By Jerry Mooney
Rock climbing is a sport which is becoming incredibly popular amongst many in this day and age. If you fancy giving this fun, full contact sport a try this year, here are some of the tips you need to take into account…
The climbing gym
Don’t just find the nearest rock edge in your area and start climbing. Climbing can be dangerous and it involves a lot of skill and practice. When you start out, head to a gym which has a climbing wall section or even a climbing class where you can be taught the basics in climbing. Reach out to other climbers and try to learn from them the best way to approach the wall.
Bust the jargon
If you are serious about getting into rock climbing, you need to start learning the lingo. For example the best rock climbing shoes are ones which are made with smooth soles and sticky rubber. This helps your grips and movability on the wall. A harness is a rope with a belt and loop attaches which will allow you to climb without worrying about hurting yourself. A belay is a device used for when climbers are securing a rope for another to ascend, and to control the slide down on a rope to the ground.
Perfect your moves
Before you step out onto real rock, make sure you have perfected your moves and you know exactly what you are doing. It will take time to become comfortable enough to step outside, but once you do you should be skilled and ready for the challenge.
Understand the risk
Climbing is a dangerous sport. You need to make sure that when you do finally get outside. You recognise the risks of the sport and don’t try to jump in too early. Stick with simple walls to start with until you have nailed the technique and then slowly work your way up to the big boys.
Go with a crew
Rather than simple going out on your own and finding a wall you think you’d like to climb, try joining a group of experienced climbers and climb with them. This will be a great learning curve for you because you will be able to watch what they do and they will be there to guide you if you are struggling with it.
Don’t rely on others
Although it is advisable for you to listen to the advice of more experienced climbers, you don’t want to be depending on them for your safety. You need to learn how to tie knots, check your anchors and secure your harness yourself. This way you have the peace of mind that you are safer when you go out alone.
Don’t focus on the fear
It might seem like an impossibility to ever go rock climbing if you are afraid of heights or scared of falling, but just remember that these are innate fears which everyone has, and they keep us alive. Push past your fears and focus on what you can achieve.