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The Reasons To Get Into Rock Climbing
by Richard Chapo

You probably are aware of rock climbing and might wonder why it has gained in popularity to the point that you now have cruise ships with walls to practice on! Well, there are a number of reasons.

Perhaps the first reason climbing is picking up in popularity is the simple fact it is done outside. You can usually find somewhere to climb that is relatively near to your home. This gives you that sweet moment in time when you are outside communing with Mother Nature, not your cell phone, pda or whatever.


The second reason many get into the sport is the exercise factor. If you are like me, you get bored quickly if you are just doing reps or plodding along on a treadmill or some similar exercise equipment. This is why so many home exercise machines turn into expensive clothes hangers. With rock climbing, boredom is not a problem. Even the biggest cynic gets a rush from being up in the air on a vertical face.

While these are all good reasons, you can get the same outdoor exercise experience a lot of different ways. So, what is it that sets hanging from the side of some vertical surface apart from other outdoor activities? Well, it has to do with the personal challenge aspect of the sport.

Whether you realize it or not, you crave personal challenges. The problem these days is finding something that is truly personal. With rock climbing, this is not a problem. It is you and whatever vertical surface you are on. You either pull it off or you don't. This makes it a purely personal sport that you, and you alone, can succeed at or give up. There is something about that which gets most people going.

This certainly isn't intended to suggest that this has to be a solitary sport. Usually, you have at least one other person with you. More and more people, however, are pursuing it as a family outing. With rock climbing gyms popping up everywhere, it is even growing a social side where like minded people can meet. After you get proficient at the basics, you'll feel almost a Zen oneness with the structures you are climbing.

Rock climbing is a great sport, but it is often hard to explain to someone who has never tried it. If you are considering it at all, I strongly encourage you to have a go at it. You might just find that weekend activity you've been searching for your entire life. Just realize that you probably won't restrict it to just the weekends!

Rick Chapo is with - makers of rock climbing journals to keep track of your climbs and routes

rock climbing books

Find books about climbing

Handbook of Climbing by Alan Fyffe, Iain Peter, Hamish MacInnes
"a first class book that can answer any question you might have about climbing be it ice, rock or how to navigate to the crag.."

Training for Rock Climbing by Steve Bollen
"The author, an orthopaedic surgeon and keen climber himself, offers expert advice on how to improve performance and minimize the risk of injury.."

The Complete Guide to Rope Techniques by Nigel Shepherd
"Excellant book, covering just about everything you need to know about climbing rope work and then some.."

How to Rock Climb by John Long
"This book is a great book to start with. It briefly adresses most all skills in the world of rock climbing. It is well illustrated.."

The Mountain Skills Training Handbook by Pete Hill, Stuart Johnston, Nigel Williams
"Designed for instructors and climbing enthusiasts, the techniques, methods and tips described and illustrated here have derived from the authors' own experience.."

K2: One Woman’s Quest for the Summit by Heidi Howkins
"considered one of the ultimate challenges for professional high-altitude climbers, a mountain that eschews mere luck and demands both physical and mental fortitude.."

Chris Bonington’s Everest by Chris Bonington
"Chris Bonington, Britain's best known climber, celebrates in words and pictures the 50th anniversary of the conquest of the world's highest mountain"

Sir Edmund Hillary & the People of Everest
Anne B. Keiser, Cynthia Ramsey, HRH Prince Philip (Introduction)
"Describes Hillary's ascent to the summit of Mount Everest and his lifelong relationship with the Sherpas"

Climb Pete Takeda, Jack Dickason (Illustrator)
"learn the tricks of the pros.... Climb! covers bouldering, sport climbing, wall climbing, trad climbing, ice climbing, alpinism, and more.."

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