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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.