Climbing requires patience, strength, focus and the right mindset. It’s a dangerous sport and should not be taken lightly.
Climb Smart Tips
- Injury Prevention: Proper conditioning and warm-ups help prevent against potential sprains, strains and related injuries. Develop a routine that allows for stretching of the arms, neck, shoulders, back and legs. Target the forearm and fingers by squeezing a worn-out tennis ball. Using rubber bands for resistance around the fingers is an effective exercise you can try at home. Basic push-ups and pull-ups enhance upper body strength.
- Gear up: Taping fingers between the finger joints, around wrists, and elbows can add support and protection for the tendons. Also, you can reduce skin abrasions by taping the back of the hands and wrists in a figure eight pattern for minimal restriction. Treat and prevent blisters by taping fingers and using chalk to reduce friction and prevent drying. Check your knots, harness buckle, belay, and rappel system frequently. It's crucial that you inspect your gear regularly and replace worn equipment immediately. Invest in a good pair of climbing shoes - tops are generally leather only finished on the outside, and soles are composed of a sticky rubber compound. Also, remember that wearing a helmet could save your life.
- Injuries: Although falls and other accidents do occur, they are rare. Overuse injuries are much more common. The most sensitive areas include the hand, wrist and elbows. The positions required for maneuvering up a rock face require one-armed holds, putting the shoulder at risk for rotator cuff tears. In addition, muscle strains in the lower extremities may result from reaching for toeholds with the legs and hips. As with any outdoor sport, it is best to enroll in a class to learn basis climbing and safety techniques.
- Prepare mentally: Mental preparation is a vital part of the rock climbing experience. Taking time before and after a climbing session to focus on relaxation can help with the mindset needed to achieve greater confidence and success. Recreational climbing can be exhilarating for the mind
and body. Challenge yourself and your
body, but be sure to proceed with
10 Climbing Essentials
- Trip Plan left with a responsible person
- Fitted helmet
- Proper climbing shoes
- Locking carabiner
- Belay device
- Chalk bag, carabiners, sling
- Bug spray
- An enthusiastic partner with at least the same skill level
- Climbing pants / tops & Fleece / sweater
- Waterproof jacket
- Toque and gloves
- Map / Compass
- Repair kit
- Food & Water
- First-aid kit
- Headlamp & Matches or lighter