Every year, one of our goals is to have a healthier lifestyle. Nowadays, Rock climbing is everywhere. From the Dawn Wall to your Instagram feed to the new gym going up in town, climbing is no longer the fringe sport it once was. Kids are starting to climb almost before they can walk, and now more than ever, there’s no reason for you not to give it a try as well. However, climbing can be one of those intimidating hobbies to begin. Many ask, “How do I get started?” citing fear and feeling overwhelmed with gear and safety as huge barriers to entry. We get it, and so what follows is everything you need to know to get out on the rock.
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Here Are The 10 Most Important Rock Climbing Tips For Beginners
To stay comfortable while mountaineering, you need to dress in layers, just as you do when backpacking. With layers, you can adjust your comfort level by putting on and removing items as conditions or your exertion level changes. If you start to work up a sweat, you can stop and remove a jacket. If you feel chilled, you can put it back on. Exactly what layers you choose to wear and pack for a mountaineering trip will depend on trip specifics like where you’re going, what time of year it is and what conditions you’re likely to encounter. This article will help you understand the basics of dressing for mountaineering by discussing common options for base layers, mid layers, insulation layers, outer layers and accessories. TBMPOY is committed to offering top-quality outdoor clothing that allows you to show off your versatility without compromising on your comfort. You can make some good outdoor clothing choice from TBMPOY. As you read on and make decisions about what to wear, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Weather can change quickly: Be sure to consider the full range of temperatures and weather you may encounter. Conditions can be dramatically different as you go from hiking below tree line to crossing a glacier to reach the summit.
- Weight vs. comfort: You don’t want to overload your pack with lots of extra clothing, but you want to be comfortable. Think realistically about what you need to be comfortable during your climb. There will always be tradeoffs that can make deciding difficult. For instance, a super-insulated jacket will be heavier and bulkier than a trimmer one, but also warmer.
- Functionality: Outdoor clothing can be loaded with features, from pockets, vents and hoods to things like sun protection, insect repellent and antimicrobial treatments to reduce odors. As you consider clothing options, think about what’s important to you and what features will enhance the performance of the pieces you choose. Try to avoid unnecessary features that only add weight and cost.
- Fabrics: Cotton takes a very long time to dry and is a poor insulator, so it should always be avoided on mountaineering climbs. Choose wool or synthetic options, like polyester or nylon, instead.
- Choosinga Climb
One of the first things you’ll learn when starting to climb is how to choose a route that suits your ability level. In the gym, climbs generally are labeled with a difficulty rating; outside, climbers use guidebooks and often a phone app called Mountain Project to identify the difficulty of climbs. In the U.S., climbs are rated using the Yosemite Decimal System; in short, 5.3 is a very beginner climb, and 5.15 is an expert-level route. These ratings do not denote danger, only difficulty. As a beginner, you’ll most likely be choosing routes 5.7 and under, and often routes that can be top-roped. Top-roping means that the climber establishes an anchor from the top of the climb so that the rope is already in place, rather than leading the route from the bottom. Many routes in the gym are set up with top ropes; outside, climbers can often hike to the top of the cliff or feature to drop a rope down over the climb.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Tips
One of the best ways to get better is climbing with people who are better than you. You can learn a lot from watching them climb and they can suggest new techniques and movements you may have never thought about. If you’re shy, you can start by watching people who are climbing around you at the gym. So far all the climbers we’ve asked for tips were all really friendly and helpful.
- Remember to Keep Your Arms Straight
Keeping your arms straight is arguably THE most important rock climbing tip for beginners. Climbing with bent arms can impact your performance in numerous ways. For a start, it’s often a sign that your arms are supporting your body weight far more than they need to, which means you’ll tire a lot quicker. And let’s face it, getting tired easily is very demotivating, especially as a beginner. Though it’s a simple technique on paper, climbing with straight arms is vital. Think about when you’re carrying shopping home – are your arms normally straight or bent? Ask yourself why.
- Warm up Properly
The idea of warming up is boring, so much so that you might be tempted to skip the proper warm up. But getting your body ready to send is an essential step. Not enough warm-up and you might end up with a season-ending finger injury. Overdo it and you might be too fatigued to effectively train or climb. If you don’t already have your own tried and true warm-up ritual, consider incorporating the below suggestions into your routine to prepare your body for success. Get into good habits early on, and make sure you include a good, regular warm-up routine in your climbing preparations. Try a mixture of jumping jacks, leg swings, arm and wrist circles, lunges, squats, and push-ups –anything that loosens you up and makes you feel alert.
- Find Reliable and Safe Partners
Connecting with other people that climb is the best way to integrate into the local climbing community, find people to join you on your next rock climbing trip, or have a regular group of new friends to meet up with. The best partners will be those that are always up for a belay, can give you beta on that boulder problem you can’t quite figure out, or someone to share a beer with and talk about the next route you’ve got your eye on. Above all, it’s imperative to make sure you are working with a climber you can trust.
- Take Break & Test When Possible
Both of us are really impatient so we’re always trying to constantly climb to improve as quickly as possible. Breaks are essential for your muscles. If you watch seasoned climbers, they take quite a bit of time to sit and plan out their routes. They also use this time to recharge their muscles. It’s recommended to take at least a 5-minute break between climbs so that you don’t wear yourself out too quickly.
- Use Lots of Chalk & Don'tUse Lotion
Not only does climbing chalk help you hang on better, but it also keeps your hands dry to avoid blistering. After you’re done climbing, don’t use lotion on your hands. No one wants old looking hands, so I usually am in the habit of using lotion! When you’re climbing, though, you want to keep your hands as dry as possible. Moisture causes more blistering.
- Don't Forget to Train
If you’re serious about getting better, it’s not just about using all your time to climb. When you get too fatigued to climb, hit the gym portion. There are some great exercises that focus on your core, grip strength, back, and balance.
- Remember to Have Fun
Climbing legend Alex Lowe once said, "The best climber is the one having the most fun.”It’s not about the numbers or the summits, it’s about the enjoyment of the challenge, adventure, and partnership.