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Early Season Cragging

By Paul Warnock

So you have been training all winter on a campus board or down at your local climbing wall. If you are feeling strong why not start the season on a high?

Tip One

Choose a route that best resembles the training you have been doing. Try something short, steep and easy to protect.
Leave that run-out, fiddly to protect test piece until later in the season.

Tip Two

Avoid injury by warming up before and in between climbing a route. Wear a duvet jacket or belay jacket when not actually climbing. It many seem obvious but an injury at this stage in the season could waste a winter of training.

Tip Three

Early Season Cragging

Check your gear for signs of wear carefully:
Check your harness for wear or damage at the attachment point/abseil loop
Check your camming devices for smooth operation and check the webbing for any damage.

Early Season Cragging

Check your wires and hex.s especially if you have been using them winter climbing. Replace any frayed or damaged wires immediately.
Run your ropes through your fingers, feeling them for bumps and checking for sheath slippage/wear.

Tip Four

Early Season Cragging

Even though you may have piles of old rock shoes, consider treating yourself to a new pair of rock shoes.

Tip Five

Think about the crag you are planning to visit. Try to avoid the disappointment of driving miles to find the crag vegetated and wet.
Go to a venue that is south facing and dry. Check for access restrictions to protect breeding birds, for example parts of Gogarth are affected from 1st Feb to 31st July. For more information on bird restrictions take a look here for info


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