Climbing… ok, but where should you start?
July 21, 2020 / By nicolas
Climbing in 2020 became what fixed gear was in 2008. Before the coronavirus, visiting a climbing facility on a Saturday afternoon was similar to visiting a Walmart during Boxing day. If you’ve always been curious about trying this sport without knowing where to start, here is what you need to know about the different types of climbing. What type of climbing represents you best? How to differentiate different sorts of climbing? Here are a few answers.
Indoor boulderingIndoor bouldering is probably the least intimidating type of climb for a novice, but not the easiest. It is also the one that requires the least preparation since no equipment is necessary, other than climbing shoes. Being in front of a boulder wall is a bit like being in front of a big puzzle. Usually, you have to recognize the route to take and try to strategize your climb before starting. Without a pre-established path, you’ll probably be finding the puzzle quite complicated.
Since the indoor boulder walls are generally not very high (less than 5 meters), the practice is less intimidating for those who are afraid of heights. Colour or number codes also let you know how difficult the track you are about to try to conquer is. And do not think that the height of the wall will make it easier physically, on the contrary! Your hands, forearms and legs will suffer more than ever. Where to do it in Montreal? Allez Up! Nomad Bloc Shakti Bloc ShopView this post on Instagram
BoulderingOnce you’re familiar to indoor bouldering, you may be tempted to go and climb outside. But beware, these two types of bouldering are entirely different. In nature, protection is minimal and when you fall, it hurts. But hey, that’s part of the fun for some people. Crashpads, specific protective mattresses for bouldering, have only been available since 1993 and they are thinner than the cushions installed in indoor facilities. The other major difference is in the complexity. The climbing holds where to put your feet and hands are not coloured or obvious. The grips are often much smaller and your hands will need to be trained for you to be successful.
You will also need your equipment: crashpads, a brush, chalk, protective hand tape and your climbing shoes. Ideally, be accompanied by an insider the first time you go bouldering.View this post on Instagram
Top roping (or bottom-roping)This type of climbing is probably the most well-known and it is practised indoor and outdoor. Top roping is generally practiced in pairs. Attached to a rope via a harness, the climber tries to reach the top of a wall rising between 9 and 16 meters, while his partner, called a belayer, secures the rope at the bottom of the track, while also taking care of the slack. Once at the top (or following a fall), the climber abseils with the help of his partner.
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