9 Pieces of Gear Every Climber Needs

Ropes, harnesses, and helmets to keep you safe as you ascend. 
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Ropes, harnesses, and helmets to keep you safe as you ascend. 

In January, the world watched as Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell free-climbed El Capitan’s Dawn Wall route in Yosemite, a feat that had long been thought impossible. It garnered national attention (even President Obama sent the duo a congratulatory tweet), and re-ignited that basic human instinct to ascend. You don’t have to scale a 3,000-foot granite face to enjoy the sport, though; your local climbing gym or a moderate  crag in your area will do just fine. You will, however, need proper gear — tough, capable items that can support you while you climb and even during a fall. Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

Photos by DreamPictures/Jensen Walker/Blend Images/Corbis