cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Announcements
Welcome REI Co-op Members! We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community, click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

Climbing Locations - New Member

Good Morning/Good Afternoon!

I'm brand new to this community as of last month and I wanted to reach out to say hello! Why has it taken so long for me to become a member of the REI Co-Op? Well, I never really listened to my heart and what my heart wants until recently. What I've come to find is that my life needs far more adventure than I've given and now that I'm in my early 30s, well, it's time to light that fire.

With this being said, I'm actually working on a big project right now and I'm looking to pick some experienced climbers' brains about climbing in the United States. So, if there are active members here willing to give some advice, I'd very much appreciate it!

1. What are some of the best National Parks in the U.S to climb? (Yosemite and Zion seem to be THE best)

2. What are some recommendations on starting to climb? (I've got my own climbing shoes and entered into a community of people that are exposing me, but would love to hear from veterans)

3. What are some skills that I can practice that would improve my climbing? (i.e. stretching, workouts, movement, etc)

4. What communities/tools online do you use to connect with climbers throughout the states?

Thank you in advance to anyone who's willing to reach out! I hope you're all well and that 2021 brings much joy!

And remember, "Adventure's Out There"!

6 Replies

@JehridHale 

The best for climbing - some would include Joshua Tree in that category, especially in the winter.  And there is more than just rock climbing - Denali and North Cascades, Rainier and Olympic are rumored to contain some fine ascents as well.  

I understand there is even fine climbing outside of National Parks.  There are hidden gems everywhere - the Gunks, for instance.  Ever hear of Baboquivari?

Where are you located?  There is bound to be a local community nearby these days.  Hook up with some of the experienced folks there.  Personal mentorship is the best way to develop.

Get in good general condition to begin.  You need both cardio and strength. capabilities.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
0 Likes

@JehridHale guessing @bryndsharp has some suggestions! She posts some of the most amazing content about climbing!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hi @JehridHale, what an intriguing post! There is no way I can type all of my thoughts on this topic in a single response, so I am going to go short and to the chase, but if you have further questions about anything in particular, don't hesitate to shoot them my way!

1. What are some of the best National Parks in the U.S to climb? (Yosemite and Zion seem to be THE best)

  • National Parks/Monuments/Conservation Areas I'd recommend: Yosemite, Zion, Red Rocks Canyon, and Rocky Mountain NP, are the ones that come to my head right away.
  • State Parks: Definitely check out Smith Rock State Park in Oregon
  • Other locations worth a look: Joshua Tree, Hueco Tanks, Red River Gorge, Mt. Lemmon (Tucson, AZ), Maple Canyon, Index (Washington), Farmhouse/Cochise (Southern Arizona), Boulder Canyon (CO), and more!
  • The recommendations for this category also depend on the kind of climbing you're looking to do - big wall, multi pitch, single pitch, sport, trad, aid, bouldering, etc.

2. What are some recommendations on starting to climb? (I've got my own climbing shoes and entered into a community of people that are exposing me, but would love to hear from veterans)

  • This really depends on where you are located, as the resources available to you will vary. However, I would definitely recommend finding one or two "mentors" (more experienced climbers that are good teachers) to guide you on your journey. If you are comfortable (i.e. b/c of covid), I would suggest attending a gym weekly to practice climbing, develop your skills, and improve your mental and physical strength. Body Pump is also a great way to work out in a way that prepares you for climbing. Yoga is another option for this, also! Eventually, work your way into hangboarding, spray wall, and power endurance exercises (this is usually 1+ years after starting to climb - don't do this stuff too soon, or you could end up hurting yourself instead!).

3. What are some skills that I can practice that would improve my climbing? (i.e. stretching, workouts, movement, etc)

  • Body pump, yoga, power endurance, ARCing
  • Squish the bug - go up an easy route and focus on pinpointing your toe on the exact spot on each foothold you want it to end up on
  • Practice standing up/pushing with your legs, rather than pulling up with your arms
  • Keep your arms straight - the majority of your upper body weight should end up on your feet, with the rest ending up on your shoulder muscles - make sure to keep your shoulders and elbows engaged (muscles in use), though - never hang off of your skeleton!
  • Dynamic warm up before climbing + static warm up after climbing
  •  Route reading - envision your path up a route from the ground (i.e.  before you climb it)
  • Keep a journal that records the workouts you do, how you feel on certain routes, skills you learn, what you need to work on, etc.

4. What communities/tools online do you use to connect with climbers throughout the states?

  • Facebook - there are usually climbing Facebook groups for different areas 
  • Mountain Project
  • Friends/previous connections
  • Local climbing shops/gyms

This is just a basic starting list, so please let me know if you want more details about anything I have written, or have further questions!

Best,

Bryn

www.brynsharpphotography.com

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Bryndsharp's fine post brings back fond memories to this od codger about the early days of climbing in Tucson.  In fall, 1956, the first real rock climber appeared in Tucson transferring from Stanford (Stanford Alpine Club).  He had climbed primarily in Yosemite, learning the ropes from John Harlin, who later tragically left his name on the Harlin Route on the Eiger.  He brought the first carabiners, pitons, and real nylon climbing rope to the Tucson area., 

Rick was aghast at the quality of rock in the Tucson area. Even Babo's granite was barely adequate.  But through the years, opinion, techniques, and gear have changed and the Mt. Lemmon area is well regarded, as well as many other local spots, like Cochise Stronghold.....

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I'll second the Joshua Tree vote! I was just there for a month in February bouldering and it was really great and fun. It's incredibly hard climbing there, so it was humbling but still very fun. Moe's Valley is also really great for bouldering and easy to manage alone as is Joshua Tree (if you are alone). It's in St. George, Utah and would be very helpful to get guidebooks for both. Moe's isn't technically a National Park but it is near Zion where there is also great climbing. I've not climbed there yet just because I think there's more of a concentration of bouldering problems in Moe's. My two other favorite places for bouldering so far are in Leavenworth, WA and out of the country but too great not to note - Squamish, BC. 

area guidebooks, with routes, IMO are a must!  Also, check with local outdoor shops for climbing information.

Also, calling NF ranger stations can be helpful.

For me, having a like-minded climbing 'soul mate' is extremely valuable!

half the fun is exploring and discovering, it's a big country!

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes