is much better at handling extreme stresses and it will minimize the likelihood of failure.

Quickdraw is other unique piece of equipment used for this sport. This is applied by climbers to attach their climbing rope to the bolt anchors and other protection when climbing. A quickdraw has two carabiners connected by a loop of webbing. Generally, the webbing is under a foot in length.

Some climbers make their own quickdraws but there are also pre-made ones. They come in various sizes and styles to fit different climbing harnesses and ropes.

A belay device is also often applied in this sport as a mechanical break to control the belay rope. It depends on the specific needs of the climber to what belay they will get.

The climbing harness is used in this sport with belay to anchor the climber in. Above all, it’s a belt which has two loops beside the legs that you can attach quickdraws and belays to anchor yourself to the cliff face. Besides the fundamental sit string harness there are also chest harness and a full body harness.

Lastly, please check these gears before you practice sport climbing; helmet, climbing shoes, chalk bag, runners and sling to hold gear. Sometimes, sling is also used to anchor to rocks while chalk is applied to keep the hands dry for climbing.

Use Weights to Develop Finger Strength

The Farmers Walk

This exercise is named for its similarity to a farmer carrying two heavy buckets in each hand, similar to how they would carry buckets of milk or slop on the farm. As a finger strength exercise, all you do is hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand. Walk with your arms at your sides carrying the dumbbells for about 100 feet. Then set the weights down and allow your grip to rest for a few seconds. Repeat this exercise as many times as you comfortably can, starting low and working up to a greater number.

Pinch Grip

It is also important for rock climbers to have a strong pinch grip. Doing simple pinch grip exercises will help increase overall finger strength. A simple device can be constructed at home using weights that are probably already a part of your workout routine. For this exercise, a 4″x4″ wood block is used. An eye bolt or hook is secured to the wood block and then weights are hung from the block. Attach a weight that you can hold by gripping the wood block in your fingers for 15-60 seconds at a time. You can do this exercise as a static grip or you can walk with the weights similar to the Farmers Walk exercise. To increase the strength building benefits you can also lift the weight up and down as you grip the blocks. Be certain to let your fingers relax between reps.

Produce Bands

Although not a finger strength exercise that uses weights, this little exercise is a quick and easy one to perform anytime you want to give your fingers a little extra workout. All you need is a heavy elastic band like the ones found around produce like broccoli or asparagus. Place the band around your fingers and thumb and then work to slowly open and close your hands. Many climbers compare this exercise to a common one called sand resistance where you place your hand into a bucket of sand and spread your fingers out creating resistance against the sand. The rubber band applies that same basic principle and is a super quick finger strength exercise.

Finger Weights

Finger weights are small weights that actually slip over your fingers and improve finger strength as you bend the finger. Traditionally used by musicians like piano and guitar players, finger weights help to increase finger strength, dexterity and endurance. A good way for climbers to use finger weight is to slip them on so they are just supported by the tips of the fingers. Then all you do is curl the weight into your hand and hold for three to five seconds and release. These weights can increase finger strength simply by being worn while you go about everyday activities as well, but doing these curls isolates the extensor and flexor muscles of the hands.

Fun at the Rock Climbing Wall

Individual Achievement

Rock climbing offers kids amazing opportunities for individual achievement, and it’s exciting to master new maneuvers and improve on speed, agility and fundamental climbing moves. It’s a great way for kids to challenge themselves and overcome fears in a safe, supervised environment. For youngsters who aren’t interested in team sports, rock climbing offers a more individual athletic pursuit that can also be done as a group. Because climbing often involves a climber and a belayer, it’s also a social sport.

Mental and Physical Skills

Hanging onto tiny toe holds and moving upward quickly develops strength and agility. Rock climbing isn’t just a physical challenge; it also requires a lot of mental exercise, planning and anticipating each move to get to the top. It’s good to look up and scope out a route ahead of time so you can get in position to make the right moves.

Safety Checks

Always climb safely and be sure your kids know the basic safety and courtesy rules at the rock gym. Climbers should always make sure knots are tied properly, their harness is buckled and double-backed and the rope is securely strung through the connection points of the harness. The belayer needs to make sure the harness is buckled and double-backed, the carabiner is locked and the rope is exiting the belay device tail-side down.

Look Out Below

When you take your kids climbing, it can be helpful to do a bit of coaching from below. You can suggest where to put hands or feet next, unless you youngster prefers to do it all on his own. It’s also a good idea to tell your kids to give you a heads-up if they’re starting to fall by calling out “falling” as a warning to the belayer.

