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Starting Out in Rock Climbing

November 23, 2014
Climbing Wall

Many rock climbers are serious hobbyists, and the intensity of their passion for the activity may intimidate newcomers. It may seem challenging to become well-versed in climbing’s apparently endless lingo and subtleties. However, the sport does not have to be as difficult as it seems.

There are a number of ways beginners can become comfortable in rock climbing. Here are some great tips:

-Start by practicing at an indoor climbing gym. While this form of climbing may seem less natural and rigorous, the act of climbing makes for a good workout so artificial climbing structures have every right to exist. Take advantage of these if you are wary about bouldering and climbing outdoors right away.

rockcliff

Rock climbing varies greatly in difficulty, depending on the location and the type of climbing being performed.

-Hiking and mountaineering are two activities with frequent crossover into climbing. If you are experienced in either of these disciplines, you will already have a good deal of the know-how needed to prepare for a climbing outing. Hiking in particular is a simple and accessible lead-in to the world of climbing.

-Find others who share your interest in climbing. Like many hobbies, climbing tends to draw a close-knit and friendly community of participants. For those new to the sport, the advice of experienced climbers will be invaluable.

azoreancliffs

High-reaching mountain cliffs can make great climbing trip destinations.

-Once you have decided you are ready to do some real, outdoor rock climbing, find someone qualified to teach you and guide you as you perform your first climbs. Climbing can be a dangerous activity, and there are plenty of well-qualified trainers ready to help you learn the ropes, so to speak. It would be advisable to specifically seek out a climbing mentor who has experience training new climbers, rather than one who simply is a veteran climber.

-If you are going to make a serious effort at climbing, you will want to invest in the necessary equipment. Though opinions on what rock climbers should carry with them varies, there are few things that are generally agreed to be must-haves. These include climbing shoes, a harness, chalk and a chalkbag, a belay device with a locking carabiner, and a helmet. The shoes should run a climber about $125, the harness $50, the chalk and bag $20, the belay device $25, and the helmet $75. Be sure to ask other climbers for opinions on the best brands and models of equipment to look for.

Fall is here, and outdoor season is in full swing. If you are climbing, hiking, or generally enjoying the outdoors this fall, get your apparel from Royal Robbins!

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