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Getting Started

I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am to have you here! Climbing is a sport like no other and I can’t wait for you witness this yourself first hand. Whatever the reason is that brought you here I have no doubt that with climbing your goals can be accomplished.

To help you get on your way I’ve created this page to help you get started and hopefully answer any preliminary questions you may have. After going through this page you should have a clear understanding of what climbing is all about as well as all the marvelous things it can do for your life.

As always, if you ever have any other questions, feel free to contact me and it would be my pleasure to assist you.

Ready? Here we go…

WHAT

What is rock climbing? In a word… awesomeness. Can you tell I’m addicted? Ok, let’s be serious for a sec. Rock climbing, simply put, is the act of starting at the bottom of a wall and figuring out how to climb your way to the top. It can seem pretty pointless to some, but these ‘some’ are the ones who have never tried it. See for yourself what you you think of it. All it takes is one (or maybe two or three) try for you to begin to understand that climbing is so much more than just aimlessly making your way to the top. Climbing is about having fun and hanging out with the amazing community all while getting a killer mind and body workout. That’s right, not only does climbing work your body (head to toe I might add), but it also requires a lot of mental concentration; first to figure out the climb and second to complete it. Let me tell you that you’ll be hooked after you feel the high you get after finishing your first climb that you’ve worked so hard to get. It’s a feeling of utter accomplishment that just can’t be beat. not as dangerous as many believe it to be.

WHO

Who can climb? You can climb! Climbing does not discriminate. No mater what your age, gender or body type, climbing is a sport that can be enjoyed by all. In fact, I’ve seen a climber with a prosthetic leg and even a lady climber that was pushing 90 years old; proof that it really is a sport for anybody who is willing to give it a try. Many people believe that you need to be under a certain weight or have a certain body type in order to climb. This is simply not true. Yes, there are ideal body types for climbing but that never stopped me from starting so don’t let it stop you. Eventually, you’ll transform into the climber you were meant to be based on your strengths, style and technique that you’ve developed along the way. Another surprising fact is that several of my climbing friends are actually afraid (or used to be afraid) of heights! Bet you never saw that one coming! Adventurous free spirited motivated determined athletic get in shape effortlessly

WHY

Why not? The list of why’s can be awfully long, but to give you the main idea here’s a short list that cover’s the main points. Climbing allows you to have fun while getting in shape, get toned, gain strength, meet incredible people, make life long friends, relieve stress, gain control of your mind, connect with nature, travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world, and begin a journey of self discovery. Are you beginning to see why climbing is so incredible? The benefits are endless especially if you begin to see it as a part of your life not just a part of your weekly schedule. Yet, climbing is loved by so many that it is hard to not allow it become a part of your life. Climbing is never seen as a workout chore but as a time you regularly look forward to. This fact alone is why it is so easy to stay in great shape. Going to the gym is often seen as chore whereas going climbing is always seen as a place to hang out and fun. The community and atmosphere are incredible! You can just go to a climbing gym to hang out and you’ll get the urge to start climbing. It’s almost too easy!

WHERE

Climbing gyms are popping up all over the place these days so it’s likely there is a gym close by. There are also many opportunities to climb outside but I suggest that you start at an indoor climbing gym before you venture to the great outdoors. Climbing can be a dangerous sport if you do not take the time to learn about the proper safety measures. Safety is of the utmost importance to a climber and a climbing gym is the best place for a beginner to get started and learn the ropes (no pun intended). All it takes is just a quick search of the climbing gyms in your area and hopefully you’ll find one that’s relatively local. If you can’t find anything then there are still some other options available. Many community centers and large fitness gyms are now starting to incorporate climbing walls into their facilities. These facilities are good places to start however I admit that they are not the best if you are looking to improve as a climber, but like I said, it is a good place to start especially if you have no other options. Another great option is looking for online climbing communities (like forums) and seeing if there are some fellow climbers in your area that you can contact and hopefully give you some advice. Then, it is once you’ve had some decent practice indoors that you can then start venturing outside, preferably with some more experienced climbing friends. But, just like researching indoor gyms, outdoor climbing areas must be carefully researched as well. Many climbing areas can lie on private property or in areas like national parks, each of which may have their own regulations and access requirements that you must follow. Lastly, if you’ve really taken to climbing, you can also start climbing or just training right in your own home. Creating a small home gym of training area is not too difficult and is great on days where you’re craving some climbing but can’t make it outside or to the gym.

WHEN

Well, if you have a local climbing gym then you can climb all year round! Most gyms are open every day of the week and basically every day of the year. They also usually have great hours that can accommodate virtually anyone’s schedule. It is a great place place to head after a stressful day at work or if you’re just looking to hang out with some pretty cool people. You’ll get to know the community at your local gym pretty quickly and you’ll also get to know the gym typical schedule, like what days and times are busiest and slowest. If you’re interested in meeting lots of people go during the busy times and it won’t be long before you get to know who’s who. Then on days when you want to get a good session in, the slower days are what I prefer. Yet, I should note that regardless of how busy the gym is the best times are always when you’re climbing with friends. Hands down, the best.

Obviously, unlike indoor climbing, there are many more factors that come into play when you want to climb outdoors. The weather conditions have to be good in order to have an enjoyable climbing session outside. The best conditions are when it’s dry and and not overly because this is when you get the best friction on the rock. Very important. This is why it’s best to monitor the weather in the area you wish to climb at a couple days in advance so you know if it’s been raining and likely wet. Weather is generally the biggest factor that determines if you can climb outside. If the weather is good and you’ve got a couple buddies then you’re good to go!

HOW

Now all that’s left is knowing the ‘How’. How exactly do you start climbing? Well, like I said before, I recommended that beginners always start off climbing at an indoor climbing gym or facility before ever climbing outside. So, the first step is finding a local indoor gym that you can climb at or finding an online climbing community that can help you if you are finding it a little difficult, or of course you can always contact me if you ever need any help. Once you’ve found a gym in your area you can just pop in whenever they are open, take a look at the place and then talk to the staff about getting started. Before climbing, gyms will require that fill out and sign a waiver and you should also become familiar with the gym rules, beginner courses, and prices for climbing and equipment rental. Many gyms have both bouldering and route climbing available, and for route climbing in particular, you will need to take a course that teaches you how to properly and safely use a belay device. Also, all gyms should have gear available to rent, so just because you don’t have your own right now does not mean that you can’t start climbing. If you’re just looking at bouldering, then just some climbing shoes and maybe some chalk is all you’ll need; however, for routes you’ll also need to rent a harness (you can usually rent all the gear you need for just $5!). After a couple visits to the gym you can start looking into getting your own gear. Next, is to get familiar with the gyms pricing options. Usually, you can get a day pass which allows you access to the gym for the entire day, but it is much more affordable in the long run if you purchase a monthly or yearly pass. It all depends on what kind of commitment you are willing to make.

Now you’re all set to start climbing!! This guide should have given you a general understanding for what you need to know to enter into the world of rock climbing.

It’s an exciting road you’ve got ahead of you. Get ready to make some incredible new friends and have loads of fun while getting super strong.

 

Keep Conquering!

Cristina

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