Rock climbing is not for the faint of heart. While this is one activity that requires you to be in excellent physical and mental shape, the rewards you will get from it are immense. Not only will you feel a huge sense of accomplishment after finishing your first climb, but you will also get to see the natural world from an entirely new angle. For those planning their first trip, knowing where to begin can be a daunting task. Below is a step-by-step guide for getting started.
1. Know Where to Go
Perhaps the hardest decision you will have to make is choosing where you want to climb. Choose a route that is manageable for your skill level. Rockclimbing.com has a list of over 9,000 climbing routes in Canada alone and if you’re heading to the United States then you have even more options. Choosing where to go is about more than choosing where you would like to climb.
The local climate is going to play a big factor in this decision. In the southwestern states, for example, summer temperatures are so high that they can make climbing dangerous. Climbing in the rain, of course, is no fun either, so choose a time that is likeliest to be cool and dry.
2. Research the Area
Once you’ve settled on a place, learn as much as you can about it through guidebooks and online sites. If you live near where you will be climbing then your local library will probably have some useful information. If you have a car, such as a Dodge Durango in Canada, then you may be able to head to the site beforehand to get a better idea of what you will be facing.
For areas that are further afield, be sure to look up important information such as camping permits, hotels (if needed), and the local flora and fauna. Poison ivy, snakes, and insects can be either a nuisance or even a very real danger in some areas. If possible, talk to climbers who are familiar with the area about their experiences.
3. Pack the Right Gear
You don’t want to be dangling from a rope only to realize you’ve forgotten an essential item. Successful rock climbing is as much about having the right gear as it is about physical and mental conditioning. Climbingtechniques.org has a helpful breakdown of gear that is essential for beginners, including climbing shoes, rope, harnesses, chalk, and carabiners.
If you plan on camping at the same time you will also need to invest in a tent, sleeping bag, and other camping gear. Don’t forget the small but equally important items, however, such as sunscreen, a first-aid kit, and water bottle.
If you have never rock climbed before then you are in for one of the most rewarding adventures of your life. Rock climbing will give you a view of the natural world that people who stay on the more well-worn paths simply can never appreciate. Successfully tackling your rock climbing trip requires lots of preparation. From guidebooks to climbing gear, the better prepared you are the more fun you will have the day you set out on your adventure.
Annabell Rivera is a blogger who enjoys writing about her passions, one of which is her love for the great outdoors. She shares her tips with her online audience via travel and adventure blogs.