I was talking to my friend a couple of days ago and told him I plan on getting into rock climbing. Then, the inevitable question popped up; how much does climbing gear cost? I knew that I needed ropes, helmet, carabiners, harness, and so on. Nevertheless, I had no clue what is their price and how much that whole idea would cost me. Hence, I went through some real examples of climbing equipment and included them here so that you can save yourself a considerable amount of time.
The following table describes how much does climbing gear cost:
|Ropes & Cords||$15 – $80|
|Carabiners||$8 – $17|
|Quickdraws||$24 – $100|
|Harness||$18 – $78|
|Helmet||$40 – $110|
|Gloves||$20 – $40|
|Pulley||$14 – $29|
|Sling||$8 – $24|
|Ascenders||$28 – 85$|
|Total||$175 – $563|
1. Rope & Cords
Climbing ropes and cords are imperative for mountain climbing. Without them, you cannot embark on your journey. Also, they can be of different types.
Generally speaking, the composition consists of multiple fibers along with a sheet on the outer side. So, the durability should be sufficient.
The cost of such ropes and cords depends on a few factors like:
- Materials in use
- Strength/weight handling capacity
I will highlight a few examples below, along with their costs, so that you get a proper idea regarding the price of ropes and cords.
- GM CLIMBING 8mm (5/16in) Accessory Cord Rope: $15.96
- X XBEN Outdoor Climbing Rope: $17.89
- Crown Sporting Goods Climbing Rope: $79.99
- Rock Climbing Rope: $28.99
- NewDoar 8mm Climbing Accessory Cord: $14.75
The cost can vary from $15 up to $80. It all depends on the quality and length of the ropes and cords which you choose.
Carabiners work as connectors. They consist of metal loops. Carabiners aim to connect various components. They include a gate which can be spring-loaded or which you might have to lock in place.
The carabiners use different materials like:
- Aluminum alloy
Also, they vary based on the design as well. Generally speaking, you choose between two types of carabiners which are:
- Locking carabiners: the locking carabiners prevent it from accidental opening.
- Non-locking carabiners: the non-locking carabiners require you to close them manually.
Thus, when looking to buy carabiners, these have applications of anchoring devices and loop, it is essential to look at the types and the materials in use and then make your decision.
The examples below comprise a variety of carabiners. I have mentioned their cost as well so that you can get an idea regarding the price of carabiners.
- Gimars 3″ 10 Pcs Carabiners: $10.98
- 18KN Carabiner Clip Set: $16.97
- Gold Lion Gear 3″ Aluminum Carabiner: $11.99
- ZEINZE Carabiner Clip: $9.99
- Outmate 6 pcs Aluminum D-Ring Locking Carabiner: $7.95
The cost of carabiners can vary from $8 to $17. The price can increase even further if you are buying a big set.
Quickdraws aims to provide a connecting link between the rope and anchors. They allow smooth movement of the rope, which means that you can climb better, safe, and swift.
The structure is similar to 2 carabiners connected by webbing. Both of these consist of a gate like regular carabiners. It can be a wire or solid material.
While carabiners are for connecting various equipment, the QuickDraw is suitable only for a rope and anchor.
- Camp USA Orbit Wire Quickdraws: $74.95
- Geelife Crag Express Quickdraw: $74.95
- Black Diamond FreeWire Quickdraw: $13.95
- PETZL Spirit Express Quickdraw: $23.95 – $39.00
- Black Diamond Positron Quickpack: $99.95
The price for quickdraws can start at $24 and go all the way up to $100.
The need for the harness is pretty self-explanatory. It is used to connect you to the rope. As a result, even if you lose your grip, you will remain attached to it.
The harness consists of an attachment around the pelvis as well as the hips. There might be some other types of harnesses as well, but this one is the most popular.
Also, the harness keeps you connected to the rope even when you are inverted or in any other position. That is why it is a failsafe mechanism when it comes to mountain climbing.
It is one of the essential pieces of gear for mountain climbing. I will share some of the examples below to help you understand the options available and their corresponding cost.
