Big Wall Climbing – Training Tips For Beginners 2023

Authored By Trekking Expert
Big Wall Climbing – Training Tips For Beginners 2023

When it comes to adventure sports, wall climbing is among the most thrilling and challenging. Wall climbing requires a high level of athletic ability and concentration to complete without falling.

It might look easy from the outside, but this sport is much more challenging than it seems. It’s not just about getting up on a wall and staying there for a few seconds.

There are many different types of wall climbing that all test your strength, balance, agility, and nerve in different ways. There are also lots of other locations where you can try your hand at wall climbing:

Wall climbing is great for building strength and stamina; it’s an excellent way to get an intense cardio workout while strengthening your arms, shoulders, and core muscles.

The mental challenges of a big wall climb are also significant. Most Climbers must maintain focus and concentration for extended periods, often while enduring physical discomfort. They must also be prepared to deal with injuries or even death.

Despite the challenges, big wall climbing is an advantageous experience. The sense of accomplishment that comes from reaching the top of a massive cliff is unlike anything else. Big wall climbing is an unforgettable adventure for those who are up to the challenge.

The Big Wall Climbing Overview

A big wall is a type of rock climbing that involves ascending substantial rock faces which are too steep and too high to be climbed with standard rock climbing techniques. The most common method used to climb large walls is called aid climbing..

Aid climbing is attaching oneself to the rock face, i.e., an artificial climbing aid, at regular intervals using specialized equipment such as bolts, cams, nuts, and pitons.

The Big Wall Climbing Overview

Climbers either place removable protection as they go, clip fixed protection as they go, or a combination of both. Big walls are usually climbed in stages, with the climbers hauling up their equipment and supplies.

This usually requires the help of other people below the climb and haul the fixed ropes and equipment up as the climbers above remove them.

A big wall climb is typically a multi-day climb that can last anywhere from a few days to months, depending on the route and the climber’s pace.

Types Of Big Wall Climbing

Types Of Big Wall Climbing
Aid climbing: This is where the climber attaches himself to the wall using artificial aids such as bolts and pitons. This can be done by using a partner belaying the climber from below or self-rescue. This type of climbing is done on big walls. Aid climbing is when you carry all your equipment and supplies with you. People often do this when attempting new tackle routes that are too difficult to free climb, such as The Nose on El Capitan.
Free climbing: Free climbing is when you climb the route without equipment, such as a rope, carabiners, or a harness. It is only possible on shorter popular routes, such as a sport route close to the ground.
Onsighting: An onsight ascent is when you attempt a route without any prior knowledge of the route. It is often done by experienced many climbers who are confident in their ability to make it to the top without falling.
Top rope climbing: This is done with the help of a partner belaying the climber from below. The climber clips into the fixed rope as he ascends.
Lead climbing: This is done without a rope attached to the climber. This can be done on big walls.

Equipment for Big wall climbing

Equipment for Big wall climbing
  1. A harness is an equipment used to secure the climber to the wall. It is an essential piece of equipment used in almost all climbing sports.
  2. A helmet is a piece of equipment essential for any climbing trip. It protects the head from falling objects, climbers, and sharp rocks.
  3. Climbing shoes: A pair of climbing shoes with rubber soles is designed for climbing.
  4. Climbing ropes: this is a crucial piece of equipment when climbing. It is used for anchoring and securing the climber.
  5. Climbing gear: Climbing gear is miscellaneous equipment used during climbing. Ascenders, carabiners, and slings all fall into this category.

How To Choose A Big Wall Climber Partner?

How To Choose A Big Wall Climber Partner?
Talk to your partner. Communicate with your partner and ensure you are on the same page regarding the trip.

Be honest and straightforward with each other; remember that there will be times when you will be put in situations where you will have to depend on each other.

Make sure you trust your partner; if you do not feel comfortable with your chosen partner, you can always change partners.
Trust your gut. If you have a feeling that something is not right with your partner, listen to it. Ending the trip early is better than getting into a hazardous situation.
Share the load. Make sure that you and your partner share the responsibilities of climbing.
Go with an experienced climber. If you are a beginner, it is better to go with a professional partner; likewise, if you are an experienced climber, it is better to go with a beginner.

Completing A Climb

Completing A Climb
Start early. It is better to start climbing early than wait until the sun goes down. In addition, it is better to climb during the day than climb at night.
Bring enough water. Dehydration is a common effect of climbing; it is better to bring water bottles and electrolyte-rich drinks than soda.
Take frequent breaks. It is essential to rest and relax your body. You can also switch climbing partners to give your partner a break.
Take care of your equipment. Damaged equipment can put you in danger; taking care of and cleaning your equipment is better.
Retreat. If you have fallen or cannot proceed any further, it is better to retreat, even if it means failing the climb.

Training Tips For Beginners

Training Tips For Beginners
Go with an experienced climber. It is better to go with an experienced climber than a beginner climber. –
Start with lower walls. Start with lower walls, such as indoor walls, where you can easily use an artificial aid.
Improve your fitness. Climbing requires strength, endurance, and stamina; it is better to improve these factors before climbing.
Learn about the weather. It is essential to know about the weather and the condition of the wall.
Practice using your equipment. It is important to practice using your equipment before actually climbing.
Be patient. It is essential to be patient and to have realistic expectations of climbing.
Practice self-belaying. It is important to practice self-belaying before actually climbing.
Find a wall where you can climb. It is crucial to find a wall where you can climb.
Train your muscles. It is essential to train your muscles before climbing.
Improve your stamina. It is essential to improve your energy before climbing. This will help you in climbing for a longer period.
Improve your agility. It is essential to improve your skill before climbing.
Practice self-belaying. It is essential to practice self-belaying before actually climbing.

