A foray into rock climbing
The problem with being a restless soul, is I am always looking for the next adventure. I sometimes wonder if that means I will never be entirely happy with the day-to-day routine, but hey, if it means I get to try new things …
While looking for ways to keep active this winter, I stumbled on indoor rock climbing. Many people I skydive with rock climb, so it seemed like a good choice.
I started with an introduction package from Climber’s Rock. The great thing is it includes a belay lesson, all rentals and two months of gym memberships including the yoga studio for approx. $80. This gives people a chance to decide if they like rock climbing or not. I found the belay lesson a bit long, but overall good. Once you learn to belay, you do a quick test the next time you come in and are free to climb.
I never expected climbing to be such a workout! I also didn’t think there was such a range of options and things to do at the climbing gym. For example, top rope is when you climb a wall and are attached by a harness to a rope, which a belayer controls at the bottom. Each
route is given a difficulty rating. I’ve seen routes marked between 5.3 and 5.13+ at my gym. I recently managed to do a 5.10- while struggling a fair amount. There is also lead climbing, where the climber clips in with their rope as they climb. A much more difficult process. Many gyms offer auto belays, which is like top rope climbing that does not require a belayer – it’s done by machine.
And finally the gyms offer bouldering, which are shorter walls that are climbed without a harness. They usually involve a few technical moves before either climbing over the wall or jumping back down. Personally I struggle with bouldering, as I find most of the walls are on steep inclines and difficult to hold on to. I also do not have much upper body strength, which makes it harder.
Rock climbing is great because almost any skill level can try it. The easiest routes have children on them and the hardest ones are done by competitive climbers. The equipment is also relatively cheap and lasts a long time. This makes the sport more attractive to first time climbers.
Although I have been mostly sore since starting climbing, being a goal oriented person, I love the challenge of progressing through the levels of climbing.