Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you can’t go rock climbing. It’s definitely possible! But if you’ve never done it before, there are a few things to know which might make your first experience more enjoyable and safe. If you already know all this stuff, good for you! Now maybe you can help me figure out how to improve this article. Because I’m new at writing articles.
Haha, just kidding, rock climbing is not yoga. There’s no need to start off with a bunch of stretching exercises – your muscles will get adequate stretching during the act of climbing.
Outdoor vs indoor rock climbing
This is perhaps one of the most important things to know about rock climbing before you start off – Would you rather do your first climbs indoors, or outdoors? If it’s the former, then here are two big bonuses for this option:
1. Climbing indoors is usually much cheaper. A newbie climber will probably need to rent or buy some equipment, and climbing inside will be a lot less expensive than an outdoors trip.
2. Indoor climbs are generally very safe compared to outdoor ones, especially if you’re just starting out with the sport. You can’t fall down very far, which reduces the risk of injury.
On the other hand, if you want to try your hand at outdoor climbing, then be aware that it can be far more dangerous. For example, there might not be any ready-made places to climb in your area, so buying or renting equipment will be a bigger cost for this option. If you don’t have a car, it might be difficult to get yourself there. And finally, the weather and temperature play a big factor in outdoor climbing – Different rock surfaces have different degrees of friction with which you’ll need to contend.
For most types of indoor climbing, all you’ll need to do is rent or buy shoes depending on whether you’re climbing indoors or outdoors. If you’re doing bouldering, then you can just skip the harness – Although it wouldn’t hurt to get one anyway, since many gyms provide them free of cost for this specific purpose.
For outdoor climbing, if you don’t already have a car and are not in a densely populated city, you’ll need to buy or rent equipment. You will most probably have to get harnesses, ropes, belayers, carabiners, etc…
The right shoes are important!
Now we’re getting somewhere – Shoes! This is the one piece of your equipment which you’ll have to buy, and you can’t just borrow from a friend. But before you start shopping around for shoes, it’s important to know what to look for when making your purchase.
Don’t go too crazy on the budget
I’m not saying you have to be stingy with shoes – Because if you’re going to spend a little more money on a comfortable pair, then do it. But just keep in mind that you won’t be starting off with the most expensive of shoes – You can always upgrade later if your hobby becomes more serious.
And by the way, I’m not including any specific brand recommendations here. Just do some research online and find out which shoe brand you want to buy. And if your new hobby happens to be hiking, then go ahead and wear the same shoes you wear on a hike!
Get the right fit
This is so important – You don’t want to get shoes that are either too tight or too loose. No matter what size your feet are, your toes should not be pressed against the front of the shoe at all during climbing. When you get to the top of a climb, you don’t want to have blood blisters on your toes because they’ve been squished together in your shoes for hours! As far as tightness goes, your shoe shouldn’t give any – You shouldn’t be able to fit your fingers in the front of the shoe between your toes and the top of the foot. So it’s important to get shoes which are a good enough size not only for length but also width.
Get thick socks
If you can’t fit two of your fingers between your toes and the front of your shoe, then you’ll want to find a shoe that is very tight. However, if that happens with normal socks on, then chances are they’re too small and it’s better to get bigger ones. The problem with thin socks is that when you try and fit them into your shoes after wearing thick ones, it makes the shoes even tighter. And when you wear your shoes in this way, the blood flow will be cut off to your toes and they’ll start to go numb or even turn blue!
Now about that heel…
When you’re trying on a shoe, whether it be rock climbing shoes or just regular sneakers, you want to make sure your heel doesn’t slip up and down when you try to walk in them. If it does, then the shoes are no good! It’s also not a great idea to wear new shoes on an outdoor climb right away. Your feet will get all sweaty and slide around inside your shoes – Not fun! So if you’re doing indoor climbing, wear them around the gym for a bit before trying them on the walls.
One thing that’s very important to know about shoes is that their soles vary greatly in terms of stickiness – You want something which will offer you the best grip possible. The more expensive shoes are usually made out of synthetic material (such as Stealth Rubber by FiveTen) which is very sticky. If you’re buying shoes for an indoor gym, then pretty much any shoe will do. But when you start doing outdoor climbing, it’s important to get shoes with very sticky rubber so that your feet won’t slip off the rock while you’re climbing up it.
Get all your gear together!
A harness, a belay device, and carabiners are also very important when rock climbing. You can always borrow them from friends or rent them at the gym until you decide to make a purchase. But when you do start shopping around, make sure you buy high-quality gear that won’t break easily.
Let the fun begin!
Okay, so you’ve got yourself a pair of shoes – It’s time to go and climb! Don’t stress too much about what your first climb will be like or how difficult it’ll be – You can always try out different climbs later when you get a better idea of what you can handle. So don’t bother going to the top of a very high climbing wall right away if it’s your first time – Go for something within your reach and work your way up!
Don’t overdo it
When you’re at a beginner level, there’s no need to go and try and do a climb that is far beyond your skill level. If you feel like you can’t make it to the top, don’t force yourself – You’ll only end up breaking things or hurting yourself both physically and mentally. Make sure you give yourself plenty of rest in between climbs (don’t start another one if you’re still tired from the last one) and pace yourself. Climbing is like any other sport, so your muscles will get tired – So don’t abuse them!
You’ve now got some rock climbing tips for beginners to help you out on your first climbs. Don’t worry if you slip up or lose your grip – It’s part of the learning experience. And as you climb more and more, your technique, as well as strength, will increase. So enjoy yourself as you take the first steps into the world of climbing!
Take a climbing course
Before you go for the final climbing, it’s also beneficial to take an Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing course. These courses include how to safely climb outdoors and basic rock and mountain awareness skills. You will learn all the tips about climbing with security concerns.
Take help of a mentor
Climbing is not just about strong physical abilities. Mental strength plays an important role too. Mentorship helps you to develop mental strength and resolve which are essential for climbing Mt Everest successfully.
You can also take help of books that tell how to climb the mountain easily and comfortably. Moreover, chat with experienced climbers who may guide you on how to climb. It’s a great way of getting started on your Mt Everest adventure.
Reflect on mistakes
After you have tried climbing, don’t forget to reflect on the mistakes you have made so as to avoid them for next time. If you do not pay attention or learn from your mistake, it will be repeated over and over again.
Improve your skill with the help of climbing courses where you get a chance to practice more.
Be passionate about climbing
The best way to start out is by being passionate about the sport. This will make you work hard and reach new levels of achievement with time. Be strong, be safe and have fun!
Set up basic goals
The best way to start out is by setting up basic goals and taking one step at a time. You can set your first goal as your home wall and then you can move on to conquer bigger walls later. Be patient and just enjoy the sport!
Read a climbing journal
You can also read a climbing journal to learn from the experts. You will be able to look them up afterward and remember what you have achieved so far. It’ll keep you motivated as well!
Make a list of places for climbing
Make a list of places around your house where you can climb. This will encourage you to take steps and set goals as you have lots of options for climbing!
Pay attention to gear
When buying gear, make sure it’s high-quality and fits well. It’ll save your money in the long run as well as protect your body from injuries.
These were some rock climbing tips for beginners. These will help you when you are starting out in this sport and need a little direction. Now take these tips and go have fun!