Climbing 101: Gain a foothold on your first ascent with our beginner’s guide to rock.

Rock climbing is like forming a group in high school; everyone does it, but very few of us do it right. Typically, this is how most of us start climbing: you see videos on Youtube or maybe watch Stallone’s Cliffhanger, get excited about the dynamometer movements, then convince a colleague. who claims to be “big at rock climbing” to get you out on a Saturday afternoon. But this work buddy’s climbing experience is limited to hitting chicks at the local climbing hall. He has to tie your knot three times before he says, “I think that’s true,” and you spend about 20 minutes stuck on the side of a sandstone road that passes you wondering why someone would risk their life just. to succeed. the top of a rock that you could probably climb on a hiking trail anyway. Once you’re safe on the ground, you swear you’ll never strap on a climbing harness again.

There is a better way to start your climbing career. Follow this guide and learn about common mistakes, the right equipment, training tips, and where to find rock that is suitable for beginners.

There is more than one way to send this stone. Here are the three most common forms of rock climbing.

Top rope: The rope is attached to a fixed anchor or temporary anchor at the top of the climb, allowing a single point of contact above the climber. Top roping is usually the first form of rock climbing that athletes explore. It is only one length, so you stay relatively close to the ground, it requires a limited amount of equipment, and due to the higher anchor position a top roped climber will never “fall” so much. that the insurer is doing its job. . There is always tension on the rope, so instead of falling several feet to a point of protection below the climber, you walk away from the boulder staying in the same position.

Sport climbing: Permanent bolts are attached to a given route allowing climbers to “clip in” as they progress along the wall. While sport climbing is very popular in the western states, bolt-on routes are rare in the southeast. The Red River Gorge in Kentucky and Foster Falls in Tennessee are hotbeds of sport climbing in the south.

Traditional climbing (“trad”): The most common form of climbing in the Southeast, traditional climbers place their own temporary protection in the rock when sending a route. Climbers are fitted with an equipment “rack” that is placed in cracks and crevices throughout the climb to protect against falls. In traditional climbs of several lengths, one climber leads by placing the protection and the second climber follows by removing the protection.

Rock climbing is the best way to train for rock climbing, but how do you train for rock climbing when you can’t climb? Think about muscle endurance. Pull-ups are good, but you have to train your whole body to withstand the demand to send 80-foot-long routes with no rest. Forget the big plates in the weight room. Instead, do full body exercises like “cleanses” and “burpees” that rely on low weight at high reps. Work your core and don’t neglect your cardio and you’ll perform better on the rock than just knocking out a bunch of pull-ups.

Good climbing posture can often seem awkward for beginners who want to hug the wall with every inch of their body. Instead of sticking to the rock like glue, adopt this basic climbing position: “Keep your arms straight, your back arched, and your hips pushed towards the rock, as if you were leaning away from the rock with the top of your body. body, ”says Swis Stockton of granite arches. “It keeps stress on your legs, which is the key to endurance in climbing.” When you are comfortable with the position, work the wall with your legs, thinking of foot placement first and hand placement last. Maintain contact with your feet. If your feet slip out of a grip, you are putting too much pressure on your upper body (hugging the wall) and not enough pressure on your lower body.