By J. Duvauchelle
How to Climb Rock Walls
Climbing rock walls is a fun and safe way to experience rappelling. Not only are you most often surrounded by safer materials, but beginning climbers experience an added measure of safety not found in traditional mountaineering.
By J. Duvauchelle
OverviewThe sport of rock climbing is enjoyed by many enthusiasts throughout North America. Rock climbers scale artificial or natural rock walls with the goal of climbing to the top. Besides being enjoyable, rock climbing is also a great exercise and can help build the climber’s personal fitness. Learn how to climb rock walls safely and quickly as both a form of sport and a method of exercise.Step 1Wear properly fitted climbing shoes. Unlike street shoes, climbing shoes are extremely fitted and often very uncomfortable to new climbers due to their almost too-small size. The toe of the typical climbing shoe is also stiff to help support the climber’s feet as he or she scales the rock wall.Step 2Position yourself at the bottom of the rock wall. Look up and mentally note potential handholds and footholds before climbing. If climbing at an indoor gym or artificial rock wall, various routes will typically be marked for you. If climbing outdoors, you may notice the chalk marks where other climbers scaled the wall.Step 3Squeeze the chalk bag, thereby dispensing a small portion of powdered chalk onto your hands. Slap your hands together to loosely distribute the chalk.Step 4Place one foot in a foothold at shin level or lower. Grab a handhold on the rock wall that is at a height just above your head to chest level. Pull yourself up, placing the remaining foot and hand into adjacent footholds and handholds on the wall. You will now be completely off the ground.Step 5Practice proper form. Keep your elbows bent so that you are pressed against the wall. The closer you are to the rock wall, the less strain you will put on your joints and muscles. When climbing, focus on using your leg strength despite the temptation to pull yourself up the wall with your arms. Practicing these steps will prevent you from becoming fatigued as rapidly.Step 6Pull one leg up and place your foot in the next foothold. Simultaneously place your hand in the handhold above the current one you have. Smoothly moving both your feet and your hands at the same time maximizes your strength without unduly stressing any one muscle. Continue until you reach the top of the wall.skill3ingredientRock climbing shoes
Chalk bag filled with chalkingredientsRock climbing shoesingredientsChalk bag filled with chalkwarningWear a harness, belay and rope with a climbing partner if climbing rock walls that are high enough to pose a safety risk should you fall while climbing to the top.warningsWear a harness, belay and rope with a climbing partner if climbing rock walls that are high enough to pose a safety risk should you fall while climbing to the top.keywordclimb rock walls climbing boulderingkeywordsclimbkeywordsrockkeywordswallskeywordsclimbingkeywordsboulderingResourcesreferenceLuebben, Craig. “Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert)”. Seattle: Mountaineers Books, 2004.resourceBuy Rock Climbing Shoes OnlineresourceRock Climbing Resources, Guides and Destination Maps
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