10 Reasons To Start Rock Climbing

About ten months ago I started with rock climbing. Because I love it so much I want to share ten reasons with you why you should also start.

rock climbing @ lei pi shan, yangshuo china

  1. It is great physical exercise. You will use any muscle in your body. Even the ones you did not know you have them. And the ones which are hard to train otherwise (like the muscles in your forearms).
  2. Building up trust. To do rock climbing you need someone belaying you. You need to trust him and he needs to trust you. Giving and receiving this trust will strengthen your relationship.
  3. Learn to handle and overcome fear. You might not be afraid of heights. Nevertheless, you might very well experience situations which frighten you a little bit during rock climbing: The next intermediate belay might be further up than thought. You might be unsure whether the small foothold is big enough not to slip. You might have to do a little jump to reach the next hand hold. All these situations might be intimidating at first. But you will learn that experiencing fear needs not to paralyze you. You can continue and make it to the top! And even if you slip, the rope will catch you safely and you can try it again.
  4. Gaining confidence in what you can do. It is a great feeling to get to the top of the route you have been struggling with for a while. Experiencing that you can overcome all the obstacles a route throws at you will boost your confidence and self-esteem.
  5. Getting everything off your mind. Rock climbing needs a lot of concentration always planning how to get up the next part of the wall. All other thoughts will vanish. All that is left will be you and the wall. This makes rock climbing a great stress relief.
  6. Get to meet new people. Climbers are friendly people. Every climber had to start out small and to learn from others how to climb the hard routes. They will be happy to share their knowledge with you.
  7. Being challenged. There is always a harder route and always a better climber. You can give yourself always another challenge and constant room for improvement. But if you once in a while need a quick sense of achievement, you can just climb an easy route.
  8. Being creative. Each route will give you unique problems. But they will not have a unique solution. Neither will there be right or wrong solutions. It is your creativity how you solve that problem. What are the movements you can come up with to get up there? What techniques do you use where? It is all your decision.
  9. The view. It is such an amazing feeling getting to the top of a strenuous route, turning your head around and realizing the awesome view you get from the top.
  10. It is a lot fun. That plain simple.

Final words: Do not give me any lame excuses like your arm muscles are too weak. Just start climbing and you will get the strength along the way. Even leg amputees are able climb, so you can do it, too!