Understanding how to get started as a climbing beginner can be a minefield and very daunting. Plus the sport definitely comes with risks so you want to make sure you do it in safe way. It’s definitely not something you should be jumping in to with absolutely no knowledge or experience first.
I recently posted about my first climbing and kayaking experiences and how I struggled with my confidence when I first started. So, learning from my experience I wanted to share with you what I wish I had done years earlier!
My 8 top tips for a climbing beginner
- Find a climbing club near you
- Look for a climbing wall and book in for a beginner climbing session
- Find out if any of your friends climb and get them to take you with them
- Go to a proper climbing shop to look for equipment
- Be prepared to fail!
- Think about why you want to climb
- Try bouldering
- Do some research
1.Find a climbing club near you
Climbing clubs are a great way to meet new climbing buddies easily. The BMC has a great tool to help you find one local to you. Some will be happy to help you learn the basics, others will expect you to know them. But either way, they will quite happily point you in the right direction and support you to get started.
2. Look for a climbing wall and book in for a beginner climbing session
Within just one or two sessions you will probably know enough to climb independently at an indoor wall.
3. Find out if any of your friends climb and get them to take them with you
I wish I had done this! Whilst it could feel a little bold why not see if any of your friends can help you get in to climbing. You obviously want to make sure what you’re learning is safe. But this can be a really easy way to get started.
4. Go to a proper climbing shop to look for equipment
Buying your first harness, climbing shoes or belay device can be daunting with so many options to choose from. Going to a proper shop can save you from expensive mistakes. Outside is one of my faves. And you can sometimes find a pretty good expert in Go Outdoors if you want something local.
5. Be prepared to fail!
Once you get going don’t expect everything to go perfectly right away. Sometimes climbing takes persistance. You’ll come across moves at every grade that need a number of attempts before you finally make it. But you’ll very quickly see progress if you go regularly!
6. Think about why you want to climb
This will help you shape your beginner journey. For example, there’s different types of climbing and for outdoor climbing you may need to supplement your learning from indoors . Plus you can get your friends/club to help you then reach that goal.
7. Try bouldering
Bouldering can be an easy and safe(ish) way to give climbing a go. It often just requires you to understand the basic rules and you can hire climbing shoes from the centre. There’s no rope work involved. Although it does still come with it’s risks so be careful!