The Causes Of Smearing Climbing Ropes

The Causes Of Smearing Climbing Ropes

Smearing climbing is defined as the process of losing climbing rope in the mud or wet sand. It’s done by dislodging the plastic film covering the edges of the climbing rope. The edges are easily reached if they are soft, like those found on the end of a fishing line.

The Causes Of Smearing Climbing Ropes
The Causes Of Smearing Climbing Ropes

When smearing happens, the number one reason for it is overuse. Most climbers are born climbers. They know exactly how to use them. They do not use them enough to cause serious damage. Thus, they are not as secure as they could be in a situation where they have to climb a route that has been previously climbed. When a climber comes down, he is frequently at risk of falling off the route. It is due to a snag in the rock, dragging or an accident caused by a worn-out gear.

Smearing Climbing

Before an incident of smearing, there is an opportunity for the climber to properly secure his harness and clothing before attempting the route. Before the rope is initially spread out, there should be at least two meters of slack on the climbing rope, with the rope extending over the shoulder.

For most people, smearing will occur when a climber has very wet hands or feet. They are more likely to slip and slide on wet hands or feet than any other surface, including dry skin. If a climber’s hands or feet get wet while climbing, he should immediately remove his footwear and put on waterproof gloves. In addition, the climber should wear a pair of booties or a Gore-Tex jacket that are waterproof to ensure that his hands and feet stay dry even when the climber is wet.


Smearing can be prevented when a climber chooses a route that is well-established but still in good condition. When the climbing rope is spread out before the climber begins to climb, it will take more than a few seconds for a person to slip, regardless of how wet the hands or feet are.

Sometimes, smearing will happen when a poor quality gear is used. This gear may lack a dependable chemical bond that bonds the plastic films to the rope. A lot of climbers will use a lot of cams that consist of one pin, with the remaining pins bent out of shape and bent as well.

Smearing can also happen when the climber has poor vision. A climber who has an optic problem will see objects much dimmer than someone else who does not have such a problem.

Know More: Smearing Climbing

A few other causes of smearing include a new person who is unfamiliar with the ropes and holds of climbing. If a new climber gets hold of their first rope, it can easily cause a lot of smearing and could even lead to accidents.

Smearing can also be caused by negligence or carelessness on the part of the climber. Some instances of smearing are blamed on poor climbing equipment. It has a weak connection between the handle and the ends of the rope.

Smearing can be caused by sweat or the dirt found on the hands and feet. The sweat will quickly smother a mountaineering route, making the climb much more dangerous.

Bottom Line

The Causes Of Smearing Climbing Ropes
The Causes Of Smearing Climbing Ropes

It’s important to remember that smearing does not mean that a climber is slipping or falling. However, if a climber notices that he is suddenly getting wet because of smearing, he should immediately change clothes and try to dry himself as soon as possible.

Smearing is only a sign that something may be wrong when something is not right. It should not be used as an excuse for poor safety practices. Climbers should take note of smearing and try to figure out what may be causing it.

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