The best climbing gear for beginners

Safety equipment is key, even as you gain speed and skill as a climber.

climbing gear
Here's what you need to start climbing.Brian Klutch

Despite gravity’s efforts to keep humans grounded, the lure of exploring and conquering massive walls draws climbers ­upward. A ­little ­training and the right gear go a long way toward getting anyone started on an ascent. Here’s what beginners need to master ­vertigo-​­inducing heights on the mountain or at the gym, and reach the top smiling.

Harness

The Black Diamond Momentum provides an infallible connection between your body and the rope. The sturdy rig features adjustable ripstop polyester leg loops and a padded nylon waistband. Four gear connectors offer plenty of space for essentials like cams, ­carabiners, and chalk bags.

Rope

Climbers work in pairs with a lifeline connecting them. Mammut treats the 9.8 mm Eternity Dry with heat and chemicals to minimize water absorption and maximize abrasion resistance. You can get it in two lengths, but the longer 230-footer offers the most flexibility when choosing your route.

Shoes

Powerful back muscles and grip strength are essential climbing tools, but your legs do most of the work. The right shoes help them out. The sticky rubber soles of La Sportiva ­Tarantula help keep you glued to the wall, and sharp edges at the toes provide solid footing on narrow ledges.

Belay device

Easily control the amount of slack in the line as your partner climbs with help from a belay device. The stainless-steel and aluminum Petzl Grigri+ auto­matically applies the brakes if your pal starts to fall. An anti-​­panic mechanism inside locks up and slows the descend if you let out the rope too quickly.

This story originally published in the Out There issue of Popular Science.