Climbing is one of the most versatile hobbies which you can pursue. You have the option of indoor rock climbing which is much more comfortable and can be done with relatives but if you're looking for something to do outdoors, mountain rock climbing is also a good hobby for you to pursue.
What is rock climbing?
Rock climbing constitutes of rocks which are entrenched on the wall when it comes to indoor rock climbing. Outdoor rock climbing refers to climbing mountains with the help of proper harness along with a predefined route.
Rock climbing would keep you occupied throughout the entire duration of the climb. It is also physically demanding sport but would keep you entertained always. You need not just be physically ready for it but also mentally.
Benefits of rock climbing:
• Full body exercise
• Makes you mentally and physically tough
• Increases strength and stamina in your body
• Improves agility
Also, when you are opting for outdoor rock climbing you have to learn from a professional and collect the gear accordingly.
If you want to do away with gathering such a lot of gear or investing such a lot of money in pursuing a hobby, indoor rock climbing is one of the better options. Due, the harness as well as the other gear which you would need in order to keep you safe would be provided by the organizers themselves. This would ensure that you do not have to invest your own money into the gear. Moreover, you can easily choose the walls which you want to climb according to the difficulty level which you want to pursue.
What makes a rock climbing a hobby worth pursuing?
In today's age when we are often confined to our gadgets and our cubicles, rock climbing provides is an opportunity to set ourselves free and consistently challenge the capability of our body. As you climb more and more, a new challenge would stare you in the face whether you opt for indoor climbing or outdoor climbing. This is what makes rock climbing interesting as a hobby.
The Best Free Resources for Getting Started With climbing
Trying a new extreme sports hobby such as rock climbing can be an intimidating experience. Between intense hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing, and canyoneering there are differences in the type of gears used in each activity as well as their rating and grading systems. Again, rock climbing sub-categories - sport climbing and bouldering - there are some specific differences:
1. Mountaineers usually trail about 0-70 degrees whereas in canyoneering you need to just cover two known points - point A to point B. In the later, you may have to even wade through streams and rivers to reach your point. The trajectory followed by a climbing hobby enthusiast is usually straight up the wall, cliff, or the rock. Climbers can even take a path greater than 90-degrees, if convenient.
2. Climbers practically take no gears with them. They just use their hands and feet to climb the rock.
For newcomers in the world of rock climbing hobby, an indoor climbing gym near you is a great start to get a feel of the adrenaline rush that adventurers experience in the sport. These places replicate the same experience of outdoor climbing in which climbers use the handholds and the footholds placed at varying distances to climb up the artificial wall. There are different paths set on these climbing walls marking the difficulty level. There are three types of indoor climbing - bouldering, top roping, and sport lead climbing.
Bouldering - No use of harness or ropes, instead thick crash mats used for protection in case of a fall. "Problems" or route lengths in bouldering do not exceed more than 20 feet. The difficulty level can be scored in the V-scale. Bouldering is the first ever stunt performed by climbing hobbyists.
Top roping - The climb is protected with an anchored top rope and is a much less physically tasking than other types of climbing.
Sport lead climbing - The climbing route is predefined using fixed bolts. The climber tries to reach to the top by clipping into each bolt with the hardness securely tied to protect against a fall.
Essential gear for rock climbing
There are few things that rock climbing enthusiast must have in their arsenal. No matter what kind of a technique you intend to adopt for your climb, it is important to be equipped with specialty sports gears as below:
• Climbing shoes
When you go shopping for climbing shoes, make sure to purchase a good quality fit that leaves room for the foot to move in all directions. For each move during ascend, you may have to balance your entire body weight on one foot as you reach out to climb the next hold.
• Chalk powder
One of the other gears that a rock climber would need to complete the route is some chalk for the hands. Hands start to perspire during the action, which can cause you to lose your grip easily. Even gymnasts use similar kind of chalk with two different types of chalk to choose from. Use chalk ball or loose chalk. Many rock climbers use chalk balls as they don't spill over and you may lose all of it. Of course, this will depend on what you prefer.
• Crash pads
A thick foam piece is placed at the ground underneath so that you can easily come down while landing on your back or foot. The material is designed to keep climbing hobbyists from getting injured seriously.
Wear the harness over your pants and run your rope through by clipping the harness to your gear. Make sure the harness sits comfortably on you.
• Climbing rope
A climbing rope is the most expensive of all the gear that you use for the sport. These are long and stretch all the time as you ascend your route. When not in use make sure you keep it in a climbing bag. It is one of the main items that prevent you from falling on the ground, which can be fatal in many cases.
• Belay device
Hook the device to the front of your harness and run the rope through it. This allows your fellow climber to easily pass and you to belay. When accompanied by a fellow climbing seeker, you can not only exert your skill levels further, but pick up a trick or two to expand your climbing hobby.
• Top rope set up
The other end of your rope can be securely placed by an accompanying hiker who goes up first and places the gear or someone else taking another route to do the same. The rope run through the gear is your key support to performing the climbing activity.
• Quick Draws
To set the top end of the rope properly, two quick draws are attached to route the rope. The first climber has to set this rope up.
Cams are stuck into the small crevices or cracks to create a route. This is usually performed by advanced climbers with years of experienced having reached the toughest of climbing challenges.
Most used terms by rock climbers
There are various different terms that a rock climbing hobby will teach you. Here are few of the lingoes that you must know as a beginner.
Hold - Pull yourself up to ascend with the hold.
Free - An adventure enthusiast climbing up the terrain wearing just climbing shoes. The person referred to as "free" can be a dangerous thing to do, but for the advanced hobbyists it's the ultimate kind of climbing.
Mantling - Knee first action that replicates a small child's first routing pattern. Always use your knee to push up yourself.
Belay - The kind of carabiner that you run through you're your harness. The cation is performed for a fellow climber to on the ground.
First ascent - The first climber on the route that has never been hiked describes the person doing the first ascent.
Tips and inspirations to not crashing
Always have another climbing enthusiast accompanying you on your route. They will be able to catch you if your happen to fall at any time, can place the holds to make the climb easier (on first ascent), and be your motivator so that you don't quite and ultimately complete the whole trail. There are some great places to look for further inspiration. These include:
Rockclimbing.com The ultimate resource to discover information about climbing gear, routes, and a complete dedicated forum buzzing with all levels of mountain climbers.
Gym Finder Find a gym that is equipped with such planned climbing environment.
Reel Rock Film Tours The touring group travel all around the U.S to show the latest films and documentaries about rock climbing. It's also a chance for you to interact and network with other climbers too.
If you've been rock climbing and you find the hobby interesting, do share with us some of your amazing tips and stories. A climbing hobby is one that will only enrich you as you learn not just skills to overcome the challenges, but also understand the circumstances that you only can create to solve these difficulties ("problems").