Did you know that 40% of climbers in the Seattle area never make it outdoors to climb? Seattle is not alone in this statistic. In fact, it’s a growing trend across the Nation. To me, climbing outdoors is what climbing indoors is all about. It is a means to an end, not the end in itself. For those who want to discover the lure, the excitement, the adventure, the challenge of the outdoors but don’t know where to start, I have 3 tips to help you:
1. Find your local climbing meet-up. Meet-ups have become a thing these days. Lacking a partner, want to meet new people, explore areas you might not otherwise go, join the meet-up. Warning, quality and caliber of the climbers in the meet-up may vary. Don’t blindly trust everyone in the group or the leaders just because they setup the group. Ask around or ask the leader of a meet-up about their qualifications, first. Want to know specifically what to look for, ask me.Talk to your gym about classes, or outdoor events.
2. Often, gyms will host some sort of outing guided by one of their employees. Classes will help you meet other like-minded individuals where you can start to network.
3. Hire a guide or participate in an outdoor event. Guides are professionally trained to take climbers like you outdoors and teach you what you need to know to be safe and get comfortable with the experience. Likewise, various events around the country (Red River Gorge Rocktoberfest, Red Rock Rendezvous, etc) make it possible for you to meet other climbers, explore the outdoors in a safe and guide supported way. Money from these events goes to different causes, some are for profit and some are not. Most of them enlist a range of talented climbers to help support their cause, which makes the experience even more enlightening by allowing you the opportunity to participate in a class with them.
For example, I’m orgnazing an outing to the Red River Gorge November 4 – 6, 2011. Anyone can sign up. Read more here….