Leavenworth Rock Guides: Crack Climbing Technique
Those who want to progress beyond sport climbing or climbing in a gym eventually need to come to terms with crack climbing. Most natural climbing lines follow crack systems as these give climbers places to place protection and the crack itself provides a weakness that allows climbers to ascend routes without pre-placed bolts. Some would argue that crack climbing is the most pure and fundamental form of rock climbing.
Our crack climbing technique clinics capitalize on the wealth of natural granite cracks found in the Leavenworth area and introduce students to techniques that allow them to securely and efficiently climb a variety of crack types.
We typically begin with hand cracks as most climbers find the hand-jam to be the most secure hold found in crack climbing. Once basic hand jamming technique is understood we move onto finger and fist cracks. For those who are particularly keen we can also cover off-width technique. Off-width are cracks that are too small for chimney climbing, yet too big for fist jams.
Skills Taught during Crack Climbing Technique
- Finger, fist, and hand jams
- Off-width strategies
- Taping for crack climbing
- Appropriate footwork for crack climbing
- Technique differences between leading and top-roping
- When to consider using lie-back technique
- Placing and removing gear in cracks
- Selecting the best rack for a given crack type
- Use of cams, nuts, Big-Bros, and other crack protection
Courses before Crack ClimbingRock Climbing Anchors Clinic
Introduction to Outdoor Climbing
Sport Climbing Technique
Courses after Crack ClimbingImprovised Rock Rescue
Traditional Lead Climbing