If you’re looking for a way to get some fresh air and exercise, while getting the adrenalin flowing and building some serious arm muscle then rock climbing is the sport for you.
Suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, rock climbing has many physical benefits including weight loss, cardiovascular health, increased flexibility, and improved coordination. You’ll also soon notice your body becoming more toned, especially your arms and shoulders. What’s interesting though, is the mental and emotional benefits of rock climbing which include decreased stress, greater mental clarity, increased self-confidence and a feeling of accomplishment.
Rock climbing is suitable for both nature lovers and those who prefer to exercise indoors. Many people master the sport of rock climbing on an inside wall, before moving on to harder challenges outside. For those who are just starting out in the sport consider heading down to your local rock climbing gym for a few lessons or grabbing a group of friends and trying it together.
To really experience rock climbing though, you need to get outdoors. Beginners will find many places throughout the US to test their new skills, or try climbing it for the first time. Try the Hueco Tanks State Historical Park close to El Paso, Texas where if you’re feeling brave you can compete in either the beginner or advanced section of the Hueco Rock Rodeo Competition. They also have rock climbing classes for children every Sunday.
Once you’ve done a few climbs, and you’re looking for a climb that’s slightly more challenging, head to the Yosemite National Park, which is considered by many to be where the sport first began in the United States. Arguably the most well-known climbing spot in the US is the El Capitan which is 3000 feet high, with hardly any handholds-most of it being smooth granite rock.
The highest mountain in North America is Mt McKinley, otherwise known as Mt Denali. This is the ultimate goal for many rock climbers in America, and you’ll need to be an experienced climber before attempting this. If you’re planning to climb the South Buttress Route expect it to take between two and four weeks, and make sure you’re prepared-around half of all climbers give up before reaching the top.
If you’re looking for a sport that will challenge you and provide you with endless opportunities for adventure then try rock climbing. With so many incredible places to climb in North America, you’re truly spoilt for choice.