How to plan your climbing trip
Always wanted to go climbing, but don’t know where to start? We’re here to help, with this basic guide. Hopefully it helps remove some of the mystery, helps you figure out which disciplines you’d like to try, and makes it easier for you to get started. More advanced climbers (even those who have never climbed outside) might find some helpful tips, but don’t be surprised if it’s more of a review. If you have any helpful tips to share from your experience, please add them in comments.
Where to start
Before you start honing in on the finer details, you must first define what it is you’re talking about. How many days we have? How many place we want to try? Do we want to hike? Do we want to take in some culture? Often the answer is yes, but we determined that these will play second fiddle to climbing. That’s what rest days are for, right? It could be like plan B. We always need a plan B or C. (What happend if you became ill or something) The activities would then determine our gear, our itinerary, our destinations.
How to choose your perfect place
Rock climbing in a gym is a completely different sport than climbing outside. Grades are going to feel a lot harder outside than inside. Plus, you probably won't have access to trained instructors and the outdoors is a less-controlled environment—you're at the mercy of weather conditions and natural holds. But when the time comes, as long as you take the proper safety precautions and communicate well with your partner, heading out can be way more fun than climbing indoors. Friends, climbing shops and clubs can all offer local intel on good places to boulder, while guidebooks like Topo Guru allow you to do more in-depth planning and research. Much like the climbing world, bouldering has evolved multiple rating systems. The standard used most widely today is the V Scale, named after John “Vermin” Sherman, who collaborated with his buddies to rate routes in the legendary Hueco Tanks bouldering area in Texas. If you go bouldering in Europe, you’ll see ratings in the Font Scale. That system originated in Fontainebleau, a renowned French bouldering region. The V Scale goes from V0 (easiest) through V16 (hardest). It also includes an introductory rating of VB for beginner bouldering problems. Because the scale is open ended, it’s conceivable that numbers higher than 16 could get added later. Sometimes you see a + or – appended to a value to distinguish difficulty level within the same rating.
If you walked into a gym for the first time and were not able to complete a beginner boulder problem, such as a V0, you would become frustrated and probably not be interested in buying a membership The truth is, there is a dramatic increase in difficulty when you climb outdoors. While it is fun and important to be pushing yourself physically, it’s just as important to remember to let go of your ego. When you try a lower grade or two, it becomes easier to focus on learning the skills. Because you will be using unmarked, natural holds to get to the top, it is often recommended starting on lower difficulty level routes. For example you can do it in Fontainebleau where the winter is won’t be barrier and Topo Guru has all route what you need.
Bouldering requires less gear than other types of climbing. All you really need for a successful bouldering session is a pair of well-fitted rock shoes, chalk for sweaty palms, and a chalk bag on a waist belt. Besides these three essentials, boulderers often use a crash pad to lessen the risk of foot and leg injuries when they fall, a toothbrush for cleaning chalk and dust from holds.
Finding insurance which will cover you, your vehicle, your gear, and your medical and rescue expenses should the worst happen is a miserable affair. You’ll need to take out rescue insurance and ensure it covers your medical expenses in the event of a climbing, skiing, or trekking accident. It can be more expensive if you plan your climbing peaks above 6,000m. If you want to get the most out of your trip the best way if you make a plan. Choose your crag with Topo Guru, collapse your gear, buy a good insurance, and jump in to the adventure.