Tips for novice climbers

Anyone who wants to give either indoor or outdoor climbing a go should definitely consider taking a course. Learning from a qualified and experienced instructor is the best way to make sure that your first unsupervised climb will be a safe one. However, there are a few things that you need to consider when planning your course and first steps.

Choose your climbing preference

There are different types of climbing and finding out a bit more about them before you start will help you to focus on what you need to learn and what you will enjoy the most. Rope climbing is a good option for beginners. Working with a partner make it possible to cover more distance. If you are climbing alone, you have the option of an auto-belay.

Anyone trying to get over a fear of heights can go with bouldering, where you climb without ropes – this works because the walls are shorter. These are all indoor options. If you are learning outdoors, it’s a good idea to opt for sports climbing at first, as these routes have anchors that have been pre-placed.

The right gear

When using a climbing wall, it’s important to have the right footwear. Experienced coaches recommend climbing shoes that are softer for better grip. If you are trying bouldering, then you’ll also need a chalk bag.

Anyone trying top-roping, then a few extra items are essential – as well as the footwear and chalk bag, you’ll need a lead rope, harness, belay device and carabiner. Most indoor climbing wall facilities have equipment available to rent.

Once you have become more familiar with climbing and you’re sure you want to pursue it, you may want to invest in your own equipment.

Build your strength

One of the things that are most important for climbing is strength, and it is recommended that you work on your core strength before you start your climbing course. It can help to do sports such as Pilates and yoga will help a great deal, and ideally, you should start this a few months before taking your climbing course.

Climb planning

Even when you are a beginner and working on an indoor climbing wall, you can benefit from working out the hand movements and looking carefully at the wall’s footholds. It will help you to work out the most efficient way of climbing, and as you become more experienced, you will be able to work out the different sequences much more easily.

Learn the language

As with most sports, there is a certain amount of jargon to learn. It will help you to communicate if you are working with a belay partner. Your instructor will be able to help you with some of the key terms when you start your course, but there are some helpful websites that will give you a few pointers ahead of time.