Mountain and rock climbing is one of the most exciting and exhilarating outdoor sports. It’s no wonder that, so many have taken up climbing. Experienced climbers know that there are safety concerns associated with climbing. Ignoring safety can lead to injury and even fatality. While it’s true that it is important to inspect gear and make sure it’s up to par, safety is even more than that.
First off, let others know where you’re going to be climbing and when you’re supposed to return. Follow your planned route; if you deviate and get lost then no one will know where you are. Cell phones won’t work where you’ll be going. You should always bring someone with you when you climb, but this does not negate the advice to let people know where you’ll be.
Once you’re there, don’t try to be a daredevil and leave your ego at home. The professionals know that you should always rule on the side of safety. If something looks too dangerous then don’t do it. Showing off will result in nothing but possible injury and hospitalization.
Know your physical limits and be aware of the terrain. Pulled tendons and ligaments and injuries from falling rocks are some of the most common injuries. If you’ve never climbed in a certain area seek advice from others who have experience with the location.
Awareness is another key to safety. Be aware of your environment including the weather and the physical factors of the terrain. Ensure rocks are secure and handholds are correctly assessed. Know who you are climbing with and know their experience and level of expertise. Leave arguments and attitudes behind; fights and confrontations will only lead to distracting you and making you less focused.
Communication is very important and goes both ways. You need to be clear when you say something and you need to listen carefully when a fellow climber says something to you. Know your hand signals and review them before you begin your climb.
Climbing is a strenuous activity and you need to be fit enough to climb before you even go to the climbing location. Don’t go climbing if you feel under the weather or you’re recovering from a previous injury. Before endeavoring on a climb perform some stretches, so your muscles won’t be stiff and will be more prepared for the strain of climbing.
Climbing is an uplifting activity and some even say it’s a religious experience. Safety is a major concern so prepare for your climb, make sure you are physically able and be aware of your surroundings.
There you have it! Enjoy your climb!