Rock climbing is often thought of as scary, considering you are in full trust of the rope, harness, and your belay partner (the person holding you down below) as you dangle above the ground at high heights. However, it turns out that it does not have to be all that scary at all! If rules and safety precautions are followed, climbing is very safe, and it is also accessible to everyone. From a beginner to an experienced sports athlete, rock climbing is perfect for anyone. The single rule for success is not to feel intimidated, the best way to improve is to keep trying.
The tips below will help guide you, as you begin your road to being a sport climber:
- Find your climbing preference:
There are many different types of climbing:
- Top-roping lets you climb high walls right from the start. You would typically have a belay partner for this type of climbing, however, if you do not have a partner you can also use an auto-belay.
- Bouldering is great if you are scared of heights as you climb shorter walls, which also means you do not have to be attached to any ropes.
- Finally, we have sport climbing. Here the climber makes their own path either clipping themselves to pre-placed anchors, or placing their own protection. While this type of climbing is not for beginners, you can surely work up to this level!
- Gear up:
It is important to find proper, comfortable gear. You will need climbing shoes, a harness, chalk bag and a rope. For shoes, skip socks if they are your own, but wear thin socks if you are renting. We recommend that for your first time you climb indoors, where all equipment will be available, and a belay class can be taken.
- Engage your core:
After you have become belay-certified, it is time to hit the walls climbing! You will be surprised to find that a strong core will be very helpful in your climbs. Core exercises, such as the plank, are a great way to strengthen your core for climbing.
- Trust the equipment:
Gear fear can lead to many troubles when climbing for your first time. The gear kept you safe on your way up, so trust it on your way down! Coming down from the top of the wall may seem scary at first but it is very safe if you have followed all precautions to start. Also, belaying down is lots of fun – so there is no need to be scared!
The great thing about rock climbing is that you can rock climb with your partner, and no matter what level you each are at, you can enjoy your company all the same! Every time you are climbing, the other is the belayer, and once you are done you switch. This means that if you want to climb a harder wall then your partner, no problem! Once it is your partner’s turn they can decide which wall they want to climb themselves. So go out and have fun! Enjoy each other’s company and watch as your skills improve and your body strengthens.