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Climbing Physics



You probably know that most carabiners and slings are rated to more than 20 kN, and that a good cam placement will hold about 8 kN, or that some stoppers are rated for only 6 kN or less.

How do these numbers compare with the actual forces that are encountered during the most impactful part of a climb: when the climber takes a fall? This tutorial will walk you through a quick way to understand and estimate the forces on the most critical components of the climbing system: the climber, the belayer, and the highest piece of gear or bolt or anchor.