Are you thrilled by the adventures of Rock Climbing? Or you want to opt for a more challenging sport, yet you are afraid.
Undoubtedly, climbing is the healthiest and fun sport that pumps up your adrenaline to the whole new level. Yet, rock climbing is quite intriguing for the newcomers, due to its gear, lingo and the complete training culture. According to Matador Network, rock climbing is voted as the sexiest sport by women.
Rock Climbing has taken its toll and is now practiced indoor, with steep terrains. Nevertheless, I was first attracted to the gadgets used in climbing. Also, according to many climbers, they were being intimidated by the use of technology for rock climbing.
However, for the beginners, the sport is quite intimidating itself. But all it takes is to go out on a rock side for one day and all your opposing conscience will fade away. Yet, it is essential for beginners to follow the explicit rules and training required to ace the climbing sport.
How to get started?
As a beginner start with climbing indoor first. Climbing indoor is easy, safe and give quite a clear idea of climbing outdoor. It’s the best way to get a hold of the climbing tips and techniques.
For the first time, just fixate your gaze onto the experienced climbers and learn the tactics. Most importantly socialize, talk to the climbers, ask them about their experience and try to avoid their mistakes, while concentrating on their best shot.
Focus on grasping the technicalities, such as the Rock Climbing shoes consist of smooth soles made of sticky rubber or the harness belt comprises of the loops used to connect a climber with a rope.
Achieve perfection in your gesture and moves. Initiate with finding a small wall, so that you practice climbing, bouldering and other required techniques at small heights first.
Always heed to the fact that climbing outside is an adventurous, yet dangerous task. The skills practiced indoor are not the end of it. Reach out to the experienced climbers and go with them for your initial outdoor climbing venture. If required, hire a guide to help you out.
No matter how experienced your partner is, always remember one cardinal rule. “Not to rely completely on others, for your safety”. Even if you have the most experienced guide beside you, be responsible for your safety.
Always remember that climbing is not only a physical task, it also requires great mental strength to make safe and accurate decisions all the time. For instance, you have to always check for a better, non-sloppy place to keep your foot and make a mental note.
Don’t let any sort of fear sway you, for a single second. Always remember that the fear of heights and falling are the basic reminder to keep you alive, don’t use it otherwise. Be determined and copious in your task, leave the rest alone.
Trusting yourbe layer (someone holding rope for you) is the basic rule. Always remember that the be layer is your guiding light, your shining armor. You have to completely trust the be layer and go on with the flow.
Always shop for the equipment carefully, buy a pair of shoes that fits your feet with perfection and are less slippery and sloppy. Initially, you can rent the other equipment, rather than buying, such as the harness, carabiners, belay rappel gadget and helmet.
With basic rules in mind, here is a checklist before you go out for rock climbing;
● Shop for the perfect equipment, heed the instructions and learn basic climbing techniques;
● Learn the language;
● Get your moves perfected;
● Communicate your fear and intuitions with the experienced climbers;
● Rely on yourself for your safety;
● Train yourself physically as well as mentally;
● Learn to overcome your fears;
● Trust the Be layer.
Rock climbing equipment
The basic equipment required for the climbing sport involves;
● Perfectly fitted climbing shoes,
● Quality Rope,
● Nylon cords,
● Harnesses to connect climbers,
● Some friction generating tools, and
● Tools for wedging into the rock.
Rock climbing holds
The climbing holds is the most central tool to develop climbing skills. This is due to the fact that different holds give your idea of different terrains so that you can mimic your real rock climbing moves.
The rock climbing holds come in a wide range of shapes to give you an idea of different terrains and rocks. By becoming familiar with the types of hold, you will surely improve the climbing expertise.
Some of the basic climbing holds are listed below;
● Mini-Jugs and in cuts
● Crimp and Chips
● Side Pulls, Underlings and Gaston’s
Rock Climbing Harness
The harness is used to attach a climber to a rope. Typically, a climbing harness is a nylon belt attached to a waist with a pair of loops to fit the thighs. When a harness is used, most of the climber’s weight is fixated on the legs, instead of the waist, thus making it comfortable to hang in.
Rock climbing gear
In addition to the basic equipment, the rock climbing gear also consists of;
● Webbing and cords, inclusive of; slings and slacklines
● Hardware, such as; quick draws, pulleys, ascenders and descenders
● Essentials including; chalk, packs, helmets, belaying and rappelling gloves
● Mountaineering tools, like; crampons, ice axes and tools.
Rock climbing gloves
Rock climbing gloves come in two different varieties, i.e.; fingerless gloves and full-fingered gloves. The most popular fingerless glove is the Black Diamond Steel Glove.
The stone glove is very much flexible and provides the added benefit of articulation in the hand. Additionally, it looks super cool and fashionable. However, if you want to recycle the old ones, just cut the old pair of gloves from the fingers.
For a full-fingered glove, most climbers prefer Black Diamond Transition Glove. The glove provides great dexterity and is very much durable than the other pairs.
Rock climbing helmet
The basic purpose of a climbing helmet is to provide safety against the debris dropping down to the climber’s head or to avoid a head injury during a bad fall. Some helmets also protect the back of climber’s head against the rock impact.
Rock climbing shoes
Rock climbing shoes are the most basic tool that connects the rock and the climber. Hence, it is essential to opt for a pair of shoe that is comfortable for your feet, to give the best shot. However, with the advancement in materials technology different styles are continuously evolving.
The carabiners are the metal loops consisting of spring-loaded gates, which are basically used as the connectors. The carabiners are available in two types, i.e.; the Locking and the Non-locking carabiners.
