First Time Indoor Rock Climbing? Here’s What You Need to Know
If you have never been rock climbing before, either outdoors or indoors, there is a lot that you need to know before you dive in. When you take classes at the most high-quality indoor rock climbing gyms like ours, you will be provided with proper guidance throughout your experience.
However, it is still important for you to come in well prepared and with at least a basic understanding of what it is you should expect and will likely be doing.
Here are some key pointers to keep in mind for the most important part of your first adventure rock climbing indoors: your preparation!
You’re Going to Be High Up
Granted, this is a relatively trite point, but it still is worthy of mentioning regardless. Heights can make many people quite uncomfortable, so it’s best to go into an indoor climbing session recognizing that and properly attempting to envision the highest height you could reach.
The average height of indoor rock walls is about 50 feet, as they range from 40 to 60 typically. Our highest wall, however, is 58 feet high.
Do your best to mentally prepare yourself for this kind of height, especially if you do tend to get a bit queasy with heights. Some ideas are to meditate, do some stretching, pick a mantra you can use during more stressful moments– simply get your mind right before you tackle that rock wall!
How to Dress
You should of course prepare the right attire! The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable in your clothes or shoes and, therefore, distracted from climbing– or even put yourself at risk of falling. Here are some key examples of what you should wear to your indoor rock climbing class/session:
●Rock shoes: sorry, regular shoes won’t cut it. You can either buy your own or ask the gym if they have rock shoes for rent
●Not too baggy and not too tight exercise clothes: we are thinking tight leggings, spandex, tank tops, and so on. Your typical exercise clothes will do just so long as they are relatively tight but not too tight where they aren’t breathable or giving
●Socks (if renting shoes): you aren’t required to wear socks, but we recommend them, especially when renting shoes
●Hair ties: if you have long hair, you’ll need a hair tie. You don’t want your hair in your face or, worse yet, landing on the wrong hold and you wind up yanking on your own hair!
Other Items to Bring
Aside from what you are wearing, there are a couple of other items that you’ll want to bring with you.
●A refillable water bottle: rock climbing is indeed exercise (a rigorous form of it at that), so bring a refillable water bottle to keep you hydrated
●A light jacket: just in case it’s chillier in the gym than you had imagined
●Snacks: in case you are there for quite a while, snacks couldn’t hurt!
●Extra comfy shoes: you won’t want to walk around with your fancy rock shoes all day! Bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes to easily slip on and off when needed
Activate Your Core
Like most forms of exercise, activating the core is the most fundamental part of successful rock climbing. This is because it is one of the strongest parts of the body and, when you simply rely on other smaller muscles to do the heavy work, you are more likely to suffer from injuries. Keep that core tight!
You’re SAFE and in Good Hands
While it may be frightening at first to simply climb a high-up wall, keep in mind that you are safe. The risk of you injuring yourself is shockingly low because the equipment is carefully checked for wear and tear, you have professionals helping you every step of the way, and there are fall mats everywhere.
Especially when you choose a location like ours here at Reach Climbing & Fitness, you are always taken care of!
No, It’s Not the Same as Outdoor Rock Climbing
So maybe you have indulged in the occasional outdoor rock climbing adventure– or, at the very least, you’ve watched movies or TV shows of other people doing it. You get the general concept of it– that’s what we’re getting at here.
However, it’s important to note that indoor and outdoor rock climbing do have some vast differences– and they’re important for you to note before you hop on that rock wall.
Indoor climbing is safer than outdoor, as there are fewer chances of rocks breaking off and causing various types of issues. Indoors is far more social and even easier on your hands (although you may get a few blisters on the way, too)! Indoors is also more casual, allowing you to “hang out” while you wait for friends to climb up to you. Plus, it can be a bit louder than outdoors, as there is music playing, coaches talking, and people talking over it.
However, both are great activities overall and are enjoyed by thousands every day!
There are also different types of climbing indoors, like bouldering (no ropes), auto belay (no need for someone to hold the rope for you as it automatically gives slack to the rope), top rope climbing (using anchors and ropes as you escalate), and lead climbing (one climber “leads” with the rope while others follow behind).
Have questions about which is right for you? Give us a call today! We are here and happy to answer all of your questions about indoor rock climbing: 484-704-7612.