Articles by Steve McClure...

Expert's tips for sport climbing

Expert's tips for sport climbing

by Steve McClure

Sport climbing should be safe, but accidents can happen, usually through simple or stupid mistakes. Use the common problems chart to ensure that you and your climbing partners stay safe.

Winter sun venues for sport climbing

Winter sun venues for sport climbing

by Steve McClure

With air flight prices dropping all the time there is no excuse for spending all winter climbing indoors and moaning about the weather! This section covers the best sunshine venues for a long weekend or a few weeks away in the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Mexico, Thailand and Australia.

Grading in sport climbing

Grading in sport climbing

by Steve McClure

Grades - do they really matter, what do they mean and which system is the best? For sport climbing, whether on-sighting or redpointing the French System is the most widely adopted but it's worth knowing how the numbers translate from one country to another.

Equipment checklist for sport climbing

Equipment checklist for sport climbing

by Steve McClure

Here's all the essential kit you need for a sport climbing trip.

Ethics and rock types in sport climbing

Ethics and rock types in sport climbing

by Steve McClure

'Traditional climbing' or 'Sport climbing'? The war has raged on long and hard. However, a broad compromise has been reached where everyone can have some fun. To most people, whatever your ethics, one of the most important things is simply being outdoors in beautiful surroundings.

Motivation for sport climbing

Motivation for sport climbing

by Steve McClure

Why is sport climbing so popular? What are the challenges? Steve McClure reveals his personal motivation and gives some insight into the motivation of other climbers too.

Starting out in sport climbing

Starting out in sport climbing

by Steve McClure

Sport climbing might surprise you: it's addictive, and for some climbers becomes a focus for their existence! Learning the sport and climbing in safety is not very difficult, providing you have a head for heights!

Preparing for the redpoint in sport climbing

Preparing for the redpoint in sport climbing

by Steve McClure

You need to stack the odds in your favour for a successful redpoint. Steve has some tips.

Working the route in sport climbing

Working the route in sport climbing

by Steve McClure

Practice makes perfect! Today's hardest routes have only been climbed after extensive practice of the individual moves. The route becomes a purely gymnastic challenge like the parallel bars or the rings. To many this is the ultimate style of climbing where the mind and body can be pushed to the absolute limit.

On sight sport climbing

On sight sport climbing

by Steve McClure

An on-sight lead, where you flash the route at your first attempt, with no falls, or hangs, or information from other climbers, is the ultimate style of ascent. If you have even the slightest chance of getting the route, go for it. You only get one chance - so make sure all the odds are stacked in your favour.

Styles of ascent in sport climbing

Styles of ascent in sport climbing

by Steve McClure

On-sight, flash, beta flash, redpoint - what does it all mean? Steve explains.

Sport climbing and rest

Sport climbing and rest

by Steve McClure

Although resting doesn't actually move you up the rock it does have a great influence on your overall chances of success. There are three principal categories of resting for sport climbing: Resting on route, recovering between attempts at a redpoint or on-sight and rest days.

Stripping the route in sport climbing

Stripping the route in sport climbing

by Steve McClure

Removing the quickdraws, or 'stripping' a route can often be as difficult as the climbing itself, particularly on overhanging rock. A few little tricks can make this process much easier...

Lowering off in sport climbing

Lowering off in sport climbing

by Steve McClure

Having reached the belay on a sport route success is yours. However, don't blow the descent. As any mountaineer knows you are only half way there when you reach the top. Despite lowering-off being perhaps the easiest thing you will do all day, there are still a few useful things to know...

Equipping the route in sport climbing

Equipping the route in sport climbing

by Steve McClure

Useful tips for on sighting and redpointing. It is important to correctly clip your quickdraw into the bolt, and then the rope into the draw, as every little bit helps when you are close to your limit. Equipping the route in the most efficient manner can make a big difference to the climb.

Rope work and rope care for sport climbing

Rope work and rope care for sport climbing

by Steve McClure

As a climber a rope is your lifeline. Steve McClure shows how a few simple steps can ensure a smooth flow of rope when climbing, as well as dramatically reducing its rate of wear.

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