By Tim (Social Content Guy)
I live in the Colorado Rockies and have been out here for just over four years. Prior to moving here I had never done any rock climbing though I definitely had done a lot of scrambling. I took a nasty fall at Battleship Rock in New Mexico back in 2004 and had been pretty freaked out by heights since. After being in Colorado for a bit I met some really cool folks who were really into rock climbing. I decided to buy some climbing shoes and soon had my first chance to go climbing. I’ve been hooked ever since!
As with every sport or activity there are people who are really into it and there are people who aren’t. With rock climbing I’ve had many people say it is too scary, doesn’t seem like a good idea, or simply don’t think it is a good fit for them. I’m not trying to convert anyone into a climber but I did want to share a few of the benefits of rock climbing.
The first one is that you get outside (unless you’re going to a gym). If you live in a place like I do it is really easy to find fantastic climbing within an hour or so. There are so many options and I have just started scratching the surface. Getting outside is so awesome for your mental, physical, and emotional health.
A second benefit is the friendships and community that get built around climbing. Unless you are bouldering or solo climbing you’re going to need to go with other people. While there are obviously other ways to grow in your friendship, rock climbing tends to speed up the process a bit. When you’re getting ready to climb you learn to trust one another quickly. I have a few friends I climb with regularly and they are becoming some of my closest comrades.
On a recent climb I got stuck in a hairy situation. My friend Mark as belaying me but as I was 50+ feet up on the rock it was hard to communicate. A fella that was climbing a route nearby noticed I seemed to be stuck and asked if I was okay. He ended up talking me through a very important step that enabled me to get back down safely. It was a great example of how awesome the climbing community is.
A third benefit of rock climbing is the views. Some of the most incredible moments and views I have had in my time in Colorado have been while climbing. Many routes have little ledges or shelves at the top where you can sit and take in the views. In some cases climbing the route is the only way you will be able to see things from that particular view. I love it! Every time I get to the top of route I try to leave a bit of time to be still and soak it all in. Check out this video I made recently from a route at Eleven Mile Canyon.
There are many more benefits to rock climbing but hopefully I have whet your appetite enough for now. I would highly recommend giving rock climbing a try, even if it is in a gym, to see if it might be something you’d like to pursue more. If not, I hope you have another fantastic sport or activity that helps you stay healthy, connects you with community, and gets you places that have awesome views.