Most climbing skills are a much better “show” than a “tell”.
Learning most any sort of hands-on skill from just a book can be very challenging. Imagine learning how to tie a rewoven figure 8 knot from reading a book - pretty much impossible. But watch someone in person or on video? No problem, you can learn it in a few minutes.
The AlpineSavvy web gnomes have combed through dozens of climbing videos on YouTube to find what we consider the very best in category. Every video has the thumbs up AlpineSavvy seal of approval, and many of them are presented by professional mountain guides.
Many of these videos also appear within individual blog posts, but we’ve summarized here for convenience.
Watch and learn! More videos added regularly so check back often.
If you have a favorite instructional video, let us know about it and we might add it.
This playlist of concise videos covers every climbing knot you may ever want to learn. (If you’re new to climbing, no need to learn them all. Start with the: rewoven figure 8, clove hitch, Munter hitch, flat overhand bend, girth hitch, and prusik hitch.)
Snow skills - beginning
Ice axe self arrest - 6:26
Basic crampon use - 9:12
Snow skills - intermediate
Snow anchors - 4:14
How To Build An Ice Anchor - 6:13
Ice climbing techniques - 6:56
Rock skills - beginning
Rock Climbing: How to Belay - 4:51
Rock Climbing: Lead Belay - 5:00
Rock Climbing: How to Rappel - 3:41
Rock skills - intermediate
How to clip quickdraws - 6:05
Releasing a weighted Petzl Reverso (or similar auto locking belay device)- 3:25
The “Load Strand Direct” method for lowering your second from a plaquette-style belay device - 1:27
Advanced rappel techniques - 12:24
Ascending a rope with an ATC guide and a prusik - 6:54 (start at 3:15)
How to butterfly coil a rope - 3:15
Rock skills - anchors
Alpine Anchors - 14:43 (If you're going to watch just one video on gear anchors, this is a great choice)
The “V” clove anchor - (great Crafty Rope Trick, start at 3:00)
The “SWAMP” anchor (another Crafty Rope Trick, start at 11:10)
The “bunny ears” anchor with Beth Rodden - (use your rope to connect to the anchor) 2:49
The bowline on a bight - (use your rope to connect to the anchor) 1:34
Rock skills - gear placement
How to rack for trad climbing with Beth Rodden - 4:36 (“Doing the Twist” to rack runners is at 1:40)
Rock skills - don’t try this at home
Monkey Face - base jump and king swing videos 1:17 and 2:14
Big wall / aid climbing
Want to simply get up an A0 bolt ladder like Monkey Face at Smith Rock (without embarrassing yourself by taking an hour+ to lead it?) Start with the basics, taught clearly and concisely by big wall expert Chris McNamara.
Then, when you're ready for more advanced stuff:
How NOT to Big Wall 2.0 (great longer video showing the entire anchor building and hauling sequence - 25:18
and try this long playlist: