Why do I Rock climb?
I have been asked a lot of questions and im only a beginner …..
Some burst out with, “Why on earth do you rock climb, why would you want to?”
“How did you get into rock climbing?”
“What do you like the most about rock climbing?”
The most common one is differently ……“Why do you climb for?”
And to be honest for me they all do not come with short answers,
I have spent a lot of time travelling, walking, hiking and normally I would walk / hike past the rock climbers and abseilers who I would admire, for their strength, skill and training to achieve getting to the top. I would admire them as they got to see the views in a different perspective, maybe views no one had seen before from that spot, or climbing at a new Craig that hadn’t been done before.
The thing about climbing that non-climbers rarely see is climbing is a game of coping with personal failures. It’s about falling in front of a crowd, (Yes the people / tourists that stop and watch your every move from the bottom), or your climbing Buddies, shrugging it off with bruises and getting back on the wall until you finally make it. It’s about pushing yourself your body physically and mentally to make the next move. Achieve the climb!
It’s weird how it involves so much effort, energy, strength and risk can be so pleasurable. For me pushing myself and learning about myself what I can and cannot do, accepting failure and learning from my weaknesses and coming back from training to then achieve and overcome what once held me back, to then achieve the climb, which is very rewarding after spending a lot of time on working out what im doing wrong.
I climb for a lot of reasons, I’d say because it makes me feel alive, total freedom to make my next move, finding myself, learning pushing my body physically and mentally, gaining new strength, new skills, seeing things from a different angle / perspective, sometimes frustrating but also Its fun and challenging.
I love beautiful views and that feeling of totally pushing your body to get to the top, pushing your body to total exhaustion and being rewarded by the views, to see for miles depending on the climb, the view in that time at that place will never be the same again!
Of course climbing is good exercise. You got to hike in and carry a huge backpack of gear just to get to the base of the climb. Then while climbing you have to utilize every muscle in your body in order to get to the top. But for me, the physical benefits are an added bonus to the mental side of climbing. The feeling of being alive and free! The mental side is of course why I climb!
Another reason is getting involved in the Rock climbing community, making great friends, Meeting a community of people that come together for the same passion, people that are friendly and down to earth going through the same as you, always happy to say hello and offer any advise!
“How did you get into rock climbing?”
I began with climbing in a gym, for one I didn’t know anyone who climbs or would be interested in climbing ….i would get the response “are you mad”. My answer to that would be probably, all the best ones are mad!
So I went to a climbing gym learning the basics of how to belay, and the basic skills of climbing in a gym, signing the waver of knowing and understanding how it all works, the connection and communication between the climber and the belayer is very important! Your life depends on this! I personally climbed in a gym for only a few months before I really, really wanted to climb outside.
Climbing indoor compared to outdoors is a lot different , no coloured markers telling you were to put your hands and feet and wear the next hold is. The weather and environment is a lot different, normally brushing away loose stuff like leaves and dirt out of a hand hold before placing a good strong hand hold. Also depending on the type of rock , if its soft rock in which I have found out recently you can have what was going to be the next hand hold, the rock actually come off the wall and into your hands. So being aware of the type of rock that you are climbing on is also important.
Maybe you would like to try rock climbing? I would recommend starting in the gym, meet like minded people and see if there is any training courses to learn the skills and keep safe.
Happy climbing 🙂