November 2012

Top Rope Climbing

Learning The Ropes, Literally

Date November 9, 2012

Posted by

“Dude, such a splitter day. I sunk a #1 TCU that was so bomber you could catch a Volkswagon.”

Sound familiar? No? Well, that’s ok.

Rock climbing is kind of in it’s own little isolated world of awesomeness. Still, it can be a pretty intimidating (and weird) environment in which to dip your toes without proper guidance. Fortunately, the climbing community is one of the most welcoming in the outdoor industry.

Take more friends? Yeah, climbers are all about that.

Let’s face it, everyone needs to start somewhere. No matter who you are, you can learn climbing. There are a lot of resources.

Go online to see if there is a local climbing wall or gym in your area. If that’s not an option, but you’re still looking to learn the ropes, head over to Mountain Project, a climbing-dedicated wiki that has a fantastic option to find partners in your area.

Once you get going, you may find all the knots, techy-looking equipment, and jargon intimidating. “Belay On!” and “bomber placements” are enough to bamboozle even the most adventurous first-timer, but don’t worry. It takes time. Your local climbing shop can connect you with the right books and the right people with ease.

Remember that friendly climbing community? That means more experience from which to draw.

According to a 2010 US Forest study, climbing’s most recent decade saw an almost 10% increase in participation, with more growth in the 2nd half of the decade. And it’s only going to continue growing.

This means there’s never been a better time to start climbing.

Friends at the Crag

A group of friends hangs out at the top of a climb in Idaho. Photo by



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