Rock Climbing

  • Accessible sport

Obviously it’s going to take a little bit of practice before you’ll be carrying out death defying stunts, but rock climbing is actually suitable for most people to try out and is a highly regulated and safe sport. With the exception of the free-soloing climbers that you see performing on YouTube without any harnesses or safety equipment at all, rock climbers have a whole host of options to keep them safe whilst climbing. The adrenalin will definitely be pumping as you pull yourself higher and higher off the ground but you can relax in the knowledge that you will be safe.

  • All sorts

In top-roping, someone is sent to the top of the peak and attaches an anchor that the climber’s ropes are secured to. By clipping a harness to these ropes and the belayer at the top of the climb taking in the slack as the climber advances, if a fall does occur, the climber will drop a minimal distance then simply dangle before getting themselves back onto the rock. This is considered to be the safest kind of rock climbing, with the chance of injury being very small. Top-roping is an excellent entry level rock climbing activity. It is very safe, and you are always in the hands of an experienced climber.

Lead climbing involves two people working as a team. The leader will climb up the rock first, stopping along the way to attach his rope to secure points called cams and nuts. By using a quickdraw, which is basically a set of two clips, one of which attaches to the cam or nut and the other has the rope threaded through it, and the second climber or belayer only releasing enough rope to allow short upwards progression, the amount of slack in the rope is reduced, so that if a fall occurs, the climber will only to able to fall the same distance as the rope is in length. This teamwork then works in reverse as the second climber starts to climb. The distance the leader can climb is limited by the length of the rope, and once this distance has been reached, they must stop and anchor at a pitch. The leader then belays the rope to the second climber. Once both climbers have reached the same spot, the whole process is repeated until the summit is reached. Lead climbing is a challenging type of rock climbing and should not be attempted without thorough training from an expert. The chances of serious injury from a fall are far higher with lead climbing than top-roping.

  • Up the wall

Rock climbing can also be enjoyed inside on specialist climbing walls. Although they do not offer the panoramic views of outdoor climbing, they do have some distinct advantages. Because the walls are man made, the hand and foot holes are clearly marked and easily accessed, avoiding the panic that arises when you don’t know where to go next on a natural wall. The ground beneath the walls is padded in case accidents do happen and will help to prevent serious injury.

Indoor climbing is not weather dependent. Climbing outside is not advisable, particularly for beginners, if there has been bad weather in the days preceding climbing as the hand and foot holes can become full of water or slippery, thus reducing the chance of getting a good grip. But don’t think that by choosing the indoor option that you are choosing the easy way out. Indoor climbing centres have walls and overhangs suitable for all different levels and are not necessarily the easy option just because they are inside.

  • It’s a gift

Because rock climbing involves so much specialist safety equipment and knowledge about how to use it and the best places to climb, a great way to try it out is with a rock climbing gift experience. Other than donning suitable clothing, you won’t have to invest in any of the gear, and you can be expertly guided by a rock climbing pro. A rock climbing gift experience is suitable for most people, although the minimum age and maximum weight restrictions must be adhered to. Wannabe climbers don’t have to be excessively fit, although they should be in good general health and be reasonably fit, as rock climbing is physically demanding. Buying a gift experience for a friend or loved one is a great chance to buy them something different, help them to achieve a lifetime goal of completing a rock climb and create memories that will last forever.