Rock Climbing: Start Local and Go Global

Posted by Dan Chandler on

Trench Sports - Rock Climbing: Start Local and Go GlobalPhoto: Tommy Lisbin

Many people are drawn to the sport of rock climbing because it allows them the opportunity to see the world from a unique vantage point. If you are a fitness buff who loves to travel, rock climbing can help you indulge your passion for exploration while you push yourself to reach your athletic goals.

People who fall in love with this unique sport often build their vacations around the opportunity to explore notable and exciting climbing routes, and more than one climber has traveled the world with the goal of reaching the highest peaks and enjoying the most stunning vistas on the planet.

Rock Climbing: Start Local and Go Global
Photo: Tommy Lisbin

When you take up rock climbing as a pastime, you are opening up a whole new world of sightseeing possibilities.  You will not only see, but experience the views unlike anyone else in the world.

If you are new to the world of rock climbing, the best thing you can do is gain skills in your region before you head out to more exotic locales. If you invest some time in improving your technique and becoming familiar with the tools of the trade before you hit the road, you will find you are ready to enjoy the challenges that unfamiliar terrain provides.

Rock Climbing: Start Local and Go Global
Photo: Tommy Lisbin

Even if you don’t live in the midst of a stunning mountain range, with a bit of research you will probably be able to find several satisfactory climbing routes within a day’s journey, or at least close enough to be a plausible destination for a long weekend’s vacation.

If you are brand new to the sport, I highly recommend starting indoors at first.  The control and consistency that an indoor facility brings will allow you to sharpen your skills before heading out on the rocks.  With the explosion of the sport of climbing in the past few years, it shouldn’t be too hard to find an indoor rock climbing facility within a couple of hours drive.

Trench Sports - Start Local and Go Global
Photo: Tommy Lisbin

If you start your rock climbing journey by finding some good routes and experienced climbers in your area, you can be sure you will be ready to make the most of the opportunities that will come your way when you do eventually travel to stunning foreign destinations.

Most veteran climbers agree that whether you are interested in “sport” climbs, which are usually short in duration and fairly easy to complete, or “trad” climbs, which are more challenging in terms of both difficulty and endurance, the ideal way to learn your way around the rocks is by following a leader who is competent and confident with climbing equipment and technique.  

Trench Sports - Rock Climbing: Start Local and Go Global
Photo: Tommy Lisbin

Some climbers are self taught, but trying to climb without an experienced guide often leads to injuries and mistakes that could easily have been avoided if a teacher had been present. A master climber can help you achieve your goals while making sure you are taking the necessary safety precautions at every step along the way.

If you are new to the sport, ALWAYS start off with a lesson or class first before heading into uncharted territories.  Swallow your pride.  This can not only save you from serious injury but can also save your life.

Finding a ready and willing climb leader is easier today than ever. Join a group on Facebook or MeetUp.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  You are not alone as a newbie.  There are many just like you eager to get started and plenty of veterans more than willing to share their knowledge.

Trench Sports - Rock Climbing: Start Local and Go Global
Photo: Tommy Lisbin

Rock climbing forums are popping up all over the world, and spending some time reading the information on these can be very beneficial for both novice and experienced climbers.

By posting on a popular climbing site you can find leaders in almost any region of the world, including yours. In addition to offering you the chance to link up with other climbers in your area, the athletes and hobbyists who frequent these groups can offer you tips on the best equipment, and firsthand accounts of what it is like to tackle the different routes in your area.

This is just the beginning.  This path can take you as far as you want.  Whether it is just to get some hands on experience at the local rockwall or the beginning of an endeavor that will take you around the world, this is the start to an exciting new chapter.  

Trench Sports - Rock Climbing: Start Local and Go Global
Photo: Tommy Lisbin

Love and indulge in every moment, every ache and pain you feel the next day, drop of sweat that falls off your forehead to the ground below, enjoy the workout and the boost of confidence, overcome both internal and external obstacles.   

Savor it.

 

CREDIT

All of the photos above are courtesy of landscape and adventure photographer Tommy Lisbian.  To check out more of Tommy's photography follow him on Instagram @tlisbin or check out his site www.thomaslisbinphotography.com.

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