5 Rock Climbing Fundamentals You Need to Know
Did you know that around 7 million Americans participate in climbing for recreation?
If you’ve ever had a go yourself, you’ll find it easy to understand why. It’s great for the body, and for the mind and can give you a buzz like no other. But if you have never harnessed up and climbed those first few footholds yourself, you might find the prospect a bit daunting.
Fear not! Read this guide to rock climbing for beginners, and you’ll be scaling great heights in no time.
1. Choose a Type of Climbing
The first thing that you need to know is that there are different types of rock climbing.
So, there’s rope climbing (sometimes called top roping). This is where you have a belay partner who controls the rope, so you never fall very far. This is a great form of rock climbing for beginners as it is safe and you get a climbing buddy.
Rock climbing without ropes (sometimes called bouldering) can be an indoor or outdoor activity. The walls are usually shorter with larger overhangs, so it is brilliant for developing strength.
Once you get outside, you can try sport climbing. This is where a climber follows pre-planned routes that have anchors already placed. Or there’s traditional (trad) climbing, where the climber places their own anchors along the route. This is for the more experienced climber but gives a beginner something to aim for.
2. Talk to an Instructor
If you can’t decide how, or where, to start then you should always talk to an experienced instructor.
Go along to your local climbing club and book a slot with an instructor who can talk you through your first climb. They can put your mind at rest about any fears or concerns you have, and answer your questions.
3. Wear the Right Clothing
You won’t need lots of expensive clothing to start climbing, but it is important that you wear the appropriate kit.
Make sure your clothes are close fitting so you don’t get tangled up. Mobility is key, so your clothes should not restrict your body from moving in any way.
Finally, you will need some climbing shoes that are supple, lightweight and have a good grip.
4. Understand the Gear
Next, you need to understand the kit that you’ll be using when you climb.
If you have never done it before, all the ropes can look confusing, but it is a straightforward system. Once you get used to the harness, ropes, and anchors it will start to feel like second nature.
You will also need to learn how to use climber’s chalk which will help your hands grip the surface and reduce moisture.
5. Know How to Use Your Body
When you first start climbing it might feel like you are using muscles you have never used before. But don’t worry, that’s natural, and after a couple of sessions, you will begin to build up your strength.
Climbing involves bending your legs to push yourself upwards while keeping your arms straight. Your hands and fingers need to be strong and supple in order to maintain holds.
With bit of practice, you will start to feel the benefits of climbing as your body becomes stronger and more flexible.
More Info on Rock Climbing for Beginners
So those are some tips for rock climbing for beginners. Take some time to think about what sort of climber you want to be, listen to the experts and understand the gear before you leave the ground. But the main thing to remember is to enjoy it!
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