Advantages It's awesome!!
Disadvantages Getting to decent crags from the South East
I have been climbing for more than 15 years now. Climbing actually encompasses a fairly broad range of activities, so I thought I’d start by explaining where I fit in. I am not one of these mad fools who think that tramping all day up a mountain in miserable cold wet conditions is fun. I enjoy technical rock climbing, on sea cliffs or inland crags, preferably on a hot sunny day and preferably with a very short walk from the car park :-)You can also climb on indoor, man-made walls, and this is where most people now start. New indoor climbing centres seem to be springing up all over the UK, and you can find the wall nearest you via the British Mountaining Council website, http://www.thebmc.co.uk/indoor/walls/wall.asp. Most offer introductory courses for a small fee. For example, the wall nearest to me (which I am not advertising!) offers 6 hours of tuition in equipment, ropework and basic principles for £85. Even if you decide that you prefer the thrill of the “real thing”, you will probably want to use indoor walls on rainy days and to keep your hand in during the winter (unless you are a mad mountaineer – see my comments above) because basically the only way to train for climbing is to climb.
If you start off climbing at an indoor wall, you will probably be able to hire all the equipment you need. You will need a sit harness, a belay device and a carabiner. A sit harness comprises a waistband and leg loops that you step into and pull up like a pair of shorts, before doing up the waistband like a belt. A carabiner is a loop of metal which is lockable, and a belay device is what you use to manage the rope so that your climbing partner doesn’t hit the ground if they fall off. Most indoor climbing walls have “top ropes” set up – these are ropes where the rope is fed through an anchor at the top of the wall and both ends of the rope dangle down. The climber ties herself, at the front of her harness, to one end of the rope, and her partner takes in the rope as she climbs, through the belay device. If the climber falls, the rope running through the belay device creates enough friction that the rope “locks” and prevents the person climbing from falling. OK, that’s a slight over-simplification but the point I’m trying to get across is that top-roping is very, very safe and anyone can have a go. I first took my step-daughter on her 6th birthday and you can imagine what the politics of that would have been, should the slightest hair on her head have been disturbed!Extra info on equipment for women
It may not have escaped your notice, but us women are a different shape to men. We have hips, arses and thighs! We also tend to have a longer distance from waist to leg loops. When I started climbing, there were only a limited number of harnesses specifically designed for women but nowadays there is a wide selection. Alternatively, look for harnesses where you can buy the waist and leg loops separately so you can mix-n-match sizes to get a good fit. My personal preference is also leg loops that you can undo, so that you can have a pee without taking your harness off!
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
Add your comment