- PETZL – CORAX, Versatile and Adjustable Harness: $52.90 – $78.00
- Climbing Harness: $18.79
- Weanas Thicken Climbing Harness: $18.99
- X XBEN Climbing Harness: $22.99
- Kissloves Full Body Safety Climbing Harness: $62.99
The harness price can vary a lot. You can get one for $18, and also you can get one for $78. It depends on the type of harness you choose.
A climbing helmet can protect you in any eventuality. It is a piece of gear that you cannot ignore. Also, the cost of the climbing helmet will be dependent on the material which it uses and the degree of protection which it can provide.
While comparing the climbing helmets, it is essential to look at the design and the amount of protection on offer. Once you look at both of these factors, it is easy to take a call. The examples below will give you a good idea regarding the cost of climbing helmets.
- PETZL Picchu Climbing Helmet: $64.95 – $69.20
- EDELRID climbing helmet: $109.95
- Fusion Meka Work Climbing Helmet: $42.25
- Mammut El Cap Climbing Helmet: $68.00 – $100.00
- Tontron Adult Hiking Climbing Caving Work Helmet: $39.93
From these examples, it appears that you can buy climbing helmets for as low as $40 and as high as $110.
While you might think that gloves are compulsory when it comes to mountain climbing, but that is not true. However, they can provide adequate protection to your hands.
Gloves can protect your skin and also prevent bruises as well as other injuries. However, they cannot provide the same amount of grip as your hands (source).
At the same time, for some types of climbs like crack climbing, partial gloves are a necessity.
The use of gloves varies from one mountain climber to another. Nevertheless, I will share with you a few examples below so that you can get a better idea about them.
- Black Diamond Crag Climbing Gloves: $19.95
- Petzl – CORDEX, Lightweight Gloves for Climbers: $39.85
- RIGWARL Gloves-Mountain Climbing: $16.99
- Intra-FIT Climbing Gloves: $21.99
- Metolius 3/4 Climbing Glove: $32.00
The glove can cost anywhere from $20 to $40. The better the grip of the gloves, the higher will be the cost.
The job of the climbing pulley is to reduce friction. It will allow you to pull yourself up at a faster pace. You can connect it with the help of a carabiner quite easily.
The choice of the pulley will be dependent on the load which it can handle and also its design. The pulley design should be such that it should reduce your effort rather than increase it.
Due to so many variations, the cost of the pulley can vary a lot. I will share with you a few examples below, which will help you understand its price.
- CARAPEAK 2 Pack Climbing Pulley: $27.99
- NewDoar Pulley Trolley for Climbing: $16.95
- GM CLIMBING UIAA Certified Pulley: $28.75
- NAXEN CE Certified Climbing Pulley: $16.99
- Geelife Micro Climbing Pulley: $13.98
The cost of a pulley can vary from $14 to $29. Pulley is a piece of equipment that you cannot go miser on. It is a good idea to look at the specifications and then choose one.
Sling, in simple terms, is a webbing loop. It can be tied together or sewn together. A sling can help you in 2 different ways when you’re climbing a mountain.
- The first way is to attach it to your equipment to pull yourself upwards. You can directly tie it to a tensioned line, as well. You need to, however, make sure that you’re using the right kind of knot.
- The second option is to wrap it around a particular section of the rock to move your body in a specific direction. This method requires proper training. That is why, only if you’re well-versed with it, you can use this technique.
Nonetheless, when making a list of the climbing gear which you want to buy, you should include sling in it. Its versatility makes it the right choice.
- NewDoar 16mm Nylon Sling: $9.99
- Boaton Climbing Nylon Sling: $7.99 – $13.99
- GM CLIMBING 16mm Nylon Sling: $23.95
- Butler Creek Mountain Nylon Sling: $19.97
- Climbing Sling 20mm: $11.99
The cost of the sling can vary from $8 to $24. The versatility of the sling makes it a necessity.
Have you heard about ascenders?
Ascenders, as the name itself suggests, it helps you climb the rope (source). The ascenders facilitate a smooth upward movement. The choice of ascenders will depend on the type of terrain which you plan to climb. There are different ascenders for snowy conditions, caves, and rescue operations.
All ascenders irrespective of the type consist of a toothed cam, which, when locked in place, can create a proper fixed point on which the climber can put his/her weight. With the help of this point, the climber can move upwards.
There are three different types of ascenders on offer. These are:
- Foot ascender: this is the primary one. You can lock the ascender in place and after that, climb on it. It is to be positioned near the foot so that you can close it in place with your feet. Once you get used to it, it facilitates smooth movement.
- Hand ascender: as the name itself suggests, it is present near your hand and works as a backup device.
- Chest ascender: another one which also functions as a backup device.
Thus, ascenders mainly facilitate your movement on the rope. You can put your body weight on the ascender to move upwards. That is why they are a crucial piece of equipment that you need to rely on during your trip.
- Petzl-ASCENSION, Ergonomic Ascender: $84.75
- Paliston Climbing Hand Ascender: $59.99
- NewDoar Hand Ascender: $35.99
- EPIC PEAK Climbing Right Hand Ascender: $27.99
- CroSight Hand Ascender: $31.74
The cost of ascenders can vary from $28 to $85. A lot depends on the construction as well as the locking mechanism of the ascender.
How Many Carabiners do I Need to Buy?
You might have noticed above that the carabiners which I have mentioned consist of multiple units. Therefore, the question is, how many carabiners do you need?
If you’re carrying QuickDraw separately, you would need at least four carabiners for the shorter trips. When going on a long journey, you might even need ten carabiners or so.
Hence, the number of carabiners will be dependent on the QuickDraws and also the duration of the climb. Generally speaking, on a short trip, four carabiners will be enough.
When Should I Buy a New Climbing Rope?
Climbing ropes can last for 15 years, as well. A lot depends on the frequency of use. If you use them almost every year or on a six-monthly basis, then they might last just 7 to 8 years.
However, an average mountain climber often uses it once or twice every 3 to 4 years. In that case, it can last for 15 years as well.
The exact durability of the climbing ropes depends on:
- Construction material
- Weight handling capacity
- Frequency of use
Once you take these three factors into account, it is easy to understand the shelf life of your climbing rope.
If you already own climbing gear, you may also find an article I’ve written on when should I buy new climbing shoes useful. In there, I went through 5 warning signs that indicate you shouldn’t keep your existing pair.
What Length of Climbing Rope Should I Buy?
The usual length of a climbing rope is around 60 meters (source). However, these days, shorter ones are available, as well. Most of the climbing gear design is such that it is fully compatible with the 60m rope.
Due to this very reason, instead of going with the shorter one, it is a good idea to at least choose one which has a length of 60 meters.
It will ensure that you can buy any piece of gear or equipment without having to worry about its compatibility with the rope which you have.
How Many Falls Can a Climbing Rope Take Before Buying a New One?
Since I am speaking about the climbing rope, I must discuss the strength of it, and how much pressure can it handle.
The number of falls which the rope can handle depends on the fall factor of it. You calculate it by dividing the height of the fall with the length of the string. The maximum fall factor of the rope can be 2 (source).
If the fall factor of the 50 feet rope is 0.2, it can handle 10 feet falls. However, it depends on the durability and age of the cord.
If the rope condition is proper, it can handle a higher number of falls with ease. Otherwise, in perfect conditions and with the maximum load, it can handle only five such falls.
Thus, when you consider these factors, it is easy to understand whether it is time to change your rope or whether you can continue with the current one.
The cost of climbing gear can vary a lot. It can range from $8 to $110 for individual equipment. Also, climbing gear is a pretty collective term. When you’re looking to buy it, you will have to purchase different types of equipment.
These aren’t optional in most of the cases. That is why the cumulative cost is much higher than the individual piece of equipment. The aggregate cost for this equipment can start at approximately $180.
My guide above aims to provide you with a realistic picture when it comes to the cost of climbing gear. Once you follow this guide, not only you can choose the essential equipment, but also compute the cost in advance. It will ensure that you can plan your climbing trip in much greater detail and also set a realistic budget.