3 Pulleys Used in Mountain Climbing

If you are starting out with mountain climbing, and you are buying your gear, you may know buying pulleys will be required. What you may not know are the types of pulleys available to you and how you should be using each one. Here are three different types of pulleys used in mountain climbing and what you should know about the handling and use of each type.

1. Auto-Locking Pulley Systems 

One of the key pulleys that many mountain climbers have in their gear kit is an auto-locking pulley. The auto-locking pulley usually works as a two-way locking system. This type of pulley is used primarily as a safety device on vertical hangs and areas. It is also used in rescue situations if you have a fellow climber who is stuck or has a malfunction in their hardware. The auto locking system ensures that you do not have extra rope or slack that could cause a fall or other issues.

2. Hauling Pulleys

A hauling pulley may not seem like it should be part of your mountain climbing gear set, but it is something you will find useful. The hauling pulleys are usually small and have a resistance weight level of around 3,000 pounds. These hauling pulleys are ideal for hauling gear up larger mountain faces, moving equipment across glacier plains, and for use during rescues that require hauling a stabilising emergency body board for certain distances.

3. Rope Clamp Pulley

A rope clamp pulley is used in conjunction with 4:1 haul systems. The rope clamp pulley has a toothed cam to work best in hazardous situations like with frozen terrain or with ropes that become muddy and icy during certain rock climbing conditions and environments. Two key points to look for with the rope clamp pulleys are self-cleaning slots and sealed ball bearings. These two key points help to increase the durability and efficiency of the pulley and the haul system as a whole.

You can purchase your pulleys at local mountain climbing and outdoor stores. If you have questions about pulleys that would work best for your type of mountain climbing, a store representative can help you narrow down your options. They can also help with pricing and questions you may have. If you have never used certain pulleys with your current mountain climbing gear kit, then you can also get training with those pulleys to determine the most useful for you and the ones you are the most comfortable with.