Maintain a Positive Attitude
Physical and demanding are two of the major adjectives to describe climbing. While your body does the manual labor to get you up the wall, it is your attitude and approach to the climb that can make the difference between whether you make it to the top or not. Believe it or not, but telling yourself you can complete the climb helps immensely. There will be moments where you don’t think you can go any further, but having the right attitude in these moments will determine what you get out of the experience.
Inexperienced climbers tend to think that any way to the top is the best way, no matter how much effort it takes. Skilled climbers, however, know that technique and energy conservation can make a challenging climb easier. Though it may be fun to scramble up the side of a wall or rock as fast as you can, good climbing requires thought, patience, and precision. In climbing, your brain can be your most important tool, and using it to size up your route before, during, and after a climb can be helpful in building your skills as a new climber.
Use Your Legs
It’s natural for us to let our hands to most of the work as we climb upwards. But this will tire your arms quickly, even after just a few minutes. Your legs are actually much more efficient in fighting the pull of gravity, and the more lifting you can do with them, the less stress you’ll put on your arms.
Trust the Rope
One of the most important lessons a first-time climber can learn is to trust their ropes. Without the reassurance that your ropes truly are your life lines, the fear of falling will be ever-present in your mind. It sounds funny, but a great way to learn how to trust your ropes early on is to take a deliberate step off the rocks and let yourself dangle as high as you’re willing to above the mats below the wall, feel what it’s like for the ropes to catch your weight. Finally, it helps to have an instructor or someone with experience tie your ropes the first few times while you learn.
Whether you’re outdoors or at the gym, climbing can be a great way to get exercise, challenge yourself, or experience nature in a different way. The tips above are a great jumping off point for those looking to try climbing.