Climbing Gear: Here’s What You Need to Go Climbing


Satiating her wanderlust, Anne Gabl feels equally at home in... View author

The Essential Climbing Gear:

I love the sun on my back on outdoor rock. I love the social experience involved with climbing. Moreover, of course, I love giving myself a wonderful whole body workout.

Whether you’re strictly a gym climber, prefer outdoor rock, or enjoy a mix of the two, make sure you have the appropriate gear for the trip—and the necessary technical climbing abilities. Rock climbing is dangerous! Safe climbing is having an awareness of the hazards and matching your skills and experience to the dangers to decrease the risks. The Austrian and the German Alpinist Associations offer organized lessons on the fundamentals of rock climbing and how to use climbing gear. In addition, they will give you a quick course on important climbing etiquette.

Climbing doesn’t require loads of equipment to have loads of fun. Here is my essential climbing gear list for outdoor rock climbing and indoor climbing at the gym:

Climbing Shoes

(c) Anne Gabl

Slippers (a pair that’s comfortable and snugly fits the foot) – (c) Anne Gabl

Yes, many sport climbers like to wear slippers, uncomfortably tight rock shoes that don’t fit their feet, with their toes crammed in the toe box. Apparently, we should have learned from Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper, that it’s not good to stuff our feet into too-small shoes. ‘Rook di goo, rook di goo. There’s blood in the shoe!’ More and more outfitters are telling their customers to find a pair that’s comfortable and snugly fits their feet, as rock shoes are essential to performance. Lots of specialty sport climbing shoes are out there, but if you’re just starting out then buy a good and grippy all-around shoe at a reputable mountain shop. A comfort fit, so you can power through day after day of climbing at the gym or outdoor without getting tired.

Belay Device

A good belay device that you’re familiar with is very important. Belay devices are used to control a rope during belaying; it does this by applying friction to the rope that holds the climber. If the climber falls, the belay device acts as a friction brake, slowing the climber down before locking. The belay device is attached to the harness of the belayer with a carabiner, and comes in many types and designs.

Express quickdraws and chalk bag – (c) Anne Gabl

Express quickdraws and chalk bag – (c) Anne Gabl

Climbing Harness

A lightweight climbing harness, a waist belt with leg loops, is fine for sport climbing. Harnesses make rock climbing much safer than climbing with the rope tied directly around the climber’s waist. Climbing harnesses are designed to provide support and security and it is important to find a harness that will suit your personal climbing needs and body type. It’s best to buy a tested and approved climbing harness at a specialist mountain shop.


What else do you need to go climbing?


Once outfitted with all the essential equipment… Where to go rock climbing in Tirol?

With all of Tirol’s stunning peaks and amazing rock formations, it is not hard for rock climbers to find a little slice of climbing paradise nearly everywhere they go. The “Climbers‘ Paradise” Site serves as a one-stop hub for everything you need to know about the best climbing crags and areas in the Alps, including topos, access information and details on climbing gyms and via ferrates.

Use the Climbers Paradise App to download topographic maps. The App is available for Android and iOS.

Are you looking for a place for beginners to hone their skills and gain confidence? Do you want to take your kids climbing? If you are an expert, there are no limits to the heights at which you will find yourself in Tirol:

What is your favourite rock climbing spot in Tirol? Any recommendations or suggested routes for novice climbers?

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