Introducing Yourself to Rock Climbing
Anyone who knows me knows that I am in love with rock climbing. Â I love all the aspects and styles of rock climbing, but mostly I love the way climbers vertically challenge themselves against nature’s rock and ice to reach the pinnacle of their task. Â Climbing also is a challenge of connectivity of the mind and body. Â It is the channeling of what the mind wants to do versus what the body can enact. While rock climbing does have tournament style competitions or “comps” aside, Â the only competitive part of rock climbing is between the climber and the wall.
I wasn’t always a rock climber though. Â I only happened to come across the sport through a friend who also climbed. Â Getting started into rock climbing is actually quite easy. Â Most beginner climbers can get started in a rock climbing gym in order to develop the strength and technique required for the type of desired climbing, whether it be bouldering, sport, traditional, ice, or even top-rope climbing. Â All it takes are some climbing shoes, a harness, and some chalk to get started. Â The climbing gym is also a great place to socialize and to meet other climbers who are experienced in outdoor climbing. Â Meeting these people at the gym are a great conduit for getting outdoors and experiencing real rock or ice. Â Gym climbing is great for fun and training but the greatest aspect about rock climbing is getting outdoors to experience the real thing.
Becoming a climber is essentially joining a community of like-minded people who share an amazing passion of challenging and pushing themselves to their limit. Â Another great thing about climbing is that you can take it to whatever level you desire. Â Basically, you can gain from climbing whatever you put into it.
Rock climbing outside also comes with a responsibility for the surroundings. Â ‘Leaving No Trace’ are the words to live by when becoming an outdoor climber. Â Keeping the area clean and free from trash and damage are of the utmost importance. Â Getting involved in outdoor conservation clubs can also be a great way to learn about conservation and to meet people who climb outdoors (Appalachian Mountain Club, Access Fund, Ragged Mountain Foundation, Western Mountain Climbers’ Coalition, etc.). Â Being part of a climbing related club helps beginning climbers be aware of events and things that impact the sport of rock climbing.
Being a beginner at climbing can always be intimidating when you see others performing it relatively easy. Â One must be aware that everyone starts out at a beginner level at some point in their lives. Â Climbing is a great way to stay active and be part of a great community of like-minded individuals. Â The benefits of climbing are almost limitless! Â Give rock climbing a try, you will not be disappointed!