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Rock Climbing 101

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Challenge yourself and reach for new heights this summer by checking out the sport of rock climbing.

Rock Climbing - Outdoor or Indoor

If you've ever wanted to be able to scale tall buildings like Spider-Man or just want to add some excitement to your summer, rock climbing is a great sport to learn. Rock climbing will also help improve your flexibility, fitness and mental strength.

  • Indoor - Most cities have indoor rock climbing gyms and good introductory courses that will teach you the basics of rock climbing. In the summer, many rock climbing gyms also offer summer camps. Bring along a friend so you can learn to climb together or invite a bunch of your friends and have climbing party!
  • Outdoors - If you live near mountains and would rather learn to climb outdoors, the best way to start is by taking a rock climbing class. Check with your nearest outdoors store or community centre for more information. Make sure to ask about the experience and credentials of the person who's taking you climbing.

Rock Climbing - Gear

When you're just getting started, you're better off renting or borrowing gear. Once you're more comfortable climbing and know you really like the sport, you can start buying your own gear. For more info on buying rock climbing gear, click here.

Rock Climbing - Terms To Know

  • Rappelling - the practice of sliding down a rope in a controlled manner. The safest way to rapell is using a harness, locking, carabineer and a belay device. The rope is fed through the device to add friction as the person controls the rate of descent. Rapelling is usually used to safely come down from steep slopes and rocks.
  • Top Roping - a form of rock climbing where the climber is connected to a rope strung from the top of a cliff. The rope is anchored securely using bolts or other devices.
  • Belaying - A technique for controlling the climbing rope so that a falling climber does not fall very far. A belayer passes the rope through a belay device, which forces the rope through a series of tight turns that greatly increase friction. Belaying is a critical part of the climbing system.
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What Would You Like To Climb?