Introducing Yourself to Rock Climbing

Ideas & Advice / Rock Climbing

Anyone who knows me knows that I am in love with rock climbing.  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.  Climbing also is a challenge of connectivity of the mind and body.  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,  the only competitive part of rock climbing is between the climber and the wall.

A climbing gym is a great place to start!

A climbing gym is a great place to start!

I wasn’t always a rock climber though.  I only happened to come across the sport through a friend who also climbed.  Getting started into rock climbing is actually quite easy.  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.  All it takes are some climbing shoes, a harness, and some chalk to get started.  The climbing gym is also a great place to socialize and to meet other climbers who are experienced in outdoor climbing.  Meeting these people at the gym are a great conduit for getting outdoors and experiencing real rock or ice.  Gym climbing is great for fun and training but the greatest aspect about rock climbing is getting outdoors to experience the real thing.

Sport climbing in Rumney, NH.

Sport climbing in Rumney, NH.

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.  Another great thing about climbing is that you can take it to whatever level you desire.  Basically, you can gain from climbing whatever you put into it.

Rock climbing outside also comes with a responsibility for the surroundings.  ‘Leaving No Trace’ are the words to live by when becoming an outdoor climber.  Keeping the area clean and free from trash and damage are of the utmost importance.  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.).  Being part of a climbing related club helps beginning climbers be aware of events and things that impact the sport of rock climbing.

Rock climbing photo 3

Sport climbing in Farely, MA

Being a beginner at climbing can always be intimidating when you see others performing it relatively easy.  One must be aware that everyone starts out at a beginner level at some point in their lives.  Climbing is a great way to stay active and be part of a great community of like-minded individuals.  The benefits of climbing are almost limitless!  Give rock climbing a try, you will not be disappointed!

Mike Bowsher


Mike is a rock climber, hiker, world traveler, and general adventure enthusiast who believes we human being should always try new things and get the most we can out of life. In addition to the EMS blog, Mike shares his stories and photos on his blog: www.thespraydown.com as well as videos on his YouTube channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/bowshaaa.