Our project called “Berg and Ocean” is basically about skiing and surfing. These are two of our main passions. This summer, we came to another hobby. We met Richard in Canmore (Alberta) and he introduced us into rock climbing.
Before we started our project, we haven’t even been thinking about rock climbing. Now, climbing became another of our passions and it fits perfectly into our project as we can chase it in the mountains. In this article, we like to show you what climbing is about and how you can get into it.
First, let us discuss some definitions of climbing. On one hand there is the traditional way of climbing. That means you don’t have any means at the rock. For securing yourself you need to bring tools that will give you a connection between the wall and your protecting rope.
On the other hand there is the so called “sports climbing”. It means, that the rock is already prepared with bolts which you can use to clip in a quickdraw which again connects to the rope. Due to the fact that the traditional climbing is way more advanced, dangerous and we just got into climbing we narrow this article to sports climbing. Nevertheless there are similarities between both ways.
For the sake of completeness, we like to mention the possibility of top roping. At some climbing spots you are able to walk up to a wall where you can set an anchor. Then, you can climb the wall at a more difficult part and you will be secured by the rope which goes through the anchor which you have set up before.
We we’re lucky and became friends with Richard, a local climber in Canmore. He introduced us into climbing. Another way to learn rock climbing is to participate at a class. You should check out the web for an Alpine or Mountaineering Club near you.
Mostly, you get to meet and make friends with great people from around the world. I love rock climbing!Richard from Canmore
We experienced that another great way to get information, equipment and contacts is the use of Facebook groups. For sure, you will find a local climbing group at Facebook or similar social networks.
Rock climbing requires two people, at least. One of you climbs and the other is the belayer. That means, you need one or more partners. And of course, you need some technical equipment that is essential like
For sure, that is not enough for climbing a rock. But, when you are making your first steps we recommend you to find a partner who brings the rest of the required equipment. You will need
to build an anchor, for example.
As soon as you invested in some climbing gear you are good to start. You don’t have to pay for the climbing itself as long as you go to outdoor spots. Of course, you have to pay for indoor and outdoor climbing gyms.
We learned the tricks of the trades of climbing in the area of Banff and Canmore. Today, we know that it was a great privilege to go climbing there. The valley of Bow River offers fantastic spots for climbing with different types of rock and levels of difficulty.
There are so many places where you can find climbing spots. As soon, as there is some elevation in your area there might be places for climbing. Sometimes, you find disused industrial facilities that have been converted into climbing areas.
Furthermore, another way to practice climbing and getting into a good physical shape is bouldering. For bouldering you don’t need any heights because you climb without a rope in moderate heights.
To find climbing spots we recommend to check the internet. For a lot of areas you will find books with described climbing routes, pictures, illustrations and access routes.
Another way to get information about climbing routes is to use smartphone applications. Especially for North-America we suggest to get the Mountain Project App which lists a bunch of areas and routes.
A very nice point about climbing is that it is feasible for a lot of different levels of difficulty. There are grades which define the coefficient of difficulty for a route. That helps you to choose a route and to define and improve your own skills.
More or less, we started with rock climbing by accident. What made us to keep on climbing?
First, it’s a sport that you can practice in nature. As soon as you invested in some equipment you don’t have any running costs. You can do it almost everywhere. Climbing is great for exercising the whole body. For us, it was awesome how fast we made progress. If you keep a finger on the pulse you will recognise that you are getting better and better and that is very motivating.
I love climbing because it gives me a complete workout without the repetitive moves you get in a gym, gives you stress release, makes you think and figure out your next moves, problem solving.Richard from Canmore
Rock climbing is exciting, it’s challenging, and it’s fun. It’s going to bring your partner and you closer together, it’s about trust, safety and chasing fear. It’s going to make you a stronger person, physically but also mentally.
You will travel to beautiful places and get to know so many interesting and nice people.
Go out and start climbing!