The first time I went rock climbing on a rock wall, I was filled with a rush of adrenaline. I knew that my strength and mental dexterity would be put to the test.
Behind me my friends cheered. Their constant shouts of “Just go up!” resounded off the walls. Inch after inch, I moved. I used my feet for balance as I grabbed hold of rock and pushed myself higher with my legs. Trickles of sweat dribbled down my forehead as I concentrated, testing each rock with my fingers.
Almost there, I thought. Just a little more.
I could see the top of the wall inching closer as I climbed, the muscles in my arms and legs straining. The beat of my heart quickened as I took slow, even breaths. The screams and cheers were deafening as I relaxed my arms, swung my legs, and propelled myself to the top.
Do you have what it takes to rock climb?
Why Rock Climbing?
Why would you want to go rock climbing in the first place?
- There’s nothing dull about rock climbing. There are always new and exciting routes you can take for a completely different experience. And if you want to change scenery, you can always travel to other rock climbing hotspots anywhere in the world.
- You’re always in for a challenge. Get pumped up with adrenaline as you push past your limits and explore new, harder routes.
- Rock climbing is an adventure. There’s nothing like that adrenaline rush you get as you push yourself forward. You’re also brought closer to nature as your eyes feast on beautiful sceneries and breathtaking views from above.
In short, rock climbing is addicting. But now that you know why you should rock climb, how do you even get started?
Let’s dig a bit deeper.
What Is Rock Climbing, Really?
Rock climbing is an excellent full body workout, involving not only arms and legs, but also a surprising amount of hand strength and dexterity. Rock climbing will put your balance to the test. But even if you fall, it’s fun knowing that you’re safe and can just try again.
Like any sport, rock climbing can be a challenging, energetic hobby. To stay excited, time how fast you can complete routes and try to reach the highest point along a difficult climb.
You can also experiment with different styles of rock climbing.
- Practice your rock climbing techniques in indoor climbing gyms, where you can test your moves on artificial rock formations.
- Start off with the most basic form of all rock climbing styles. Climb 10 to 15 feet up complex rock formations by bouldering, and experience an all new rock climbing intensity.
- Grab a partner and get lead climbing. Attach an elastic rope to your harness and start your upward climb, clipping the rope to various forms of protection (quickdraws, for example) to guard against potential falls. Your partner will feed you more rope as you continue along.
You should also get to know your country or region’s grading system. It will vary depending on where you live and there are many factors that will influence your rating, like the slope of the climb, how many handholds there are and in what condition they’re in, and how far apart the handholds are placed.
Typically, the more difficult moves you can sustain along a route, the higher your rating will be.
Ready to Get Started?
All set to go rock climbing?
Before you do, you’ll want to have the basic techniques and equipment in place first. There’s no sense arriving at that rock climbing gym only to have to go home because you’re not well prepared.
These tips will get you started.
- Learn everything you can about rock climbing. Get familiar with the sport and you’ll be more prepared on the wall.
- Expect the unexpected. When you’re out climbing, look around you and stay vigilant. Always be watchful for potential dangers or safety risks.
- Experiment with rock climbing styles and techniques.
- Understand your climbing gear. Know what each piece of equipment does and how it is properly used.
- Improve your strength and endurance. Stay physically fit with a good training routine.
- Start going to indoor climbing gyms and perfect your own rock climbing techniques.
Rock climbing is exciting. But it can also be dangerous if you aren’t prepared. Always practice safety precautions, even while you’re out learning the basics.
Make sure knots are firm and harness buckles are in place. Replace damaged gear that isn’t working up to standards. Build solid relationships with your climbing partners and get to know their habits. Double check your rappel system and make sure everything is in working order. Look out for rock breaks, and pay attention to the weather.
And when you’re ready, put on your shoes and grab your helmet. You’re in for a rocky ride.