If you are attracted to the thought of starting rock climbing, you probably have a bunch of questions. An obvious one is “How and Where Do I Begin?”
Undoubtedly rock climbing is one of the most energizing hobbies in the world. Adrenaline addicts and nature aficionados can’t get enough of climbing, enjoying spectacular views, and exceeding their limits. For enthusiastic beginners, the ‘initiation’ process can seem a bit challenging; however, patience and continuous learning will help you reach your highest potential. Here’s a guide that reveals the basic things you need to do when you’re just starting out.
Research, research, research
The World Wide Web boasts of many useful resources you can check out. From specialized rock climbing websites and blogs to forums and eBooks, you will never run out of handy information. And you can never know too much about rock climbing. So, start out by finding some trustworthy online sites and forums which offer helpful and structured rookie advice. This article is definitely great to starting point. We also recommend going on YouTube or other similar platforms and search of climbing instructors who have created beginner rock climbing videos. They share valuable tips and advice where it comes to safety, techniques, equipment, and so on. Beyond the internet, you can look for rock climbing magazines, books, and even movies to show you how to begin your adventure.
Familiarize yourself with different types of rock climbing
There’s a wide range of rock climbing disciplines and each of them requires different training and equipment. Once you’ve chosen your style, you’ll be able to pick the places to begin your climbing adventure. The best rookie options are indoor climbing, top-rope outdoors climbing, and bouldering. Before you poo poo the idea of indoor climbing, remember it can be an incredible way to learn and build up your confidence, before putting yourself in an environment where a fall could mean serious injury!
Practice in a safe environment
When you’re thinking about rock climbing, you’re probably imagining yourself outdoors, in the middle of nature, enjoying the fresh air and peacefulness. While it’s okay to start climbing at a rookie-friendly outdoor spot, an indoor climbing wall is highly recommended for newbies. You’ll also have lots of fun! Look for a climbing gym in your area and go there the first few times to grow accustomed and confident with your capabilities. You’ll be guided by people who are very knowledgeable and you’ll probably meet many like-minded rock climbing beginners who can become your climbing partners and friends.
An important thing to keep in mind when you’re practicing at a climbing gym is not to expect flawless results. More often than not, beginners need to try several times just to make it halfway up a climbing wall. Be patient, optimistic, and don’t give up. Watch and learn from experimented climbers who train themselves at the gym. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Find a qualified guide for your first several climbs
If you’re eager for a quicker route to being a rock jock, seek out an experienced guide or join a rock climbing beginner course. Many guides in northern areas are not terribly expensive, because the north is not as popular a climbing destination as the mountains are. Find a guide, and get as much knowledge from them as possible. Follow the advice you are given and ask as many questions as possible.
Invest in basic gear
Make sure to purchase suitable equipment. Some essential pieces are rock climbing shoes, a climbing harness, a climbing helmet, carabiners, chalk, belay device, ropes, protection, and crash pads. It’s important to get high-quality, new gear. You can also rent and buy second hand, but keep in mind that frequently pre-used rock climbing gear will have some degree of wear, and will therefore be less safe.
If you use a guide for your first few climbs, they will likely outfit you with your gear. This can be a great way to learn what you need and what you don’t.
Decide which route you’ll first climb on
When choosing a route to climb you should consider places that are a challenging (in the best sense of the term) without being discouraging. Therefore, stay away from those routes that are only suitable for advanced rock climbers. Instead opt for one that allows you to test your beginner limits. Oh, and don’t go alone – take a friend or your instructor with you, both for safety reasons and for extra encouragement.
Moving on from these key steps, if you’re still not decided, here are some of the benefits of rock climbing.
- Enhances body strength. In order to climb, with or without harness and safety ropes, you need to use your physical strength. This wonderful activity increases muscle strength and it’s an excellent isometric training.
- Improves resistance. Rock climbing is not an aerobic exercise per se. However, it can be included in the same category as running and cycling. When you climb, you get tired. And this happens because climbing requires resistance. Thus, it also turns into an awesome aerobic training regimen, not just an anaerobic one. You’ll start seeing progress gradually, once your respiratory system improves.
- Facilitates coordination. Another secret behind rock climbing is that it is based on fluid, harmonious movements that involve very good limb control. You’ll notice that once you start climbing, your coordination will become better and better.
- Burns calories. Rock climbing is a high calorie burning sport. Along with skiing or running, it is one of the most effective methods of awakening and speeding up your metabolism. This means that it helps you maintain your figure. So if you are struggling with some extra pounds, climbing will help you with your weight loss program.
- Trains your mind. Climbing, just like hiking and other outdoor activities, doesn’t only bring physical improvements. Your psyche will equally benefit from it. As you focus on supporting points, choosing the right moves and directions, you’ll successfully train your mind. Setting goals and achieving them becomes a superb exercise to overcome your mental limits and work on your intellect, memory, and thinking.
Now, you’re all set to start rock climbing and having lots of fun. Climb on!