A Beginner’s Guide to Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is an efficient and exciting way for people to relax and strengthen their core strengths. You can climb in the indoor climbing gym or climb on boulders, cliff bands, and in the mountains- anywhere where there is solid rock. You can see familiar landscapes from a new point on a mountain top. You can stand on the edge of a cliff and enjoy the fresh air brought by the gentle breeze. Rock climbing is a perfect getaway for most seasons and offers the tranquility of being on the top. Many people ask, "How do I get started? What do I need to be well prepared?" Beginner's guide to rock climbing will show you everything you need to get out on the rock.
3 Types of Climbing
There are 3 most popular types of climbing: top-roping, bouldering, and multi-pitch climbing.
- Top roping means there is a rope set up on the top of the climb and goes to the climber. It's pretty common in many indoor and outdoor climb gyms. It's the best and the safest type for beginners as it will offer safety by holding one end of the rope so that the climbers won't need to worry about falling down and injury.
- Bouldering happens near the ground, and there will be no rope for the climbers. But a foam crash pad or spotters will help provide an easier landing for you.
- Multi-pitch climbing happens on a climbing route with more than one stop at a belay station. A "pitch" means a section between the stops. The leader reaches the pitch, placing gear and stopping to anchor themselves to the belay station. The purpose of these stops is to allow the following climber to ascend to the leader's point while collecting the protective gear from the route in the course of the lead climber's ascent. The protective gear will be collected at the belay station, possibly exchanged to a new leader, and the lead climber of the next pitch ascends the route.
Choose the Right Gear
Not everything is necessary for starting climbing. As a novice, you don't need every piece of gear yet. Here are the essential gears you need for your first climbing trip:
- Climbing shoes designed for the beginners
- Chalk bag & Chalk
- Climbing harness
- Belay device (sport climbing only)
- Locking carabiner (sport climbing only)
- Climbing brush (optional)
- Helmet (optional, but recommended if climbing outside)
What's more, choosing appropriate clothing is also important since you don't want to feel uncomfortable during your trip just because you wear the wrong apparel. So when you are looking for climbing clothing, try to consider the following features:
All these features will help you find out the perfect clothing for you to feel better and perform at your highest level. Also, if you are going to climb on cold days, a lightweight, insulated, and wind-proof jacket is a good choice. On long belays in cold weather, you'll be happy if you have a heated jacket keeping you warm and comfortable. This jacket allows you to control the heating levels so that you can set it on HIGH when you feel cold and set it on LOW when you sweat.
Some Tips You Should Know
When you are going to climb a new rock, you should do some research before you start. Try to figure out the information about this area, including the rock texture, the climbing angles, and the number of "hand holds".
Whatever the rock face offers you, here are some general tips to get you started.
Before you start, climb with your eyes, and look for hands and foot holds.
Be cautious but not hesitant.
Climb with your legs rather than your arms, and let your legs do most of the hard work to help your arms last longer.
Wear a helmet and keep it with you. This will save your life.
Minimize your impact by staying on established trails, and be considerate of other climbers and hikers.
Rock climbing is the art between body, brain, and spirit. Take time and patience to get well prepared for your first climbing, and you will fall in love with it!
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