So you have finally made the big decision to embrace your adventurous side and learn rock climbing. Well, the next thing that is likely going to be on your mind is figuring out how rock climbing works.
Because there is a cloud of mystery around rock climbing, most people don’t know where to start. If you are in this boat, you are going to benefit from this article, as it unveils basically everything you need to know about how rock climbing works.
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of this article, there is something you should know. Granted, rock climbing is a fun, exciting, and rewarding physical activity, but it isn’t for everyone as it has its fair share of risks and is physically and mentally demanding.
If you feel you have what it takes to become a rock climber, read on.
Why rock climbing is becoming increasingly popular
One of the things that have changed over the years is people’s conception of rock climbing. In the past, a lot of people viewed it as a dangerous activity that only those out of their minds engage in. Even more, there were a lot of misconceptions about it that prevent people from giving it a try.
The same cannot be said right now because more and more people are getting into it. In fact, research by the Outdoor Foundation showed that rock climbing may reach the heights of other popular outdoor activities in years to come.
Today, more than 6 million Americans are actively participating in rock climbing activities like mountaineering and bouldering, just to mention a few.
The reasons why more and more people are getting into it is that most of the myths about rock climbing have been debunked, and they now have a clearer picture of how rock climbing works. Also, there are now equipment and tools that make climbing a whole lot easier and safer.
What it takes to be a good rock climber
As a greenhorn climber, you may have the notion that one has to be ripped to become a good climber. While that is somewhat true, you need to keep in mind that you don’t have to be super fit to become a good climber.
As you likely know, rock climbing is an art that requires unique skill and techniques, mental toughness, endurance, and an open mind. If you can master the basics and learn how to use rock climbing tools, you will become a decent climber in no time.
Real success in rock climbing is intertwined with mental strength and physical skill, which can be honed through endless practice and a vivid understanding of how rock climbing works.
Next, we are going to be looking at some jaw dropping benefits of rock climbing.
Amazing benefits of rock climbing
Boost your confidence
Do you know that rock climbing can help you conquer your fear, boost your self-esteem, and make you more confident? This may be difficult for you to believe, especially if you are new to rock climbing, but it is true. If you have fear of heights, for example, rock climbing may help you conquer it.
Using rock climbing equipment and tools can help even beginners overcome their fear of heights.
As you gradually transition into a top-notch climber, your confidence will increase. You will come to trust your abilities and have better control of yourself. Each time you complete a route or climb to the top of a rock, you will be proud of yourself and have a sense of accomplishment.
Several studies have shown that exercise can reduce stress and make us healthier, rock climbing is no exception. In fact, rock climbing and other extreme sports offer more benefits as they are more engaging and physically demanding. This, thus encourage the mass production of stress relieving endorphins.
As you climb a rock or boulder, you may drift into a state known as flow and become filled with the euphoria of climbing. When this happens, every other thing will melt away. You will become one with the rock.
At the end of the day, you are going to be refreshed and energized.
Make friends and connect with other people
If you know how rock climbing works, it will be easy for you to connect with other climbers and hopefully become friends with them. Since, both of you are passionate about rock climbing, it will be easy for you to connect with them, share your experiences, and learn from each other.
The rock climbing society is indeed a social one, as climbers have to rely on each other, take turns securing a rope to a pin or re-adjusting a gear or tool for other climbers, and most importantly, ensure that everyone is safe.
Of course, you can choose to take the lonely route and do things on your own, but if you want to become a proficient climber quicker and learn how rock climbing works, then you should stick to the climbing community in your area. They will be more than glad to encourage, support, and motivate you.
Lose weight and become fit
Rock climbing is the perfect exercise for those who want to lose weight, become flexible and fit without lifting weights. In fact, you can burn up to 700 calories when you climb for an hour or more.
One intriguing thing about rock climbing is that it engages the entire body. And this, in the long run, will help you increase your stability, flexibility, and strength. The truth is that, knowing how rock climbing works can help you lose those excess pounds with relative ease.
Types of rock climbing
Unlike other activities that can only be done indoors or outdoors, rock climbing can be performed indoors and outdoors. If the weather is good, you can go to the outdoors and climb a rock. However, if it is not, you can visit a climbing gym in your area.
A lot of newbie climbers who are still learning how rock climbing works often come to the mistaken conclusion that all climbing is the same. But that is far from the truth, as there are different types of rock climbing. Below are some of them.
This involves climbing a rock without any rope and safety gear that will prevent you from falling if you lose your grip. It is regarded by many as the most dangerous type of climbing, as one wrong move could mean certain death. So, if you are still learning how rock climbing works or mastering the basics, you should stay away from free solo climbing.
Top roping is a popular type of climbing that is suitable for beginners as it is less physically demanding. This type of climbing involves the use of rope and other safety gear that can help reduce the strain on your body and prevent you from falling.
Most gyms have top-roping routes that are usually marked with special cards that show the grade (difficulty level) and a few other details of a route.
This is somewhat like top roping, as it involves the use of climbing equipment and gears. The only difference between these two is that in sport climbing, the climbers do not carry protective equipment with them, as they have been permanently installed in the rock. This makes it the perfect type of climbing for those who want to climb light or cannot afford the pricey climbing gear.
As you probably guess, ice climbing involves the climbing of ice instead of rocks. Regular rock climbing equipment may not be suitable for ice climbing. Presently, some special tools and gears can easily screw into ice and aid climbing.
This type of climbing is by no means a good option for novice climbers, still learning how rock climbing works, as it requires, special skills and techniques.
Rock climbing equipment
As you likely now know, rock climbing is a gear-intensive activity. As you dive into it, you will get to see what each tool does and the amount of support it offers. If you are just starting out and still figuring out how rock climbing works, you may not need to go all out and spend a small fortune on the best rock climbing gears on the market. You should start with the basics ones and work your way up.
Below are some common rocks climbing equipment and gears.
- Belay Device
- Belay Gloves
- Girth Hitch
Rock climbing, is no doubt, one of the most exciting and rewarding activities. Yes, it is somewhat intimidating and tough to get into, but if you can banish your fears and get into it, you are going to love it. Of course, rock climbing gyms are great, but if you really want to enjoy the sport, you have to step outside.
If you are just starting out and want to learn how rock climbing works quicker, then you should hire a professional trainer. He or she will arm you with the intricate information you need to transition from a novice to a decorated professional climber in no time.