Powers of Observation

Rock gyms are full of all levels of climber, and a great way for kids to improve their own technique is by watching others and making mental notes. By observing and practicing new climbing techniques, youngsters develop the muscle memory that pushes skills to a new level. Also, the more you climb, the better your balance, speed and forearm strength become.

Saving Strength

Generally, the legs are stronger than the arms, so conserving forearm strength is important in climbing. Climbers should try to keep weight carried mostly by the legs, using arms for balance and shifting weight. Moves requiring a lot of upper body movement should be accomplished as quickly as possible to conserve arm strength.

Basic Gear

When your kids first start rock climbing, rent equipment at the gym for the first few times to make sure they’re interested to warrant investing in gear of their own. Basic equipment consists of a climbing harness, a rocking carabiner to attach a belay device to the harness, and chalk to keep fingers and palms dry to minimize slipping. Like all climbers, kids should rent shoes for a while until they get to know they type of shoe that suits their climbing style.

Crack Climbing

Learning new rock climbing techniques can be tricky. I remember my first ineffectual attempts at hand-jamming on an eight metre crack in a boulder (Cwm Glas Boulder) in the Llanberis Pass, in North Wales. I just couldn’t see (or, rather, feel) what to do. Most embarrassing… although Scruff and Dick, my companions on that far-off day, couldn’t have been more tactful. Maggie, my girlfriend shouted down from the climber’s hut nearby and they gave me a face-saving excuse by relaying her message – “Your dinner’s ready!”

In years to come, a solid rock climbing apprenticeship on the gritstone cracks of Yorkshire and Derbyshire, in Northern England, led to proficiency at hand-jamming. You could learn finger-jamming (locks) on the piton-scarred cracks of Millstone Edge – old routes aid climbed in the 1950s and free climbed in the 1970s. When I returned to Ireland, other climbers goggled at these hand and finger jamming skills. (Please note: it’s very different in Ireland now. Fair Head, on the North East tip, is arguably the best crag in the British Isles – miles and miles of crack-climbing paradise, with big, scary walls and ar├¬tes in-between.)

But, back then, it was pretty much the same deal in France, where you could find relatively easy cracks at Fontainebleau given the same grades as absolutely desperate face climbs. There was no doubt about it. Gritstone and Yosemite trained climbers held a big advantage over most everybody else.

The advent of camming devices (initially Friends) in the late 70s made cracks a much less daunting proposition. You didn’t have to hang around for precious minutes getting pumped silly, trying to fiddle in hexes which often required a fair degree of skill to place securely. You simply had to depress the trigger and (carefully) push in the Friend. Interestingly initially Friends were denounced as unethical – as was chalk. Both were regarded as permissible only on the hardest to routes (e.g. Ray Jardine’s ‘Phoenix’, 5.13a, in Yosemite.) But, of course, history tells us that you can’t curb technology. Once the genie’s out of the bottle, you can never get him back in. Pretty soon, nearly everyone was using chalk and camming devices. Wires worked best for finger-cracks, although now, of course, you can get micro-sized cams even for fingertip cracks.

So nowadays, there’s really no reason to fear – or avoid – cracks. In fact, there’s usually an incentive: availability of protection. Hand jamming is a skill that’s well worth your while acquiring. When pumped senseless, a hand jam will save you, when nothing else will. With exhaustion (e.g. on huge roofs), your fingers will, sooner or late, uncurl even from the biggest of holds. But, if you can get your weight off your arms (e.g. by heel hooking), you can often hang off a jam for a long, long time. On the classic British roof climb Quietus, (5.10+/E2+), I hung for probably 10 minutes off a good heel hook for my right leg and a good hand jam for my left hand.

Buying Rock Climbing Shoes

Pay for Quality

If you are starting out with the sport remember that now is not the time to experiment or skimp on quality to save some money. A sturdy pair of rock climbing shoes from a reputable brand will serve you well and can be useful for years to come. Instead of hazarding guesses about what make to invest in, we advise you to head to a well known mountain gear shop and ask the assistance of an expert. Some mountain climbing equipment stores even allow you to test the shoes for comfort and support.

Comfort Fit

Rock climbing shoes are going to undergo a number of changes as you continue to use them. One of the most common of these is that these shoes stretch in width as you use them to accommodate the strain of the climb. When you are climbing you need a shoe that can adapt to the situation and can accommodate the needs of the terrain. Only buy a shoe once you are sure of the fit and the comfort, as well as the strength of the shoe.

