Recently I got a notification on Facebook inviting me to join a female climbing night and it made me think about encouraging more women (and men!) to rock on..to crag hop..or spend sunny days sitting around staring at rock formations whilst eating flapjack and maybe even consider leaving their comfort zone and try a bold route..
I do realise that I haven’t written about climbing in such a long time; I think this is because I climb so infrequently (a few times a month) now day’s and other sports such as running have taken priority. When I place that in comparison to how I used to climb (3/4times a week) I feel less switched on towards the scene and I think that 2014 is the year I shall climb more frequently again.
Climbing isn’t for everyone; if you’re crippled by fear of failing and can’t see past that then the chances are you won’t enjoy yourself. If you fancy a challenge and working your mind alongside different muscles then you’ll love it.
Climbing does not have to be hard, or technical and many people enjoy only climbing inside rock gym’s and there is no harm in that. In fact there are so many new rock climbing gym’s popping up in the UK that there is bound to be one near you and many of these centres offer courses to get you started safely and help you find partners to climb with.
It’s not a problem if you don’t have a partner and you can often learn in a group, if you prefer to do things solo then bouldering could be a better option and if you’re feeling nervous just remember climbers tend to have a love of cake and tea which is never a bad thing is it?.
Whilst there is an initial outlay to buy your basic kit (you can normally rent from most places whilst your discovering if this is a sport for you or not) and once your set up it should be an investment that lasts a few years. Once your ready to go outside the world is your oyster, summer is with us and the UK (and beyond) has many crag’s to welcome you to the world of rock climbing outside.
I don’t think we should limit climbing to rocks when we live in a world with towering summits, sheer drops and or how about the phantom white mountains of the alps?. Or the formations of frozen waterfalls, Scottish gully’s and North face’s all waiting for the first tap of an ice axe?. Again you don’t have to be seriously strong or have a overwhelming love/experience of extreme sport to get involved, I climb very modestly and even more so now I’ve dealt with devastating situations.
I chose to take a view, a view that I would stay within my comfort zone and just enjoy myself. My view became that I would rather second a confident lead climber outside than not climb outside again at all and step by step, I will become a part of this wonderful world of climbing again.
Even if like me, you climb infrequently once you have a base climbing fitness and skill it’ll welcome you back in at a sensible level and let you enjoy the thrills of pushing your mind and body to a new limit.
Have you ever climbed before? Is it something you would try?