Although we appreciate it is a daunting prospect, anyone can climb. It’s rewards are both physical and mental; providing stimulating challenges or the satisfaction of enjoying something fun and completely different, as well as building upper body strength, improving flexibility, core stability and balance.
With so much variety to choose from in climbing and mountaineering, there really is something for everyone. Rock climbing can be done indoors and outdoor s and usually involves two people. The person climbing is tied to a rope that is controlled by another person. The person controlling the rope is called a belayer. Although climbing is generally done in pairs, the social aspect is seen as very important.
What to bring
Wear comfortable clothing that you can get maximum movement in. Climbing walls provide a great place to start climbing, with most providing instruction and equipment hire for beginners. Once you’ve got the climbing bug you may want to buy your own rock shoes, harness, chalk bag, helmet and rope
How much will I exert myself?
When starting out there will be lots of skills to learn as well as the actual physical exercise. It’s not like a 90 minute football match but climbing can leave you feeling well worked as well as energised. As your climbing technique improves your style will become more efficient. Regular climbing can also improve stamina and endurance as well as muscle strength, allowing you to do more. Most climbing walls have cafes so if you do feel your muscles are “pumped” you can take a break and watch others for a while. When climbing outdoors, even the walk to reach the crag you’re going to climb on can be great exercise.
There are risks associated with climbing, however climbing walls offer a controlled environment to start climbing with both the correct equipment and supervised instruction. Instructors are vigilant with safety procedures and ensure participants understand the risks and behave accordingly.
Just the beginning…
If you would like to learn more or are interested in progression further after the sessions have ended, please visit the British Mountaineering Council’s website http://www.thebmc.co.uk/