Featured, Outdoors

How to Get Into Rock Climbing

Are you on the hunt for your next adventure? Maybe you’re after a unique fitness experience, or recently watched “Free Solo.” Either way, as you scale the side of a mountain, you can enjoy beautiful views and an adrenaline boost to match. Before you head out to the Shawangunk Mountains, however, you’ll need to prepare appropriately.

Take a look at these tips so that you can get into rock climbing in the best way possible.

Practice Indoors

New climbers need to use a controlled environment to develop their skills. You’ll learn a lot when you’re out on a natural formation, but gyms can provide essential practice time. These centers offer routes in a variety of difficulties, so it’s easier to work your way through the levels. You’re able to figure out which methods make sense for you. Plus, you’ll discover how to anticipate a fall.

Head to your local gym and start to practice on the boulders. These areas will get you acquainted with the rocks without the comfort of a rope. Don’t be afraid to tell the staff that you’ve never climbed before – they’re there to help you learn. Go as often as possible, and try to learn and have fun at the same time. 

Make Connections

As you navigate the boulders and top rope sections, make an effort to talk with other gym-goers. A significant social aspect comes with this sport – eventually, you’ll need to find a partner or two. If you don’t have friends who participate, it’s important to form connections within the community. Attend instructor-led classes and introduce yourself to other newbies. Once you’re able to climb outside of the gym, you’ll want to be apart of a well-oiled crew.

You can also seek out local outdoor groups. They don’t have to rock climb specifically, but organizations can provide you with many resources and opportunities. Even if they prefer to kayak, members of these coalitions could have an interest in your pursuits.

Buy the Proper Gear

Some gyms provide gear, but eventually, you’ll want to purchase your own. First, buy a set of breathable athletic clothes – a comfortable t-shirt and a pair of water-resistant pants are necessary. Rock climbing requires a lot of physical exertion, so you don’t want your apparel to get in the way. Proper shoes make a difference, as well. As far as equipment goes, a helmet, chalk bag and harness should be at the top of your list.

Learn about the purpose of each device so that you know when and how to use it best.

Go on a Guided Trip

After some practice, you’ll be ready to take on the great outdoors. No matter how confident you feel, it’s essential to submerge yourself slowly. Don’t plan a solo excursion to Mount Potosi right away. Instead, head out on a guided trip with an expert. It’s no secret that climbers face a lot of danger. To make sure that you stay safe, tap into the connections you made. Get a group of people together or ask an instructor to take you out.

Choose a location that’s ideal for beginners. Research well-known destinations around you to find a variety of options, and remember, you don’t become a professional overnight. You need to build your skills organically. Once you’ve completed a few routes with a team, you can start to explore on your own. 

Try not to push yourself too hard. Everyone has distinct strengths and weaknesses – and people rarely get to the same level as Steph Davis and Alex Honnold. 

Introduce Yourself to Rock Climbing the Right Way

Rock climbing is one of the best sports for adventure lovers. If you want to get started, introduce yourself to it the right way with these tips.

Martin Banks
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