Discounted Models

As new and new styles come in, the older lines go on heavy discounts. Buying a new pair of climbing shoes that belong to last season’s model line is an excellent idea as it can help you to save tons of money on the new line. The older models will be strong and suitable for climbing; the only lacking will lie in the fact that they might not have some of the features of the fancy new styles.

Wear Shoes Only While Climbing

Rock climbing shoes should not be used for daily wear. Not only will the soles of the shoes become unclean, the shoes will also start to wear and tear. Gravel can get stuck between the grooves and put you at a disadvantage while climbing.

Lung Power and Climbing

However, once the weather on the mountain starts to become very cold, it is imperative to keep an eye on everyone’s breathing, even if they are experienced climbers well-versed in proper techniques. Very cold weather tends to make breathing much more difficult, not to mention raise your risk for getting a stroke. Fires, very warm clothing and breath-aiding devices are quite necessary. Such are the effects of cold on your respiration.

Then again, it is possible for the reverse to happen: that is, for breathing to affect body temperature. Still, such skills can be quite challenging to learn. For instance, there is the practice known as Tumo. Tumo can be thought of as a kind of “power breathing.” It is a very special technique developed by Tibetan monks. Not only does it help them stay warm in winter, but it also helps them to get through some of their more arduous meditation rituals, which can involve standing or sitting in icy-cold water for an entire night. Make no mistake, this is not an easy technique to learn, even for the monks themselves. It must be practiced for several hours a day, for many years. Many initiates begin learning it as young boy novices, and only master it some time during adulthood. Traveling monks may give introductory classes during lectures and other types of visits, but such lessons are only a tiny taste of what the real technique is like.

Regulated breathing can be quite useful in the case of climbing accidents. For example, you might get caught in a cave-in or other such occurrence, and become trapped in a small, confined space. You might have brought some oxygen tanks with you, but these will eventually run out, and either way, you still have to deal with the carbon dioxide building up in that small space from your exhalations. Being able to control your breathing increases the likelihood that you will be still breathing when it comes. Controlling breath can also help you stay calm and focused. Breathe easy, and you can conserve air by not hyperventilating.

If you improve breathing patterns, this can also increase endurance when you are climbing up the lower altitudes. The atmosphere might still be what you are used to at low-lying areas, but the exertion of climbing means that you will still need to breathe deeply in order to feed your muscles.

In conclusion, be sure to include various types of breathing exercises as you prepare for mountain climbing. Try to learn some tricks for increasing endurance, conserving air in tight places, staying calm and even keeping warm. Even if you bring oxygen tanks, it is good to train your system to be its own oxygen tank, up to a point.

Women’s Climbing Shoes

Comfort and Confidence

Women’s climbing shoes can provide great comfort and confidence when climbing. Regular use makes different change in the structure of shoes. One such change is increase in with which puts you at a risky and even dangerous situation while climbing.

Participating in adventure sports always has its share of difficulties. Climbing footwear plays important role. Every one is expected to have shoes which will be useful at all kinds of surfaces. A shoe designed for climbing will provide permanent benefit, comfort and strength.

Be Careful

No victory in any game is possible without willpower. You should have physical as well as mental ability. You may end up losing the battle if you play without the right tools and outfit for the game. Therefore you should be very careful when investing in equipments for sports.

Going up high mountains with strong flow of air is not an easy task. It needs lot of physical strength with great willpower. If you are supported by proper and comfortable accessories like shoes, the task will become easier. Women’s climbing shoes are this accessory. Having a desire to play adventurous sport does not make you expert in that field. This article directs you towards the various steps for purchasing ideal rock climbing shoes.

New Season? New Shoes

Purchasing climbing shoes is a very big problem. Every new season will lead to a new variety of the shoes in the market. New shoes contain many additional and advantageous features in it. Purchasing completely new featured shoes for climbing is risky. Purchasing new shoes of old model saves money as well as lowers risk

Saving money at the cost of your life is not a wide move. Being starter in the adventurous sport does not mean you can compromise with quality of shoes for money. Purchasing a pair of shoes from reputed brand will be the right way to proceed.

Invest Your Money Right!

For purchase of equipments in adventure sport, mountain gear shops are very useful and it is advisable to use such shops for buying stuff. These shops provide expert advice as well. And you can test the shoes before buying, so you should invest your money for shopping in such shop for comfortable and supportive shoes without any hesitation.

Nowadays, the web has become one of the best medium for shopping. If you are clear about the shoe you want, you can take help of internet to buy the women’s climbing shoes you need.