Guide: How To Start Rock Climbing
So you have finally decided to explore more adventure, and you are thinking of rock climbing but you have no idea where to start. You are in luck because this article will give you the basics on how to go about it.
Though rock climbing sounds like the kind of sport that may seem out of reach for a beginner, it need not be as you will soon realize. For starters, there are two modes of rock climbing – indoor and outdoor climbing.
Indoor rock climbing
You can do various forms of indoor rock climbing such as gym climbing, bouldering, top roping, and sport climbing. They all have different techniques, but with one ultimate goal – to get to the top.
This form of rock climbing is more exciting because you get to experience other aspects such as the scenery, weather, landscapes, and nature, among others.
While with indoor climbing you have a safer and more convenient space to do practice, in outdoor rock climbing you rely on actual rocks or boulders and in some cases, you can use trees as anchors. What could be more exciting?
What will you need?
For both indoor and outdoor rock climbing, you will require more or less the same gear and skills. As your skills and interest develop, so will your understanding of what each gear does and which kind of support it provides you. So what do you need to get started?
- Shoes – this is one of the most important pieces of gear, because they connect the climber to the rock. Get yourself proper fitting shoes that are designed for comfort and they suit your climbing needs and interests.
- Rope – a rope is almost a must-have because it acts as a protection device to prevent you from falling. You can go for either dynamic ropes or static ropes. Dynamic ropes have more elasticity while static ropes are used in anchoring systems.
- Harness – it is used to connect the rope to the climber and they come with a variety of features each customized to different styles of climbing.
- Carabiners – these are metal loops with spring-loaded openings that are used as connectors. They also come in various shapes, sizes and locking mechanisms for different purposes.
- Chalk – this one is used for absorbing moisture (sweat) from your hands as you climb. It is stored as a powder in a chalk bag attached to the harness.
- Helmet – as you may have guessed, this gear is purely meant for safety purposes to prevent you from direct impact or injuries in case of a fall.
Rock climbing is not as difficult as it is sometimes perceived to be. All you need is good practice and invest in the right gear and you will be set. You can even choose to do it as part of a team for that fulfilling and exciting experience. Though you may feel intimidated in the beginning, once you start you might get addicted to the thrill. So why not give it a chance and climb on!