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All the basics and a little history too. If you are wondering whether or not you would like rock climbing...

by Mike

ROCK CLIMBING — So, you want to start climbing, but where do you begin?

Climbing as we know it today has exploded in popularity over the last 40 years. Nowadays people can take their pick of any of the many types of climbing.

Here is a sample: Bouldering is climbing on large rocks using only a few moves close off the ground. Sport climbing, is tying into a rope and clipping protection already fixed on the rock. If you live in an area where there are cliffs with cracks, you can put your own protection in as you ascend up. This is called traditional climbing.

If there is a climbing gym in your area, or shorter, accessible cliffs you will notice the ropes are or can be easily anchored to the tops of the climbs. All you have to do is tie in and climb. This is known as top roping. All of these methods of climbing are known as free climbing. You are using only your hands and feet to ascend up the rock. Your rope is attached to you for protection only.

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Climbing has evolved enormously over the past decades. For example, in the past, climbers would tie a rope around their waist and climb up cliffs using thin pieces of metal called pitons to safeguard falls driven into the rock with a hammer.

This was scary business and the person leading the way up the rock would probably die if they fell. Needless to say not many fell, but not many people climbed either.

Today, climbing is much safer and the gear manufactured can hold many falls by the learning climber. Remember, whatever type of climbing you decide to pursue, be it bouldering, sport, traditional, top roping or any other exciting kind, seek qualified instruction before casting off onto the rock. Climbing is definitely fun, but it can also be dangerous.

New Rock Climbers Start Here - Part 2
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