Rock climbing is one of the latest trendy sports. It can be a great way to work out and offers both indoor and outdoor climbs. Everyone knows that rock climbing helps make and keep you physically fit. But, before you start, you may be wondering if rock climbing is fun.
Here’s Why Rock Climbing Is Fun: Rock climbing is an exhilarating experience that challenges your mind as well as your body. It can be done alone or in groups. It can take you to a beautiful area and give you an opportunity to behold breathtaking sights.
Rock climbing is not only a great thing to do for personal fitness, but it is an enjoyable sport. It stimulates your mind as much as exercising your body. Rock climbing allows you to challenge yourself and feel successful when you meet that challenge. It can be done in groups, individually, and can even be a great first date.
Rock Climbing Keeps You Engaged
One of the aspects of rock climbing is that you never get bored. Each climb is different, even if you are doing the same wall again. It is important to be engaged physically and mentally when climbing. Whether indoors or out, climbing gives you a sense of accomplishment. Many climbers see each climb as a test or challenge.
If you are looking for a workout and are tired of treadmills and elliptical machines, climbing, indoor or outdoor, can jazz up your work-out routine. Many people find the typical gym work out a slog that is something they have to “get through” to stay fit. However, rock climbing allows you to work out without feeling like you are working out. The focus is on the climb, not on calories burned.
Rock climbing demands the use of your whole body. Your fingers to cling to the rocks, you upper-body muscles to pull you up, to your toes to catch the tiny ledges, and your leg muscles to step and hold your body. It also fully engages your core to maintain body stability. In fact, it can be the most physically demanding fun you can have.
When rock climbing, many people think you just need great upper-body strength. Upper-body strength does play a role. However, climbing is also mentally challenging. You have to have technique and mental focus if you are going to make it to the top of the climb.
Technique: These is the physical movements that are going to be used for the climb. The goal is to be as efficient as possible so that you can conserve your strength for as long as possible. Learning and practicing some key techniques can make you a more effective climber.
- Put as much weight on your legs as possible. This will give your upper body rest and allow you to engage all your muscles, not just your arms.
- Don’t hold too tightly. New climbers often hold to the rocks out of fear of falling. This puts extra stress on the hands. Holding with just enough grip to keep you safe is a difficult technique to learn and master.
- Balance is key. Each move is a balancing act as three points hold you in place as one of your hands or feet moves to the next position. Correct balance helps you do this with minimal effort.
- A sequence is paramount. Each route is like solving a puzzle with multiple moving parts and directions.
Mental Focus: Rock climbing is like a set of problems to solve. Each step along the way has a variety of a number of “moves” that can be made. Each time you make a new hand or foothold, you have to consider how that is going to impact your next move and so on. Each hold also has to be calculated to determine the right number of fingers and the correct angle of the grab to give you the pull to move up.
This is why even climbing indoors on the same wall can be fun even after multiple times. Each time can be a new path to the top. The number of possibilities is endless, but not all of them will successfully lead to the top.
Climbing Boosts Your Confidence
Climbing can be exhilarating. You work on a new route for weeks or months and finally make it to the top. The feeling of being on top of the world, literally and figuratively, is tremendous. Once you have blazed a new trail, climbed hundreds of feet in a day, and lived to tell about it, you believe that you can do anything.
Climbing allows you to face your fears. Each new hand or foothold requires you to have faith in yourself and to conquer your fear of falling. Without overcoming your fears, you will never be able to continue to move upwards. Even when climbing with a rope and knowing that injury is unlikely, that sense of falling is still a major fear to be conquered.
Climbing requires you to visualize your success. You have to maintain focus and commit to the climb. The world narrows to just the path you have visualized and getting to your body to let go, grab, and move over and over. There is no space for worries, bills, or any other mental distractions. Climbing allows you to let go of everything else in your life and just enjoy the moment of the climb.
Individual vs. Group
Some sports you have to do as a group, such as a football. You simply cannot play unless you have a set number of people all in the same place and time who want to play the game. Climbing can be done as part of a larger group, or not based on your desire. Because of this, you do not have to wait for others to do a climb.
Climbers often organize themselves into two-person teams with one climbing and the other belaying. However, depending on your level of skill and gear, you do have the option of rope soloing, where an auto-belay system is set up so that you can climb alone. Indoor bouldering also allows you to climb solo.
However, if you want to go with several people, that can also be accomplished as long as everyone has rock shoes and a harness. One or two people can take turns leading and setting up the route with a toprope. Then, everyone climbs the routes. This can be a great family activity or just a group of friends.
Can Indoor Climbing Be Fun
Indoor climbing can offer extra opportunities to climb, but some people do not see indoor climbing as fun. Some of this is perpetuated by very simple rock walls that are not meant to be used for regular climbing, but more for introduction and training. However, better gyms offer more complex and challenging walls. The beautiful sights from outside may not exist, but indoor climbing can be fun.
Not only is outdoor climbing fun, but indoor climbing can make a great, fun first date.
Assess Your Date’s Personality
Climbing is challenging and can allow you to see how your date handles challenges. It can show insights into the other person’s personality in the ways the climb, timid, confident, overly cautious. It can also show how the other person interacts with others. Are they supportive? Do they turn it into a competition or collaboration?
Climbing may not tell you everything, but the traits shown well facing a rock wall are probably traits your date will display on a regular basis.
Short Time Commitment
Some dates just don’t work out. But, how do you excuse yourself from them gracefully? Climbing can often be as long or as short as you want. Reaching the top or “falling” offers a perfect moment to the end the date after 45 minutes to an hour if it is not going well. However, if it is going well, you can keep climbing as long as you want, or head out for dinner to refuel.
