Hiking and biking are both relatively easy to master, while rock-climbing is a different story all together. It’s vital to stop and analyse this sport before taking to the rocks. The last thing you want is to hopelessly dangle in the air! With a few basics, you’ll soon discover the adrenaline-fueled joys of rock-climbing and how it offers an excellent upper-body workout. It’s also a fantastic mental activity, as you’re constantly having to strategise your next move. Ensure that you’re physically and mentally ready before getting started. Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you overcome your fears and be a pro in no time…
1. Practice at the Climbing Gym Before Heading Outdoors
Start your climbing adventure at an indoor climbing gym – this will enable you to analyse your current strength and build confidence in a safe environment. Talk to pro-climbers at the gym to learn useful tips.
2. Familiarise Yourself with Climbing Equipment
Get to know what the functions and terms are for each piece of equipment used in rock-climbing. It’s vital to learn the technical jargon of rock-climbing in order to communicate with other climbers. Swot up on the uses of a harness, a belay and which shoes are most suitable for climbing.
3. Learn to Trust
Rock-climbing is a team effort, which means that you have to learn to trust the person who is holding the rope for you (known as a belayer). Confidence and focus in rock-climbing can only be achieved through complete trust in your partner.
4. Indoor Skills Do Not Make You a Pro
Even if you’re feeling ready and confident to move from the gym to the outdoors, remember that rock-climbing is a risky sport. You’ll learn the basics on the inside, but there are new risks outdoors to consider. It’s therefore important to go out with a group of climbers, ideally with some experienced members. You may also want to start out with a guide or sign up for an outdoors lesson.
5. Overcome Your Fear of Heights
Do not let the fear of heights supersede your passion for rock-climbing. Stay focused on moving up, rather than fearing falling down. If this is your approach, you’ll quickly improve and overcome your fears.
About the Author: Shawn Michaels is a blogger who loves to write about his outdoor experiences. He is also a passionate rock climber and loves travelling. He is currently studying and spends his free time reading reviews and shopping for gear. He’s a regular contributor to www.thesmartlad.com. Follow Shawn on Twitter at @asmartlad
All photos submitted by Shawn Michaels.