The sport of climbing is growing at an extremely rapid rate and an increasing number of people are starting out climbing exclusively in climbing gyms.  While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, the transition from gym to crag for many of newer climbers is not always the smoothest process.

To help newer gym climbers who are looking to move their climbing onto real rock, here’s an article from Evening Sends by Andrew Bisharat in which he outlines some of the important concerns climbers venturing outside for the first time should keep in mind.

“Gym climbers who venture outdoors must learn how to become completely self-reliant and responsible for their actions. This begins with knowing the basics of how to belay a leader, and extends to knowing how to evaluate the integrity of your own gear as well as any gear that’s fixed on the wall: whether that’s bolts, permadraws, or just manky old slings. Also important is knowing how to avoid loose rock, and respond appropriately to bad weather, especially lightening.” – Andrew Bisharat

Gym to Crag Concerns Covered:

While moving your climbing from an indoor to outdoor setting may seem easy, there are some major fundamental differences that you need to be aware of before you can do so safely, effectively, and in a respectful way.  In this article, Bisharat covers:

  • Practicing leave no trace
  • Understanding fixed gear
  • Gear you will need
  • Route vs. rope length
  • Strength vs. technique/skill
  • Remember: not all routes are safe

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, the issues Bisharat covers are certainly a great place for any gym climber looking to climb outside to start.  Click through below to read the complete article and learn more about each of these topics.

Ultimately, climbing outside on real rock is what its all about.  It can be an extremely rewarding experience and is what motivates most climbers to put in so much effort training.  Definitely get out there and enjoy yourself.  Just be sure you are doing so safely and are being respectful to both the environment and other climbers.

Full Article: Gym to Crag – The Real Deal

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