T Nation

Rope Climbing


Ok, to get down the rope, all you have to do is have a little faith. Just let go, fall about 1 metre (3 feet), catch, then repeat. That way you dont have to do one-arm negatives, just an 'explosive' catch with both hands. It's easier.

As someone said before, for added fun, you can do it while in an L-sit (the dropping down bit too).

Just hooked up my nice hemp rope today... WOOHOO!!!


LOL ZEB, I had a really nice forearm thick one, been hanging in the garden for at least 2-3 years its always flaked, but this winter when I reached the very top it broke!! Weirdest feeling ever, you think OH SHIT! as you drop the 4 odd metres back to earth! Damn it!


I dug out a little sand pit under my rope for this very reason.

Did you get hurt?


Does anyone have a good source for thick ropes suitable for this kind of climbing?


Nevermind my previous post. I answered my own question with a quick google search.


nope landed on my feet, just glad I wasn't trying it in the L-sit position :slightly_smiling: a sand pits a good idea, man and this time going to make sure its taken down when the weathers looking bad!


Looks like some good quality rope on that site. However if you want to do it on the cheap, stroll along some beaches, particularly ones near shipping lanes, you should find so strong proper thick rope washed up, but choose wisely you'd don't want stuff thats too old or decomposed :slight_smile:


My experience with rope climbing comes from the school yard, ranger school, and special forces q course. so i have climbed a rope or two. it is all about technique. the worse your technique for climbing is the harder you have to work to climb the ropes.

there are three standard techniques to rope climbing. the first technique and least preferred by me because i cannot do it for squat is the arm only technique. mostly only scrawny south american military types do this. and the rare american.

another technique is to wrap the rope around one leg and stand on it with the other leg. reach up high with hands and slide legs up. once feet have solid grip on rope extend arms full length up rope again and repeat. is a good technique and the one used by most beginners do to ease of use. but not the preferred technique due to drag on the rope from having it wrapped around one leg.

the prefered technique i like to call the "scissor". you grab the rope allowing your legs to hang free. then cross your legs scissoring the rope between them. the rope should be on the outside of the foot centered on the sole while your other foot has the rope draped over its center. then with the foot that has the rope draped over it you stand on the opposite foot creating a break in the rope.

when done correctly you can release the rope with your hands and stand on the rope indefinately. now reach up and hold body in place. once you have a good grip on the rope you release the lock with your feet and the rope offers almost no resistance allowing you to lift feet and regrab the rope. once you regrab the rope using the scissor technique all you have to do is stand up and you just climbed 2 feet of rope by doing nothing more than standing up.

when done correctly the scissor technique will use almost zero upper body for the lift. will only be needed for holding your body in place. if your arms arent destroyed you have done the technique correctly.

as far as descending the rope. place your feet side by side with the rope between them and hand over hand to the bottom. but if the rope is 30-40 feet off ground this can be quite exhausting and difficult to maintain a safe speed of descent so i recommend you use the scissor technique, but allow the rope to feed thru your feet assisting with the friction to maintain a slow safe speed. maintain hand contact to keep yourself on the rope and alternate your hands one over the other all the way down.


I'm training for aerial circus, so plenty of rope climbing. We use ropes called webs, with a soft covering on the outside which I find far more comfortable and flexible than the ones at Wolverine Sports.

One source is:

(company based in Oz, I'm in NZ, so this is probably not much help for yous in northern hemisphere)

And yes, bloody expensive, but having them break when you're six metres up is bad. Having them break when your six metres up and hanging upside down is potentially fatal.

As for tips, I try to keep my elbows tucked in to my side, I don't reach up a full extension, but probably about a foot at a time. And for going down, just reverse the motion. And l-sits are a bitch.

Now, if you want a serious forearm workout too, get some tissu. That's just a long cloth that hangs like a rope. You can do many of the same moves as on rope, but with even less to get a grip on.


Alternatively, a hemp rope may be available from an industrial slinging-rigging company... i got mine as some excesss and it only cost me $22 australian for like 10metres plus of this perfect 2" rope.


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I bought some 1" manila rope. The stuff is new. I got 72'of it. I have a tree to hang it in, and plan on putting up about 20-25' of it. What is the best way of hanging it in a tree? Also, I need to get rid of the rest of this rope. Anyone that might be interested in it, please PM me.


Great post. Any chance you have a picture of the scissors technique, I'm not real good at visualizing body position with just a description?


where did you actually buy the rope?


Any chance you have a picture of the scissors technique, I'm not real good at visualizing body position with just a description?[/

I will try and get the old lady to take a pic today of the technique.


I got mine from an industrial slinging-rigging supplier, they still sell thick hemp ropes.


Yeah, it was called Sling-Rig (or Bullivants)


Ok, you could climb the tree, to the for that you want, or if this is too difficult, try this.

Get a thin nylon rope with a fair bit of tensile strength and not too heavy. Tie a bit of brick to it (perhaps a quarter of a brick, good throwing size), the brick with hole in it is better for tieing the rope on.

Throw the brick over the desired fork. tie the end of the thin cord to your thick rope. Haul it up and over the branch.

Disconnect the two ropes from each other and tie the end of the climbing rope to an anchor point on the ground.

This way, you can easily untie the rope and take it away when you want to. Downside is you use twice as much rope...


The scissors style is great for O-courses and building solid technique. However, if your goals are srength and hypertrophy you should probably try to use as little legs as possible.

My favorite way to climb is up as fast as possible with slow negatives all the way back down. I usually don't do L's, but I don't let my feet touch the rope either. I'll also use a weighted belt or some body armor to add some extra resistance. Ropes can be brutal.


Oh you also need a good knot for your rope.


try one of the hitches.