Every climb is an exciting adventure, but especially so for your very first one. Of course, safety will always be the top priority, and then followed by fun. As a newbie climber, it’s important to be prepared, not only physically but also mentally. The activity itself requires a certain degree of focus and commitment, and simply put, you cannot afford to be distracted as you make your ascent.
Here are some basic but important things you should expect when you set out for your first outdoor climb. Keep these in mind so you can successfully complete it, and safely too.
Expect Risks and Dangers
There are no mincing words about it: rock climbing comes with a lot of risks and dangers, which is precisely why it is considered to be an extreme sport. From slipping on rocky surfaces to being exposed and vulnerable to falling objects, there is a myriad of ways for you to be injured.
Because of these factors, it becomes even more important that you prepare well for your climb. Wear the right gear–invest in the right pair of shoes, helmet, gloves, chalk bag, etcetera–have enough food and water, and bring a small but comprehensive set of emergency kits for travel.
As mentioned above, safety should be the first priority at all times, and with this comes the need to inform yourself of what risks and dangers could await you. It’s not to stoke fear in you, but rather help you better respond and adapt to whatever circumstances that may occur.
Expect to Go Slow
Fortunately, it’s not a race, so you don’t have to worry about taking your time and going slow. Especially because it’s your first outdoor climb, you can expect that it’s going to feel a lot different from your training in the indoor gyms.
This time, you’re actually in the outdoors with a full, open view of the beautiful nature around you. Also, the conditions are all very real now: the ledges are sharper, small crevices are tighter, and the angles are deeper. Everything will feel like it’s been set to the max, and completely beyond what you’ve been training in thus far.
That said, this is why it’s important that you make your first climb together with an experienced climber. Not only are they there to make sure you are kept safe, but also so they can help you move along in spots you may find particularly difficult. And of course, to keep you company and the whole trip fun.
Expect to Practice Outdoor Etiquette
For outdoor activity-goers, there is such a thing as outdoor etiquette. For one, you leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures. This is a sacred guideline that, at its heart, advocates for the respect and protection of the natural environment.
Whatever it is that you bring up with you, you should be able to take it down, too. It’s not just good manners for the other climbers using the trail, but simply, it’s the right and respectful thing to do for the environment.
Greet the other climbers you meet on the way; you don’t have to hang out and talk their heads off, but a mere acknowledgment that you are sharing the outdoor space at that particular point in time would suffice.
These are but some of the simple things you can look forward to during your first outdoor climb. Whether you’re a casual climber or a budding enthusiast, whether it’s the Colorado Via Ferrata route you’re taking or something else, following these tips can help make your first outdoor climb experience truly memorable and successful.