So You Want to Go Climbing at a Rock Climbing Gym? Here’s What You Need to Know First!

So You Want to Go Climbing at a Rock Climbing Gym? Here’s What You Need to Know First!

So You Want to Go Climbing at a Rock Climbing Gym? Here’s What You Need to Know First

Rock climbing might start as an exciting one-off activity, but you might fall so in love with it that you can wait to do it again— and again and again. If that happens, you'll not only end up strengthening muscles you never even know existed; you'll also boost your overall fitness and endurance a lot. What's more — rock climbing, which calls on plenty of problem-solving skills, is also excellent for the brain.

There's honestly no safer place to get into rock climbing than at a great rock climbing gym managed by experienced instructors. While you'll learn a lot at the rock climbing gym, though, it's up to you to get prepared. Here's what you need to know.


How do You Get Started with Rock climbing?

Though rock climbing gyms will always have a variety of offerings, beginners usually start with top-roping: in which they are attached, via their harness, to a highly secure overheard anchor. That means that if (no, no — when!) you fall, you won't get hurt. Holding the other end of the rope is a belayer, a spotter who's ready to manage your backup system when you come tumbling down. If you don't already have a friend who's a skilled and experienced rock climber, the belayer will be an employee of the rock climbing gym.

Bouldering is your other option, and there's certainly been a lot of buzz about this harness-free rock climbing style lately. Because you actually fall when you fall, a protective mat awaits you on the ground, and you'll only be able to achieve climbs that stretch up a few meters (up to four). Nonetheless, bouldering can leave you with some sore spots, so be prepared. (In case you're wondering, yes, you'll still be supervised by employees).

However — before you get started with rock climbing for real, you'll first be given a lesson in which you learn about the basics, the routes the gym has on offer, and, when top-roping, learn some knots. Paying attention is perhaps the first rule of rock climbing, since this will help keep you safe.


What Gear do you Need to Get Started with Rock Climbing at an Indoor Gym?

If you become a regular at the rock climbing gym, you'll need a personal rock climbing harness, carabiners, chalk, and chalk bag. However, when you're just starting, know that most rock climbing gyms rent these essentials out, so you can enjoy this new sport without investing too much. Rope, on the other hand, is usually gym-owned for liability reasons.

That means that all you really need to bring is your own gear — excellent climbing shoes with flexible soles that have a great grip are the most important; long but relatively tight-fitting workout pants and a t-shirt with long sleeves to prevent friction and scrapes. And a good water bottle allows you to stay hydrated.

Besides that, bring your adventurous spirit and your can-do attitude to the rock climbing gym, and you’ll be good to go!

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