Advanced Techniques

Advanced Techniques

Advanced techniques create a more significant challenge for experienced climbers, including wall-walking and wide-cracking.

Wall-walking: On new routes, there are sections where you can climb horizontally along the wall. This is called wall walking. This can be particularly tricky, as your hands are fully loaded and require great strength and core and leg power.
Wide-cracking: Big walls often have large cracks running up or down, usually wide enough to fit your body inside.

To get inside the crack, you can stem (push your legs against the wall while balancing inside the crack using your arms) or chimney (squeeze yourself inside the crack while facing sideways). This is often used to gain more height on the route.

When To Go The Wall Climbing?

Check the weather. It is essential to check the weather before climbing. Strong winds and rain can be harmful to climbing.
Know your skill level. It is essential to know your skill level before climbing. It is better to climb on a level that you can easily handle.
Bring the necessary equipment. It is vital to bring the equipment required for climbing. This includes the proper shoes and clothing.
Bring enough water. It is crucial to bring enough water for the trip. Dehydration can be harmful, especially in climbing.

What Is Climbing Style Used In Big Wall Climbing?

Climbing big walls is an incredibly exhilarating and challenging experience. It requires excellent physical and mental strength and a high technical ability.

The rewards, however, are immense. There is nothing quite like standing atop a massive wall you have climbed, knowing that you have conquered one of the most difficult challenges imaginable.

How Long Do These Climb Big Walls Take?

Big wall climbing is not for the faint of heart. It requires a high fitness level and the ability to endure long hours of strenuous activity.

It can be extremely mentally and emotionally demanding, as well. But for those who are up to the challenge, it is an advantageous experience.

Famous Big Wall Climbing Places.

Yosemite National Park, California: This is one of the most popular places for wall climbing. Climbers flock to Yosemite National Park to scale its sheer granite walls.
El Chorro, Spain: The crag at El Chorro is a challenging wall called “a climbing cathedral.”
Yosemite Valley, California: This is the most popular wall in Yosemite Valley and has various routes.
Cathedral, California: This is a newer climbing wall, but it is quickly gaining popularity.
Cerro Torre, Argentina: This wall is also known as the “Torre” and is one of the most challenging walls in the world

How Long Do These Climb Big Walls Take?

The ascent and descent times will depend on the climb, the climber’s skill level and fitness, and the conditions on the route.

A route that takes one climber five hours may take another eight hours.

Even if you’re in great shape, climbing up a wall is physically demanding – you’ll need a good level of fitness to be able to do a climb without getting too tired too quickly.

How Long Do These Climb Big Walls Take?

Training is the best way to build your strength and endurance before climbing.

Wall climbing is very different from sport climbing indoors or bouldering outdoors, so getting used to climbing on walls before climbing up a big wall is advisable.

This will help you get used to the different types of holds and how much power and effort each type of climbing requires.

You can try climbing indoors on a route replicating an outdoor climb to get used to the holds and types of climbing.

Standard Routes

There are many different types of standard routes, including trad routes and sports routes.

Trad climbing: Trad climbing, also known as “traditional climbing” or “aid climbing,” involves using special techniques to climb a big wall while carrying all the necessary equipment and supplies.

This is a very old-school way of climbing, and the gear and techniques used are very different from other types of climbing.

Trad climbing involves setting up protection (equipment such as cams, nuts, and pitons) at crucial points on the wall to tie off and clip into, so you can safely make your way up. This is the method used on most big wall climbs.
Sport climbing: Sport climbing is a type of climbing where there is no need for equipment such as fixed ropes and carabiners.

This type of climbing is only suitable for short routes (usually less than 30 feet), which are protected with bolted climbing holds rather than the traditional climbing gear.

How Is Hard Big Wall Climbing?

Wall climbing is a physically challenging sport, but the difficulty level depends on your climb.

Some climbs are easier than others; some upgrades are complicated and require advanced climbing skills and a high level of fitness and strength. The most challenging climbs are often done in a single day, requiring a high level of fitness and agility.

How Is Hard Big Wall Climbing?

Many other climbs can be done in a few days. There are even a few climbs that can do in a week.

Each climb’s difficulty level will vary depending on the route, the weather, and your climbing skills and fitness levels.

Who Invented Big Wall Climbing?

While we don’t know for sure, most sources believe that climbers have been scaling rock faces for thousands of years.

Who Invented Big Wall Climbing?

The most common theory is that wall climbing first developed in the Middle Ages when people would scale castle walls to gain access to the battlements.

The modern sport of rock climbing is believed to have its origins in the British climber and mountaineer William Patteron.

While he didn’t invent wall climbing, he was the first to be called a “rock climber” when a newspaper article was published in 1890.

The sport took off in the late 1930s when climbers started tackling extremely challenging climbs, such as the monolith of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

Conclusion

When most people think of rock climbing, they envision somebody scaling a sheer cliff face using only their hands and feet, with ropes and other gear as their only protection against a long fall. Big wall climbing is one of the sport’s most extreme and dangerous forms.

Big wall climbers face several challenges that other climbers do not. It is the sheer size of the wall they are attempting to climb. A big wall can be thousands of feet tall and take days or even weeks to reach the top.

It means climbers must prepare to spend extended periods suspended from the wall, often in uncomfortable positions.

Additionally, because of the height of the climb and the need to move slowly and carefully, climbers must carry all of their supplies, including food, water, and shelter. It adds a considerable amount of weight to their already strenuous load.

Uttam Kapri
Uttam Kapri is a highly experienced trekking guide with over 10 years of experience in the tourism industry. He holds a Master's degree in Sociology and a Bachelor's degree in various fields, including English Literature and Travel and Tourism Development. Uttam is passionate about welcoming people from all over the world for trekking trips in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet.