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What comes before the rock?

Hello, all!

I am no stranger to the outdoors having grown up primarily hiking and spending whatever time possible in the water, but I have always wanted to get involved in sport climbing. I have no more experience than a few times climbing in a gym. Before I try something new, I always do heavy research to grow my knowledge before becoming too invested in something I might give up after a few months. 

How did you all start out in climbing and what are some resources to learn more? I am located in southern Indiana and looking to join a gym to develop technical skills but will take any recommendations on books, films, articles, etc. I'd love to hear about your personal experiences!

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4 Replies

Definite trad perspective from thee days (1950s) when there were no other options.  Gym climbing has a useful place (developing technique, etc.) but it can't compare with outdoor experiences and its many variables - weather, climate, time of day, etc. ad infinitum.  The holds are not obvious nor is their security guaranteed.  This means there is a lot more thought involved.  This makes it a more intriguing. and challenging pastime, especially if you embark on more complex projects.

Recommended highly.

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

Hi@cassidychristianson !  A lot of folks will recommend taking a weekend beginner rock climbing course from a reputable guide service.

IMO, climbing on the rocks is a totally different animal than gym climbing.

But BE WARNED: rock climbing can be addicting and a gateway drug to dreaded MOUNTAINEERING! (lol)

have fun/be safe

ps - make sure your guide knows what their doing!!

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REI Member Since 1979

Thanks for sharing those pictures! I will definitely look into courses near me.

Happy climbing!

I would agree gym climbing doesn't compare to outdoor rock.  As mentioned, that beginner guided course outside should be solid.  I know you have several options in KY, I'm guessing the same is true with southern IN.  The climbing gym is usually more accessibly, cheaper than a guided climb, a great place to build the muscle memory, strength train, and practice technique.  Whatever you decide, let us know how it goes!

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