Humans have been scaling stones for millennia, but the sport of rock climbing began about 200 years ago. During the second half of the 20th century, the activity underwent numerous developments that made it safer and more accessible to the general public.
Today, “climbing” can refer to anything from conquering an indoor wall in full harness to daredevil rope-free cliff climbing. It’s a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility, and balance along with his or her mental control. It can be a dangerous sport and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and usage of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes.
For those already adapted, there’s no good reason why you shouldn’t go rock climbing. You get a whole body workout and a refreshing mental challenge.
But for those who still need some convincing on why rock climbing is fun, here are some good reasons for them:
Rock climbing builds your confidence
Unless your name is Bear Grylls, Ibrahimovic Zlatan, or someone with an equally tough pair, you’ve probably faced some challenges in your life that you never thought you could conquer. But the truth is, every wall presents a different challenge and every step that you take to conquer a route or problem, is a victory in itself. Still sceptical? Try conquering a high wall at a gym near your house today. Even climbing to the top of the easiest wall presents a great confidence booster.
It’s a great, full-body workout
Rock climbing is a great strength builder and it’s less monotonous than lifting weights at the gym. Rock climbing is an activity that engages nearly all major muscle groups in your body. And minor ones as well, such as flexor tendon annular pulleys, also known as “finger muscles”.
Rock climbing builds trust
Climbing safely requires you to put your life in someone else’s hands. There’s nothing quite like tumbling 5m to the ground and potentially spraining a shoulder to ruin a friendship or relationship forever.
Basically this means that when you’ve scaled a wall, and come down successfully, you would have effectively built a trust with whoever is after and supporting you.
Rock climbing trains your focus
Rock climbing takes concentration and it can sometimes be like solving a puzzle when trying to figure out your next move on a route. It is a great way to train your problem solving skills and in particular, your focus. In rock climbing, there is no other goal other than to scale up the rocks in front of you in the quickest, most effective way possible. Feel tired? Fingers about to cramp? Hit the wall? Take a deep breath and focus your energies away from the fatigue. Try again.
Not only does rock climbing train you physically, it also trains you mentally to overcome the challenges in front of you, and to get a foothold on things, so to speak.
You can improve quickly
Rock climbing is a sport that allows you to easily track your improvements. There are so many skills to acquire and muscle groups to strengthen that you can always be improving something. This sport is very rewarding for beginners all the way to the elite, professional climbers.
Rock climbing is easy to pick up
There are fewer sports that are less complicated than rock climbing. There are, effectively, no other rules of the game other than to scale up the wall, using nothing but the stones present on the surface. Some routes or problems are easier than others but the basic rules are the same.
It will feed your craving for adventure
If you’re craving adventure or excitement, then rock climbing is definitely the activity for you. Whether you’re bouldering in the gym just 5 feet off the ground, sport climbing 60 feet off the ground, or up in the mountains climbing at 13,000 feet, this sport will definitely give you a rush of adrenaline.
Thanks to its physical and mental challenges, rock climbing gives new meaning to upward mobility. It’s a rewarding sport on a number of levels. To start with, you can make great gains in physical strength and endurance.
With a sport that is so easy to pick up, what are you waiting for?