is is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or any other part of the body to ascend a steep object. Humans do it for any number of reasons, but in this thread we're going to focus on recreational climbing. This OP will also focus at least initially on indoor climbing, but this might change as other posters offer input.
Of the various styles of climbing, helpfully outlined in this really handy Reddit wiki on r/climbing
, the average climbing gym will offer bouldering
, top rope
, and sport/lead climbing
is done without a harness or rope, on relatively short sections of wall intended to drill power and technique.
See the colored tape? Holds of a given color indicate a route
, assigned a given grade from V0-V9 (or higher) to denote its difficulty based on factors such as the frequency and style of holds, advanced techniques required to complete the problem, whether the wall is straight or overhung, etc.Top-roping
uses a similar route-setting methodology and grading system as bouldering, though it uses something called the Yosemite Decimal System which was originally designed to rate trail hiking from easy walks to scrambles, etc. Most climbs you might encounter top-roping in a gym will be rated from 5.6-5.12.
Top-roping utilizes, you guessed it, a rope attached to the top of the route used to prevent injury during a fall. One end is tied to the climber's harness
, while the other is run through a device worn by the belayer
. The belay takes in rope as the climber ascends, and uses the belay device
to lock the rope in the event of a fall, using their own body weight and/or an anchor to stop the falling climber. Climbing rope is dynamic and offers ~10% stretch, allowing such falls to be taken without whiplash or other injury.
Some gyms also use auto-belays, which enable top-rope climbing without a partner.Sport / Lead Climbing
is similar to top-rope, except the climber carries the rope from the ground and clips into bolts as they ascend. This offers the potential for longer falls and requires more expertise.Sounds dangerous! How do I start?
Go to a climbing gym! Staff are generally helpful and, for a drop-in price in the neighborhood of $25, will set you up with admission and a rental harness and shoes, as well as a tour of the gym and explanation of how things work. If you decide that you like it, definitely take a belay class! Being able to belay other climbers will make it easier to meet people. Ask for help when you need it, especially if you're unsure about something that could be related to safety.Helpful Links:NY Times article on the rise of gym climbingClimbing Lingohttp://www.rockandice.com/climbing-accident-reportshttp://mojagear.com/learn/2015/12/09/a-brief-history-of-rock-climbing/
Neil Gresham's Master Class is THE BEST Youtube series on climbing that exists:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkfUqdr-0zkRequisite Inspirational PhotoUnhelpful Linkshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JPpM1nFLAE
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT ROCK CLIMBING IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS ACTIVITY. REGARDLESS OF ANY ADVICE YOU MAY RECEIVE WHILE USING THIS FORUM, IT IS YOUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE FULLY TRAINED TO HANDLE THE GREAT DEAL OF RISK INVOLVED IN CLIMBING AND RELATED ACTIVITIES.
Thanks to @Darkewolfe
for help with the OP and inspiration to get a thread going. Everyone, please feel free to suggest changes or additions. I've only been climbing since late summer, and only been really into it since early December.
Climbing is awesome!
I always encourage everyone to at least try it, and go into it with the mindset that its going to be tough and chances are that you may not be very good the first couple of times.
I think the biggest downside is that its pretty expensive.
Also, since I deferred the thread to TL DR but was plotting, lemme just open up with:
Meanwhile, I still can't climb yet. Physical therapy starts next week and I'm dyyyyying. Pulling plastic is fine, I just want to get on the wall. I'd been working a most excellent lead climb with a marvelous stem for the last half that was just so much fun and I just know they're going to fuck it up with a route replacement before I get back. This is the only time you'll hear me bitch about new routes being set at the gym.
Yes. It's not common, but it's definitely something to keep in mind. I've had someone walk off with gear pulled of a TR setup that made it crazy dangerous to climb on.
I probably was.
At least I can sleep easily that I never took pictures of myself at the climbing gym or 2 feet off the floor.
The most annoying/amusing thing is watching people always decide that it'll be fun to "race" up the wall, without them realizing that one part of the wall may have better holds than the other.
For real though when you climb after a year of not climbing lots of otherwise rarely used muscle groups say hi
Even when I do top-rope until I can barely untie myself after, it's still my tendons that are the limiting factor. I imagine at least some of that is technique / fear, though, and once I stop pulling with my fingers so much things will improve. In the mean time I'm just being cautious not to injure something.
$10 per class or $40 for unlimited classes a month.
Kinda considering, specially since my gym doesn't open that early, so some climbing before work could be nice.
You've only started climbing this year right? And how often? The tendon strength takes a long time to develop I think. Most of the time concentrating on technique will help you improve faster. And yeah the mental thing which is still a big limiting factor for me.
Yeah, just started in June and have only been going consistently twice a week for the past month or so. The Monday-night bouldering class has been a huge help, though, and I went from V0-1 to steady V1-2 and itching to try some V3-4 problems in the span of a couple weeks.
I think everything I read said it's like 2 years of climbing to get tendons caught up. During those 2 years, you're essentially always at risk of overdoing it on them.
They're really hard! The most accessible-seeming problems are both overhung, with one involving starting feet that are on a single long, high, and slanting hold and another with a super low start and crimpy hands.
Had physical therapy today. Can't climb for 6-8 weeks, starting now, rather than 6 weeks start two weeks ago. That's a bummer. Also, she called me a weekend warrior. I don't think she meant it as an insult, but I've only seen it used as such in climbing. Time to sell my house and buy a van, I guess.
I prefer lead anyway, though. Bouldering is what you do when your belay has to cancel.
V3-4 is one of those "Ha, so you thought you could climb" moments as you suddenly start having your body position and grip strength severely punished. Core workouts.
I'm going to go back to the gym after a 2+ year hiatus shortly (yay kids and herniated disc!). It will not be pretty.
I told myself if I did that, I'd buy myself a chalk bag. I am gruntled.
Growing up in El Paso I never knew Hueco Tanks was a world famous climbing spot, hell I didn't really know about any climbing period. So I was really happily surprised to learn that El Paso had gotten their first ever climbing gym, which I visited (since I didn't have time for a proper Hueco visit).
Really nice gym, with some awesomely unique routes. Talking to the employees, they mentioned that the guys who design the gym holds live in El Paso and set their routes for them, which was neat. Its also walking distance from an awesome bar, so I had a nice 17.5 Imperial Stout before ubering home.
Arizona climbing trip in 2 weeks though, so :biggrin:
I also recently learned the value of going to the gym with a group and being pushed to climb harder or different stuff than I normally would.
It's heckin' neat!
* I pulled it bouldering. Then strained it again not long after. Also bouldering. The ultrasound was all good, though.
then they passed some horseshit rule about all the guys having to wear shirts and the magic died
They still allow beanies, right?
What's next, no grunting and yelping?
I'm just trying to imagine a situation where you'd have more than 1 gri-gri.