Outdoor rock climbing is one of the best sporting activities if you love the thrill of an adrenalin rush. There is nothing as fulfilling as reaching the summits after you have labored so diligently to reach the apex. Since rock climbing is such a demanding sport, there are a few specific things that you will want to know before you start on your fun-filled adventure. Outdoor rock climbing is not for the faint of heart, so make careful preparation before you engage your body, mind, and soul in this memorable physical activity.
#1 Equipment is the Key to Success
For a successful outdoor rock climbing experience, you must have the proper equipment. Many sports require pads, rackets, or specialized gear, and rock climbing is no exception. One of the most important pieces of equipment is the harness. The harness must be sized and strapped appropriately and have a snug fit to ensure your safety at all times. This harness will connect you, the climber, to the rope. Its functional stability is a key ingredient to a successful rock climbing experience. A comfortable and well-defined pair of rock climbing shoes will ensure that you keep your footing during the entire adventure. Last but not least, a secure helmet can keep you from sustaining any serious head injuries as you take on the rush of rock climbing.
#2 Communicate with Your Belayer
Your belayer, also know as your rock climbing partner, will work to keep you securely fastened in case of an unwanted slip or fall. After checking and rechecking to make sure that your harness, knots, and caribers are secure, you should let your belayer know that you are beginning to climb. A lack of proper communication accounts for many of the minor rock climbing injuries that are reported every year. Always check to make sure that your belayer is ready for your ascension. Over communication should never be an issue when you are on an outdoor rock climbing excursion because your belayer will appreciate the constant interaction.
#3 Keep Your Cool if You Fall
Many outdoor rock climbers never experience a fall while climbing, but others do. As a result, you should always be ready in case the unexpected slip or fall does occur. If you fall, it is imperative that you keep your feet out in front of you to catch the wall as you swing into it. Depending on your height and the length of your rope, impact with the wall can be quite violent. Additionally, you must always keep your rope clear of your arms, legs, and additional gear. At best, entangling with the rope could cause some minor rope burns, but a worst-case scenario could break an arm or a wrist. The moment that you feel yourself start to slip from the secure hold on the wall, push away to minimize the impact.
#4 Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
An important thing to remember before you begin your rock climbing pursuit is to stay aware of all of your surroundings. Once you are in the heat of a climb and your muscles start to exhaust, it is easy to forget your surroundings. You should always be keenly aware of what is above and below you as you climb. Are there other climbers? Is there an overhung cliff? Are there slippery slopes? Visualizing your moves and your procedures before you ever take the first step will help you prepare for the climbing journey. Always keep your eye on the things that are within reach and work on maintaining a balanced climbing approach.
Outdoor rock climbing can be an enjoyable adventure that you will want to explore time and time again. Adequate preparation, life-preserving equipment, communication, and a level head will help your rock climbing expedition be a safe and thrilling one.