Climbing is a Cheap but Fun Date
The average climb is often cheaper than a typical dinner and a movie. It also can allow more interaction than just sitting by them in a darkened movie theater. Bouldering can be a great choice as you do not need any gear other than climbing shoes and chalk. Most gyms can rent those, or you can buy small bags of chalk. So you can focus on getting to know your date and not worry about the dent in your wallet.
Nothing is more awkward than when the conversation just dies on a first date. That moment when you realize you have no clue what to stay. Climbing offers natural breaks in the conversation. This can take the pressure off. During a really difficult section of the wall, the focus on climbing will decrease conversation without being awkward. This will allow you time to come up with a new topic.
During a break in climbing, you can always shift it to the next climb if conversation dies,. If you want to get really daring, you could always “fall off” your climb and use that as a topic, discussing what went wrong and what you can do differently next time.
Fitness is Attractive
Physical activity gets adrenaline and endorphins flowing, which can increase attraction and bonding. Watching your date perform a physically engaging activity with total mental concentration can be seen as sexy. Climbing also allows physical touch into interactions in a non-creepy manner, through spotting. Do be sure to ask first and make sure you know your spotting technique.
Just the Beginning
When the climb is done, the date does not have to end. If you each are enjoying yourselves, the date can naturally lead to other fun activities. After climbing, a perfect next step would be to grab some food or just find a nice place to hang out and chat for a while. The climbing has already broken the ice and got you through the awkward what do we talk about stage. Now you can just enjoy.
No Matter What, Climbing is Fun
Not all first dates go well. Sometimes, by the end, you are just ready for the date to be over. A climb date will ensure your night/day was not a complete waste of your time. Even if you don’t want to see the other person again, at least you enjoyed yourself and had fun climbing. Just remember, it could be worse. You could be paying way more money to do something you don’t enjoy with a person you don’t want to spend time with.
Other Reasons to Climb
Climbing offers an opportunity to go places, do things, and meet people. It opens up new worlds and new views. It allows you a different window on the world, but with less cost and training than many people would think. Some of the simplest indoor training climbs can be easily mastered. Meaning that no matter your level of fitness, rock climbing can offer a place to start.
Climbing is inexpensive
Climbing may not be the cheapest sport, but it is one of the most inexpensive ones. Once you purchase your gear, outdoor sport climbing is basically free. One person needs:
- Climbing shoes – $100
- Helmet – $50
- Harness – $50
- Chalk bag – $20
- Quickdraws – $120 (may be able to split the price)
- Ropes – $150-200 (may be able to split the price)
If you are going to be regularly climbing with the same person, you can often divide the price of quickdraws and ropes as you will only need one set per team of two. So, the cost can be as little as $350 per person for a year to two years of gear.
The only other investment is food, gas, and camping fees. When traveling to more exotic locations, those traveling expenses can add up, but you do not have to spend that much if you want to climb near home.
Climbing indoors can be more expensive due to gym fees. A typical all-day pass will be $20-30 with renting gear and $15-20 if you bring your own. Check for online coupons and introductory rates.
Anyone Can Do It
Have you ever watched a world-famous athlete and felt envious. No matter how many tennis balls you hit, you will not be the next Serena Williams? The joy of rock climbing is that with time, practice, and training, most people can develop the skill set to do even moderate to difficult climbs.
Rock climbing is also easy to train for. You don’t have to live near mountains. Most urban areas have climbing gyms. A good climbing gym can provide an excellent opportunity for training and practice until the next time you get to the mountains. And since you don’t have to have a large group, you can train at your convenience without waiting for others. According to Pranav Gokhale, former club officer for the Princeton University Climbing Team
“After hours of practice, when you finally master a climb, it transcends mere sport and is akin to art. You have essentially choreographed dance between yourself and the wall. You have perfect intuition and fluidity in your movement. What’s cool about climbing is that a climber of any level can achieve mastery over a route, because there are routes of different difficulties (e.g., a beginner climber can master a 5.5 route). Have you ever felt awe watching Roger Federer effortlessly and gracefully play tennis? With climbing, you can be like Roger Federer.”
Beautiful Locations and Views
Climbing allows you to visit some of the most beautiful places in the world and to see them from heights most people never reach. Planning your next vacation can turn into a wish list of places to visit and climb, from every climber’s dream to little out-of-the-way rock walls only known by the locals. Climbing is a way to be in nature and enjoying its beauty while still staying active.
Some of the most breathtaking views can be seen from the top of a climb. The top is often off the beaten track, and the only ones that get to enjoy it is you and your climbing team. You can lose yourself in the beauty as you soak up your pride in getting yourself there.
Great Way to Meet People
Whether you go alone or with others, climbers are typically some of the nicest people you will ever meet. It is not unusual that when bouldering indoors to start a conversation with others about how to climb certain routes. When climbing outside, it is typical to take turns on routes and have some conversation. Some climbers may be rude, but that is usually an exception.
In popular climbing areas, a community of climbers often springs up. They will often hang out at night after the climb, sharing stories and routes. It is not uncommon to run into climbers you have met before. This also makes it pretty easy to find a climbing partner when needed. This adds to the fun.
Some of this sense of community can also be found at indoor climbing gyms. Especially if some people typically climb on the same day and time.
Whether done alone or in a group, outside or inside, rock climbing engages your mentally and physically. It allows you to achieve great success. This all combines to release powerful endorphins and to create a feeling of exhilaration. Climbing can be the most fun you have ever had while you still are working out. What are you waiting for? Find a place near you to go climbing today.