Rock with a sunrise behind it

4 Reasons Rock Climbers are Amazing Survivalists

Rock climbing is one of those things I never meant to get into. Like snowboarding, I had that anxiety before going to climb. But after completing even one route, I felt amazing: accomplished, adrenaline-filled, like a stronger, better person.

Cons of Rock Climbing

It’s not an easy sport to get into, because:

  1. It’s expensive. The gear is not cheap and you need quite a bit to approach a wealth of routes. And it’s even more expensive to take classes, but you might be able to skip a couple other items on our con list.
  2. There’s a large learning curve. It can be awkward when you first start out, learning the knots, commands, technique, and getting the strength to complete a route. Not a lot of people persevere through the initial learning phase.
  3. You need to know the right people. If you aren’t going to take a class, you need to know someone good enough to lead climb and “show you the ropes”. Hopefully they are safe and sober.

But here’s why I think it’s worth it:

Top Reasons Rock Climbers are Survivalists

  1. You master flexibility, balance and strength all at once. It is an all around test of our muscles to become better.
  2. You face fears and gain inner strength. Fear of heights, fear of falling, fear of scratching up your body on the rock, you face them all on a route. That is that accomplished feeling you obtain after climbing.
  3. It’s wonderful for relationships, if you do it right. I knew a girl from college who is a really badass climber, and so was her boyfriend at the time. We found out after they broke up that he was just terrible on the rock. Wouldn’t let her down if she was in a tricky spot, yelled at her to keep going, NOT the attitude you want, especially from a partner. If you use it as a trust and communication exercise, however, it strengthens your bonds- be it a friendship, relationship, whatever. Remember to use vocal communication, always be present when belaying, be encouraging and help them find their next holds, and the second time they say they want down listen to them.
  4. You can get to places other people can’t. If I needed to Get Out Of Dodge for a short period of time, I’d want to escape to rocks that don’t have easy access points and are well covered. Even just as a place to stash goods, rock climbers can get to the best places.

Do you rock climb? What other activities test your grit and physical capabilities like this?