These days there are, of course, loads of activities and exercise programs that you can enjoy to keep in shape and also have some fun but one of the best, and certainly one of the healthiest and most exciting activities is rock climbing. This pastime can be enjoyed both indoors and out – although you definitely get the best out of the sport when you head to the great outdoors – and, its both an engaging solo sport as well as one that can be enjoyed with friends. In fact, it really does offer everything. Hopefully, we have whetted your appetite for this great sport so, here are some simple beginners tips if you are considering taking it up as a hobby.
All the gear and no idea(r) -Rock climbing can be cheap to get started with but if you want to take things seriously you will, unfortunately have to spend some money getting the right equipment – and the right equipment doesn’t come cheap! A good way to get round this problem is, of course, to join a climbing club and use their equipment. There are loads of clubs situated all over the world – we have a great directory of them right here – and they will almost always welcome beginners. If you are determined to get your own equipment though, we cant stress how important it is not to skimp on the quality – your life might, quite literally , depend on it. Any rock climb is fraught with potential danger from slips to rock falls and having adequate safety equipment is paramount.
Buddy Up – Yes, rock climbing is can be a great solo hobby but, initially, we recommend that you get a partner to help you climb. You need to, literally, learn the ropes and an experienced climbers knowledge, skill and dexterity will go a long way to making you a better climber and helping you to develop and enjoy the sport more. Again, look for a local climbing club or mountaineering school – we recommend Mountain Motion – and you will get a great introduction to the sport that will set you up for a lifetime of enjoyment.
Know when to quit – now we don’t mean throwing your gear away and heading for the pub – but its important to know your limits, especially when you are starting out. Bad weather, altitude, lack of fitness and experience can all contribute to dangerous situations and you need to be able to recognize the signs that you are getting into difficulty long before the situation descends into a dangerous one. Learn about the locations you are going to be climbing in, find out the best routes in and out, and make sure you have the right equipment, and enough of it. Planning to be out for a few days? Make sure your camping and sleeping gear are up to the job! You don’t want the embarrassment of being pulled off the hills by the mountain rescue lads – believe me – and , in some cases, lack of equipment and knowledge can lead to tragic circumstances.
Have fun – above all, rock climbing should be enjoyable. Its healthy, you get to see the great views and enjoy immense satisfaction. Its always challenging and character building and you will learn a lot, make a few mistakes and push yourself up to, and beyond, the boundaries of what you though you could achieve.
Now, get off the internet and get onto the hills – enjoy your climbing.