Rock climbing is a career for those looking for fitness, fun and a generous dose of adrenalin. This is not a path that the average Joe would follow because it has to be embedded from deep within so that you find the joy of growing and reaching the professional levels.
If you have been always interested in rock climbing, or you have been inspired by the profiles of rock climbers with millions of followers on Instagram, and you feel motivated to give it a shot, here is a brief on how you can get started with your rock climbing career.
Find a good guide
There is more that goes into having a successful career than having the courage and passion to scale rocks and buildings. Just like any other career, it has its guidelines and it is imperative that you find a professional guide that will give you all the guidance and instill the confidence you need to become successful.
You can start by checking out the rock climbers on Instagram with legions of followers because most of them do offer detailed guides to their followers who might be interested in becoming pros. You can also check out YouTube and the search engines for free, detailed guides on professional rock climbing.
Decide on the type of climbing
There are various types or rock climbing, and though you can master most of them, it is highly recommended that you master just one if you want to become good at it. The most common ones include the following:
- Indoor climbing – indoor climbing is one of the most common types of climbing, and where the majority start at. You will find this form of climbing in gyms, public recreational centers, and a few REI stores. With this, artificial foot and handholds with varying difficulty are placed on walls to create rock climbing routes. Since it is indoors, they are readily accessible, relatively safe, and they are a great choice for practicing before you venture outdoors.
- Bouldering – with bouldering, you will need some time and gear to get going. Bouldering will take you outdoors where you can traverse rocks and boulders while secured to a rope so that you don’t risk fall accidents. Some of the things you will need to get started with this include climbing shoes, a crash pad, a chalk bag, and a spotter.
- Outdoor top rope climbing – with this, a rope is anchored on top of the rock then you start climbing towards the anchor. This is not for the beginners, and it is always the goal for every rock climbing enthusiast before they can consider themselves as pros.
Get the right gear
If you are starting your rock climbing career in the gym or the public recreational sites, the necessary gear will always be provided. But once you start venturing outdoors and using experienced spotters, it will be necessary for you to invest in the right kind of gear.
A look at the professional climbers on Instagram will reveal to you the kind of gears required, and if you are following some of the pros on IG, you will get very nice recommendations on the kinds of gear you need and where to get them. But most importantly, the gears you must have will include-: climbing clothes, climbing shoes, climbing helmet, climbing harness, chalk, carabiners, climbing ropes, belay device, climbing protection and crash pads.
Climbing routes vary based on the level of difficulty. In the United States, the Yosemite Decimal Rating System is used to rate climbing difficulties on the routes. There are easy climbing routes, intermediate climbing routes and hard routes. When you are just starting out and once you are comfortable with indoor rock climbing and you think it is time to venture outdoors, you will most probably start with the easy routes.
These will help you build the strength and the resilience you need to venture onto the subsequent routes. It is highly advisable that you get a professional instructor at this point. They can be your friends who are already advanced in rock climbing or you can hire a professional coach to help you from this point. You could do it on your own, but it will take time, lower your chances of success and expose you to lots of risks.
Get Instagram followers
There is a legion of rock climbing enthusiasts out there, and you should try and connect with them as soon as possible. The best to do this is to start following professional rock climbers on Instagram, and also create your profile so that you can start growing your following. This is necessary because you will not just connect with equally passionate rock climbers like you, but also you will get lots of motivation from your followers who will be intent on seeing you succeed. This will give you the drive to keep on going even if you feel like giving up.