The locking carabiners are used to prevent the gate from opening automatically, whenever in use. These are utilized to make connections, such as when attaching the climber to the middle of the rope or when the rope is running through the anchor.
The locking techniques vary from automatic twist locks to the screw gates.
The non-locking carabiners are the most basic equipment, usually used by the beginners and is utilized for less critical operations, such as; attaching the rope to the protection anchor.
The carabiners are available in various sizes, shapes and locking mechanisms. The small carabiner might not be better always and the locking carabiners might not be strong enough.
Alpine/Quick or Extendable Draws
The draws are utilized to connect the protection to the rope, during a climb. For an alpine draw, usually, two non-locking carabiners are used to connect by a sewn webbing.
Mostly, one of the carabiners is very loose, but the other is kept tight comparatively using a rubber strap to assist in effective rope clipping. Alternately, two non-locking carabiners are used to connect a shoulder-length webbing in order to create the alpine draws that provide great versatility.
Quick draws are mostly used climbing sport that are directly bolted, in comparison the alpine draws are used in multi-pitch terrains, where the routes are not defined.
The training phase of rock climbing is quite critical as it requires to mentally and physically activate the body muscles. However, in my personal experience, it is mandatory to control the body weight as well, as the lighter you are the more efficient climbing becomes.
Personally, climbers go to great extent to shape their upper body and build strength. The training excursion is set up to help the climbers not only in perfecting their moves but to also gain physical and mental balance in between.
The training is not only physical and by that I mean that it requires critical decisions to be made at some point, regarding the routes taken or the steps, thus involving mental strength as well.
However, during the training phase, it is also essential to take a perfect diet that helps in maintaining a healthy body. Here are some useful tips regarding the training excursion and the diet requirements.
The very initial step is to remember that controlling the bodyweight is very critical for rock climbing. I have worked at great length to develop my fingers and upper body strength so that my grip remains tight.
Basically, the game here is all about maintaining a proper balance so that the body hangs on a rock easily and resist the gravity pull. For that, it is essential to improve the strength to weight ratio.
Most climbers make the mistake of working hard on body strength, yet ignoring the weight part. However, climbers must strive for fitness. According to the surveys, men having fat less than 10% and women having fat less than 20% are better climbers.
Exceeding the threshold will increase the risk injury, the stress in the lower part of the body and excessive pain in joints. Hence, it is beneficial to trim down the weight to the required threshold.
With the weight reduced, comes the indoor gyming for rock climbing that trains the climber for carrying out a flawless climb. Different type of trainings is given in the gym, however, I opt for Top Rope Climbing as the most significant training program.
Top Rope Climbing
The next step is Top-Rope Climbing, this is the phase when the beginner enters the real world of rope climbing. The rope is secured to the overhead anchor in the gym, and the other end is held by Be layer. The be layer is a trained and certified staff person.
After being skilled in top-rope climbing, the next stop is lead climbing. For lead climbing, the climber ties one end of the rope and clip it to the quick draws that are attached to the bolts already on the gym’s wall. Here again, the assistance of be layer is required.
Lead climbing in the gym is very much alike sport climbing outside, except that the quick draws are placed already. Although, in my experience, the biggest challenge of lead climbing is the slipping or missing of quick draws.
Whenever you feel ready after months of practice and acing the indoor climbing, the real world of rock climbing awaits you. Won’t it be thrilling to climb the rock for the first time? Where all your efforts have brought you.
I still remember the adrenaline rushing and my temples sweating, but after such rigorous indoor training and the effort, nothing could have stopped me back. You should always remember that outdoor climbing is not the end, in fact, the true venture has just started.
However, indoor and outdoor climbing requires the same gear and skills, but still, outdoor climbing has its own perks depending on the environmental and weather changes.
Top rock climbing location guide
It is always a difficult decision to select the best place of rock climbing. However, there are many websites on Internet that provides meticulous details on best locations for rock climbing. If you are interested to travel Europe than get the best discounts at Exoticca promo code.
However, it is mandatory that the climber is attracted to the location. Personally, I think if you feel attracted to the site yourself, your energy will increase tremendously. Choosing the best location require fine work on the environment and weather information.
A useful tip;
“After choosing the best location for you climb, try to learn the topography of the region. Learning will prepare you mentally for future challenges ahead.”
Health Benefits of Rock Climbing
● A combination of rigorous Cardio and Strength, thus boosting the stamina and building the muscles, especially heart muscle.
● Rock Climbing tones the muscles and gives you a perfect body to show off.
● It increases flexibility. According to the “Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,” stretching must be done twice a week to increase flexibility as well as to improve blood circulation.
● It is a healthy way of reducing stress.
● Prevention from chronic diseases, like heart diseases. This is due to the fact that rock climbing is a vigorous and intense physical activity, thus reducing the stress that lessens the risk of chronic illnesses.
Check more health benefits of rock climbing
Rock Climbing Safety and Precautions Tips
● Make a practice of checking the harness, before you go. After being geared up, you must pull on the harness buckles and check whether it is strong enough to hold you or not.
● Check the knots. It is a cardinal rule to check the knots and the rope thread before you make up for the climb.
● You don’t want to hit your head in any case, do you? Always remember to wear a helmet. Think it as your shield against the world’s brutality.
● Carefully, check the belay device.
● Be prepared beforehand. Bring the extra gear, it might come in handy.
● Use safe anchors. At least use two or anchors, after all, precaution is better than taking a risk.
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